Drumstick Sizes

Choosing the Right Drumstick

Are you among those people who panic at the thought of choosing the right drumstick sizes? There are numerous types of drum sticks available in the market. These sticks come in various sizes, shapes as well as different materials composition. Thus, choosing the right drum stick size can prove a daunting task for beginning drummers. This post is here to assist you in locating a perfect drum stick to meet your needs.


Materials Used in Drumstick Composition

Most drum sticks are wooden. Rosewood, maple, hickory and Japanese oak are the most popular woods used in the production of the sticks. Rosewood is dense hard wood while maple is light and soft. Hickory on the other hand is slightly harder as well as more durable than maple. In contrast, Japanese oak is extremely hard, durable and heavy. Apart from the wide spread wooden drum sticks, an individual may choose carbon fiber, ergonomic sticks, plastic, graphite, fiber glass, aluminum or light emitting diodes (LEDs) sticks that light up upon impact. It is also possible to choose a signature stick which is specifically designed to an individual’s specifications.


Basic Drumstick Parts (Tip, Shoulder, Shaft, Butt)

Despite the fact that drum sticks come in various sizes, weights and balances, all of them have similar basic designs. These features are the shoulder (tapered area), tip (which beats the drum head), butt (bottom end), and shaft (straight area which the hand holds). The shoulder can be extremely severe on heavier sticks or gradual on lighter ones.

The round, olive, barrel and pointed tip sticks are the most popular drum sticks in the market. The olive tip provides complete, low tones and enhanced durability, the round is bright and focused, both the barrel and pointed tips provide a medium tone. However, the barrel tip has more focus because of its reduced contact area.


Stick Size Nomenclature

Although the drum stick sizes may vary from one manufacturer to another, the international accepted drum stick numbering system devised in the 20th century provides the buyer with a rough idea of what to purchase. Generally, there are three categories denoted by letter S, A and B.

The notation A stands for orchestra, B for band and S for street. Class A is the lightest and was primarily designed for large bands while B was originally designed for brass and symphonic bands. The third category, S means street and was designed as the largest as well as heaviest drum stick in the market. The street uses incorporated drum corps plus marching bands designs. The accompanying digits refer to the circumference of the drum stick. The common numbers are two, five and seven. The larger the digit, the smaller the circumference of the drum sticks.

Five A are the most popular and appropriate drum sticks for standard beginners. However, 7A is ideal for young drummers who need a lighter drum stick. Experienced and hardcore drummers, who want to beat the drum hard, may try a 2B or 5B.

Hopefully we have given you an interesting insight and now you have some idea of what to consider when choosing drum stick sizes. Have fun experimenting with different sizes until you get your ideal match.


Drumstick Size Gallery

Listed below are Vic Firth drumstick sizes. Vic Firth is the most popular drumstick maker in the world. For more information on the Vic Firth Company check out our Full Review.

Kids Stick Size
L = 13″ | Dia. = .520
Kids Pink Stick Size
L = 13″ | Dia. = .520
HD4 Stick Size
L = 15 7/8″ | Dia. = .530
7A Stick Size
L = 15 1/2″ | Dia. = .540″

8D Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .540″

85A Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .550″

5A Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .565″

5AB Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .565″

5AW Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .565″

5AP Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .565″

5ADT Stick Size
L = 16 1/8″ | Dia. = .565″

X5A Stick Size
L = 16 1/2″ | Dia. = .565″

55A Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .580″

5B Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .595″

5BB Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .595″

5BW Stick Size
L = 16″ | Dia. = .595″

5BCO Stick Size
L = 16 1/4″ | Dia. = .595″

X5B Stick Size
L = 16 1/2″ | Dia. = .595″

F1 Stick Size
L = 16 3/16″ | Dia. = .580″

3A Stick Size
L = 16 3/16″ | Dia. = .580″

1A Stick Size
L = 16 13/16″ | Dia. = .580

HD9 Stick Size
L = 16 1/4″ | Dia. = .610″

2B Stick Size
L = 16 1/4″ | Dia. = .630″

ROCK Stick Size
L = 16 5/8″ | Dia. = .630″

CM Stick Size
L = 17″ | Dia. = .635″

ESTICK Stick Size
L = 16 1/2″ | Dia. = .563


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