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Sunday 21 August 2011

Drum Stick Markings

I didn't think I'd ever have anything to say on drumsticks!  Well I just bought Shelley a set of Electronic Drums for her birthday so very rapidly I have had to come up to speed.

One of the things I found surprisingly difficult to find was consistent information on drum sticks.  That's the normal ones, there's plenty of detail about all the odd brushes and hammers you can use instead.  So a quick simplistic summary about ordinary sticks.

Drum Stick Sizes:  They are numbered with the lowest number being the thickest and therefore heavier and  correspondingly the highest number being the thinner and lighter.  The commonly available sizes are 2, 5 and 7 but some of the intervening sizes are also out there.  Size 5 being in the middle is the most popular but all sources say you should try them out.

Drum Stick Shape:  The other marking on a drum stick refers to its use which tends to affect the shape of the taper.  Shape 'A' typically being longer and thinner towards the tip than 'B' and 'S'.  Apparently 'A' is for more orchestral and finer works and 'B', well as Shelley put it, is for more bashing.  No idea about 'S'.

Different manufacturers sizes, weights and shapes vary for the same marking code.  They are usually close so the numbers are still a good guide.   Popular drum stick sizes tend to be '5A' and '5B'.

Many manufactures also put the suffix 'N' after the shape marking to indicate Nylon tip.  For example, '5BN'.

As far as I can tell the only disadvantage with a Nylon tip is that sometimes they come off!
So far Shelley prefers them.

The following web sites have similar but slightly differing information:

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