Vic Firth drum sticks, also called drum sticks or more vulgarly sticks, are undoubtedly the central point of any drummer.
Even if at the beginning of their musical journey they are not given much weight, Vic Firth drum sticks have become over time one of the main symbols of drummers.
Drumstick is the medium, the intermediary between you and the instrument, the true extension of your upper limbs if you are a drummer.
When you pick up drumsticks you already feel like a drummer and giving drumsticks to a child, you don’t need to explain to him that they are used to beat drums and cymbals of a drum kit.
Anyone who has ever played drums would agree that drumsticks play a key role in sound quality and performance.
If you ever touched a drumstick, whether it was a high school music class or a play in front of a crowd, it was probably with a Vic Firth product.
For the past 50 years, the Vic Firth Company has been the world’s largest wands and chopsticks company and a leader in design, technology and education.
Founded in 1963 in Winchester, Massachusetts by its creator, Vic Firth, a musician himself who wanted to work with high quality drumsticks was available at the time.
Vic began making his rods first hand by cutting, then sending these prototypes to a wood turner.
Since then, the company has grown rapidly and now produces over 12 million sticks a year used worldwide.
The Vic Firth Company continues to offer new products to drummers around the world.
But because they have such an extensive list of products, it’s important to consider your real needs first.
If you’re looking for durable, lightweight sticks with full sound and deep return tips for better cymbal response, try Vic Firth Classic Hickory sticks.
On the other hand, if you like something more personalized, Peter Erskine Signature Ride sticks have all the features you would expect from Vic Frith and was designed by the famous jazz drummer.
Vic Firth, Drum Sticks And More
Not just the drumsticks, the Vic Firth Company offers nearly 300 other types of parts and support equipment including drumsticks, headphones, brushes, bags, training pads and percussion sets.
With options like the Steve Gadd Wire Brushes and the American Custom Timpani Mallets to add depth and sound to music bands or solo performances, there really is an instrument for anyone who needs high-quality drumming accessories.
As a teacher, Vic Firth is a strong supporter of continuing education.
His company provides a resource centre to assist with ongoing learning on the company website.
Dozens of articles, video lessons for beginners and advanced, podcasts and more give experienced drummers and beginners a library of essential tools to help them master the beat.
Combining high-end equipment and a wide assortment of teaching materials, it’s no surprise that Vic Firth is now the number one choice of music teachers, professional musicians and student players.
How To Choose Vic Firth Drumsticks For Your Drums?
Drum sticks are distinguished by several parameters, some of them seemingly very mysterious.
Needless to say, choosing the wrong drumsticks also significantly decreases performance.
Material, thickness, weight and length are some of the most obvious parameters to consider.
They can vary greatly the type of drum sticks to buy in the case of different genres and ways of playing.
Material Of Construction
Drum sticks can be made of many different materials that can give the touch, both as a grip and the hit on the instrument, its own typical peculiarity.
Wood is the master, but modern drumsticks can also be made of special materials such as durable carbon fiber.
The type of material used directly affects both the weight and the sound produced by the blows; usually the sticks are made of walnut, maple, oak, rosewood, ebony, beech, birch and others.
Here are the woods most commonly used to make rods:
- Walnut: usually is American walnut (hickory) wood, the most common, rounded, dense and flexible, it adapts to all musical genres.
- Maple: light and suitable for fast but delicate styles, like jazz. Oak wood: the most dense and resistant, perfect for those who play rock, metal and other genres where powerful and precise strokes are needed.
Dimensions And Weight: Letters On Battery Sticks
Have you seen a pair of drum sticks yet? If so, you’ve probably also noticed some letters and numbers printed on each drumstick.
These seemingly incomprehensible acronyms indicate the approximate weight, consistency and circumference of the drumstick, so you have an immediate clue as to the type we are looking for.
There are 3 possible letters and each one gives information about the weight and texture of the drumstick:
- A: lightweight drumsticks indicated for fast and multifaceted tracks.
- B: sticks slightly denser than A, generally used for pop, rock and genres with more “defined” strokes.
- S: full and heavy sticks, real locomotives when it comes to genres like metal and similar.
Dimensions And Weight: What Do The Numbers On The Sticks Mean?
The numbers instead provide information about the circumference of the set and, although it seems illogical, the smaller the number the greater its thickness.
For example, Vic Firth 5A are thicker than 7A, 2B are thicker than 5A.
The most common models are: 7A: thin and light, used mainly for jazz style for agile and delicate strokes.
5A and 5B: balanced but strong sticks, suitable for all those genres where volume is important but it is necessary to maintain agile dynamics.
2B and 3S: as it is easy to guess, they are big and heavy sticks useful for heavy and volume-rich genres, here resistance is another fundamental factor.
The Tip Of The Rods, Various Types
The Drum Sticks Tip can be an important parameter in the choice of drum sticks because it can be made or reinforced by different materials, with particular shapes, releasing completely different sounds.
The shape of the tip can vary the sound produced according to the surface in contact with the skin of the drum or with the cymbal: Round tip: for whatever angle of contact is used, the round tip drumstick does not change the sound produced, ideal where a certain harmonic precision is needed.
Triangular tip: depending on the angle of the drumstick, the timbre produced changes radically, with a flat angle produces a full, full-bodied sound, while using a high angle produces a higher, more penetrating sound.
Oval tip: a middle way between the two, allows you to control the sound well without creating frequency peaks, ideal for those who start and are interested in this type of approach.
Often the tip is made of wood, producing a warmer and more full-bodied sound, but making the cymbals vibrate a lot. The less common plastic (or nylon) tip, on the other hand, gives an extra touch to the skin of the drums, slightly choking the vibration of the cymbals.
Spare Sticks And Special Types
There are also special drum sticks, such as light sticks for those looking for an original and fun accessory. The price of drumsticks can vary from a few euros to a few tens of euros for the most prestigious models. Don’t just trust the first impact! Try different drumsticks, especially at the beginning, and always buy a few more in case of emergency, drumsticks often break regardless of their thickness. The important thing is to keep playing!