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Did you know: What the numbers on drum sticks mean?

Did you know that all drum sticks have a number and a letter assigned to them?

What's the difference?

Essentially the higher the number the lighter the stick.

Drum Stick Sizes

There are 3 main weight categories:

  • 7 series: used for lighter playing styles e.g. jazz and young players with small hands

  • 5 series: these are the most commonly used sticks worldwide and are great for beginners. They are suitable for most styles, especially pop and rock

  • 2 series are great for heavy hitters, they are best suited to heavy rock and metal genres.The extra weight is also great for building strength and stamina when working on technique

There are two main letters that are assigned to sticks:

  • A letter was originally put on the drum stick to indicate the best musical application for the stick i.e. "A" for orchestra and "B" for band

  • "A" was printed on the stick instead of "O" for orchestra as the original stick manufacturers thought "A" looked better than "O"

  • "B" sticks are slightly heavier and have a slightly larger diameter than "A' sticks

Drum stick tips can be divided in to two main material types:

  • Wood tip: the most commonly used tips as they have a warm and dark resonant tone on drums and cymbals

  • Nylon tip: produce a brighter sound (especially from cymbals) they also have increased durability as they don't fracture like wood tips

As your drumming develops it is good to have a variety of drum stick sizes at your disposal so that you can perform in any number of different musical situations.

All stick sizes are essentially a guide and the best sticks are the ones that feel good in your hands and allow you to play the way that you like. Experiment with different brands and sizes to find the sticks that work for you.

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