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rolling sticks...
Old 15th August 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 

rolling sticks...

I can't be the only one who does this:

At the smaller local drum shops, I get a look of disdain when I ask for a few pairs of sticks and proceed to roll all of them on the counter. Actually, I get the same look at GC but for a different reason. The GC dude just wants any customer to go the hell away, while the local drum shop owner doesn't want to collect a bad stock of sticks that he can't sell.

If they wobble like a rolling banana, I put 'em back until I get a straight pair. I believe a stick that isn't perfectly straight will break sooner than one that is... not to mention a banana stick never feels right when you're playing. Who's with me on this?
Old 16th August 2007
  #2
Gear Head
 
meadowz06's Avatar
 

I do the same thing also. But most good drum sticks are straight. I always have good luck with Vic Firth and Promark sticks. But I do roll them to be sure.
Old 17th August 2007
  #3
Gear Guru
 

I am very fortunate to live a few blocks away from a dedicated drum shop. The owners are drummers and are totally cool with me rolling sticks and being picky.

I favor regal tips, which are very inconsistent so a lot of rolling is in order. Someone told me that they warp after manufacture as they dry out.

Warped sticks not only feel funny, they will slow you down. You also have to watch out for knots and grain spots in the wood - especially as you get towards the tip end. If I see a dark spot near the tip, it seems that's always where the stick will shatter suddenly and without warning.

One thing that seems to have improved in recent years is stick matching. While there are still plenty of pairs with one 'banana', there are fewer pairs where one stick is dense and the other is light. Within a stick model - say Regal Tip Rocks- there is a wide variation in weight even though they are all made of hickory or whatever.

But lately it seems the pairs are better matched. A pair consists of two light ones or two heavy ones. I still have to roll them for straightness, but I don't have to swap between pairs for weight as much.

On the other hand, I have recorded some amazing Haitian drummers who go out in the back yard and cut some branches right off a tree to use as sticks.
Old 17th August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Vic's rarely are warped. I haven't rolled a stick in 10 years when I quit playing promarks. I guess there goes my chances for an endorsement from those guys. Seriously, two pair a night for a gig....they don't last long enough to worry about. I chew them right in the middle of the stick from the hats and rimshots on snares, so a little warp wouldn't bother me too much anyway. The thing that gets me is when I chip off a part of the tip on the first few songs and then they feel terrible on the ride from then on.

Sort of on a similar topic....isn't it a great feeling when you're in the middle of a gig and change to a new pair of sticks? They feel so solid all of a sudden. You don't realize how mushy a chewed up pair of sticks feels until you get that new pair.

later,

m
Old 17th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post
Vic's rarely are warped. I haven't rolled a stick in 10 years when I quit playing promarks.
+1 here. me either. and i was a fastidious stick roller. this is one of the reasons i play vics these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post
The thing that gets me is when I chip off a part of the tip on the first few songs and then they feel terrible on the ride from then on.
that's the WORST. the rest of the stick is practically brand new and it's missing a little chunk out of the bead. that one quickly becomes the snare-hand stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post
how mushy a chewed up pair of sticks feels until you get that new pair.
totally. i used to do a new pair at the start of each set. and when i'm recording, i recycle sticks for working down the arrangement, parts and fills, and then when i feel i'm close enough for a keeper take, i always change to a virgin pair. they just crack better.


cheers,
wade
Old 17th August 2007
  #6
Gear Head
 
Superdrumskills's Avatar
 

Vater sticks are my fav they feel the best and last the longest in my opinion. Check them out!
Old 18th August 2007
  #7
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meadowz06's Avatar
 

How do you guys break sticks? I have not broken a stick in about 10 years.
Old 18th August 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meadowz06 View Post
How do you guys break sticks? I have not broken a stick in about 10 years.
I haven't broken one in quite awhile either. When I first started playing shows, I had too much nervous energy pumping adrenaline into my blood, and I'd break 2 or 3 sticks in one show.

The last time I broke one in the studio I'd have to blame on the stick. It was an ancient Regal Tip that was so dried out it snapped like a brittle twig.

These days, I'm much more likely to stop using a stick due to the shoulder being chewed up or chipping the tip.
Old 18th August 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post

Sort of on a similar topic....isn't it a great feeling when you're in the middle of a gig and change to a new pair of sticks? They feel so solid all of a sudden. You don't realize how mushy a chewed up pair of sticks feels until you get that new pair.
Besides Regal Tip rocks, my other most-used sticks are the Vic Firth Steve Gadds- the black ones. They have great tone. But they wear at a predictable rate.

Anyway, brand-new I don't really like them. Too top heavy. Only after they have been chewed up a bit are they 'perfect'. Of course too chewed up and they are no good, but there is that certain sweet spot between 'brand new' and 'kindling'.

If I was rich and famous I would have a drum tech breaking them in for me.
Old 18th August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax View Post
I haven't broken one in quite awhile either. When I first started playing shows, I had too much nervous energy pumping adrenaline into my blood, and I'd break 2 or 3 sticks in one show.

The last time I broke one in the studio I'd have to blame on the stick. It was an ancient Regal Tip that was so dried out it snapped like a brittle twig.

These days, I'm much more likely to stop using a stick due to the shoulder being chewed up or chipping the tip.
Funny you guys mention this...i can't recall the last time i really broke one mid-song either. I usually can tell by the feel that one's about to go and I'll lay off of it if possible, or swap it out before it happens at an awkward time.

Of course now, at our next gig I'll drop a dozen and break 3-4. Jinxed.....

m
Old 18th August 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 
dnaflr2's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meadowz06 View Post
How do you guys break sticks? I have not broken a stick in about 10 years.
Probably happens when playing ****ty hard rock and metal..
Old 18th August 2007
  #12
Gear Addict
 
dnaflr2's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnaflr2 View Post
Probably happens when playing ****ty hard rock and metal..
It also helps if you make sure your hair is teased and your spadex is tightly fitting.
Old 18th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meadowz06 View Post
How do you guys break sticks? I have not broken a stick in about 10 years.
usually it's a typically a rimshot and it just happens to hit a spot on the stick where there's give. i don't break a lot of sticks (and a whole lot less than i used to), but they happen. most of them are broken right in half, right at the spot where the stick met the rim. the stick just "pops" and i have to dodge.

but mostly these days, it's the tip will get chipped (so save em and i flip em around and use em as side-stick sticks) or they'll be too chewed to give me the tone/resonance i want.


cheers,
wade
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