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Drum Sticks, Mallets or Brushes?

28th Oct 2014

Drumming is a craft that draws from every part of life. As such, there are many drumming sounds that people create and gravitate toward. Drums have that ability, maybe more than any other instrument; the ability to draw people in and make them listen. Drummers may also find themselves drawn to figuring out how to get the greatest variety from their beloved instrument. One way to vary up sound is by using different types of drum sticks, but usually the sticks a drummer chooses depends upon the genre and sound of the music played.


The most common type of drum stick is probably the regular, wooden stick. These basic sticks are long and come in a variety of thicknesses. The woods used to make the basic drum stick are maple, hickory, oak, and pine. Different woods offer different benefits. For example, maple is a lighter wood and has the best energy absorption. Some drummers don’t like to feel in their hands the constant reverberation of their hitting, so maple drum sticks could be a good choice. However, if a drummer is looking for drum sticks that are more difficult to break, oak would be a better choice.

Because it is common for drum sticks to break while playing, there are other types of drum sticks being offered that are made from different materials. Rubber drum sticks are pricey, but you won’t have to worry about them breaking. There may be some decline in sound quality, though, depending upon your music style. Drum sticks also come in various colors these days, but colored sticks might leave marks on your drums, so choose wisely.

Another type of drum stick is the percussion mallet. This drum stick looks similar to a basic drum stick, except it has a cloth ball as the tip. The ball is usually made of cotton or other rolled fabric. Percussion mallets are mostly used for kettle drums and other, large drums, but they can also be used by drummers playing a regular kit. Mallets are the same length as basic sticks, but they have thicker handles. Drummers who choose mallets typically play classical music as part of an orchestra.

Drum brushes are a type of drum stick that drummers may want to experiment with to see how they impact their sound. Mainly used to play jazz, you will also hear the drum brush used in Latin, pop, and rock music. The bristles are made from metal wire or nylon, and it produces a light beat. If you listen closely, you may hear drum brushes used in the background music of several of your favorite songs. Because the type of drum stick you use influences your sound, you will probably find it helpful to experiment with a variety of sticks during your drumming career.