It is over half way through 2018 and I have been playing drums for five and a bit years yet I still cannot certainly say I am using the right sticks. This is not a post about brands because I am a loyal Vic Firth user since I started playing so I have no comparisons BUT I have helped kick-start a new brand call Vikory which I will talk about later in the post.
Looking at my extensive (not very) collection of sticks I have three sizes; 7A, 5A and 85A. I mainly own 85As and it is my go to stick but I have thinking perhaps it isn’t the best for me. I plan on putting the different sizes to the test in a sort of scientific experiment by doing the exact same thing/routine on the drums but in three sessions trying out each of the sticks.
But first, a bit about the sticks. They are all Vic Firth American Classic® made from Hickory wood with a lacquer surface coating but their lengths, widths and weights differ.
These were my first sticks and I used this size for about two and a half years so the longest I have used a particular size I would say. I think this is one the reasons why I am tempted to go back maybe because also these were some of my best years due to having no back issues. I know the sticks haven’t nothing to do with that but I guess it is a mentality thing. It would be great to go back to the time when drumming didn’t feel like struggling to climb up hill.
The sticks are the smallest size that Vic Firth do without being labelled as Kid Sticks and as a very small individual this is why they were advised to me. I mean I haven’t grown much since I started to drum but I felt like it was enough of a reason to change sticks…that I needed something more.
Diameter: 1.37cm/0.54” Length: 39.37cm/15.5” Taper: Medium
I had bought a pair of none branded 5As a few months before I switched at a Comic Con event purely because they were attractive. I spent the next months fiddling with them but never playing with them because I was worried the black paint would chip and I simply bought them because of how they looked in the first place. Didn’t want to ruin them.
So, when I thought about switching sizes I went for the 5As but in black because black is cool. 5A is the general drumstick size I guess, this is obvious by the colour range that Vic Firth do (available in normal, white, black and pink) as well as the different variations but I went for the standard 5A. I liked them a lot but thought maybe the width was too much for my small hands.
Diameter: 1.44cm/0.565” Length: 40.64cm/16” Taper: Medium
After being given a pair of 85As by Vijay Mistry from Kaiser Chiefs I instantly I felt a difference just by holding them and so I switched from the 5A. I knew there wasn’t much of a difference with both the length and taper being the same but the width was a biggie. They feel slight and easier to play with I would say.
Writing this now I am wondering why I am tempted to go back to the 7A but it is mainly because of using an e-kit – a poor one at that. All closed in which doesn’t give me any space or flexibility in how I position it. So to me the length of this size and the 5As is problem. It gives me a headache trying to decide because at the end of the day sticks are expensive. These ones are a tenner, I think the other two sizes are slightly cheaper so that also makes them more attractive. And I have only found that Vic Firth offer this size meaning I cannot shop around. Drumsticks aren’t any sort of equivalent to a plectrum man. Being a drummer is expensive.
Diameter: 1.4cm/0.55” Length: 40.64cm/16” Taper: Medium
You may be looking at the specs and wondering why I am making a fuss or whatever because on paper they are very similar. Not much in the sizes at all but to me it is astounding the effects the different sizes have. It is insane.
A couple of millimeters makes all the difference.
Whilst I have been trawling Vic Firth’s website I have realised that they sell an “eStick” which is very intriguing. But looking at the spec the length is longer than all of the sticks above and that’s the issue because to me I think I need a shorter stick for my frankly shitty e-kit. They do have a longer taper though which makes me wonder if that would help…hm. For now I will hold off on that idea and maybe explore it in the future. Let’s not over complicate things further.
I will test the three sizes and write up my conclusions; hopefully there will be one! It would be great to be certain about one thing to do with the drums even if it is not my future with them.
I mentioned at the beginning of the post a new brand called Vikory! They are focussing on style and quality at same time creating some stunning designs of sticks. So far there are three designs in sizes: 7A, 5A and 5B. I backed the company on the 30th May this year and I am looking forward to getting my hands on a pair hopefully in October.
The pair I have pre-ordered are 7As (assuming I am going back to the shorter length) and in their third design which I think is beautiful.
If you are drummer reading this then please go and check them out on social media @vikorysticks (Twitter) and @vikorydrumsticks (Instagram). There you will be able to find out how you can get your hands on a pair and support them.
Thank you again for reading my blog! Please like and comment, I am looking to upload more regularly if I can x