I first noticed the importance of drumsticks when a drummer broke a stick mid-song and finished it out with just one stick, yet never missing a beat. And while hard work, talent, and practice might make the drummer, the drumsticks are a critical part of the sound, speed, and technique you use to play. A broken stick can derail an entire performance, whether you are playing an acoustic drum set or an electronic one.
And although electronic drums produce sounds differently than acoustic drums, the drumsticks you choose to play with still matter. With so many available choices, we reviewed quite a few to come up with a list of the best drumsticks for electronic drums.
Quick glance at the best drumsticks for electronic drums:
Zildjian 7A Nylon Anti-Vibe Drumsticks are made of hickory wood for a beautiful balance of strength, weight, and density. The lacquer finish on these sticks helps to protect them from sweat damage and extends their wear, making them more durable than many other brands of drumstick.
The size and material of the sticks offer an excellent grip and lightweight feel, so they are both easy to handle and easy on the wrists.The best part is Zildian’s vibration absorption, which both offers a cleaner sound and more comfortable playing, which is excellent for those with wrist issues or that fatigue easily.
The ProMark LA Specials Drumsticks are made in the USA. The most common size is 5A, which is a heavier stick great for beginner electric drummers or those playing acoustic drums. You’ll often find these sticks in schools and practice rooms because they are well-balanced sticks with a bright, clean sound. However, these sticks are highly affordable. Heavy-hitters may find these sticks break easily, but they are great for beginners or budget-conscious drummers.
Donner Drum Sticks offer a classic maple wood stick for fast and quiet playing. Size 5A sticks are a great choice for beginners to learn technique because they are easy to handle and easy to hold. The lightweight feel and easy-grip surface reduce wrist fatigue for longer practice sessions. The tips are water-droplet shaped, which produce great sound on both acoustic and electronic sets.
The durable composite materials of the Aquarian drumstick flex more than a wooden drumstick, which significantly reduces hand and wrist fatigue, especially for beginner players. The grips on the sticks are better for drummers with sensitive skin that blisters easily from wooden sticks, giving you extra comfort and protection, too. The grips add a little extra weight to the backside of the stick, adding more bounce for certain kinds of techniques. These synthetic sticks are pretty durable, too, which gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
Synthetic sticks don’t absorb moisture, though, so if you’re a heavy sweater, you might find you prefer the moisture-absorbing qualities of a wood stick better. Although the 5B is a heavy size, these sticks are easier to handle, making them great for beginners.
Powerstix Drumsticks are unique because they are designed for young drummers. They work especially well for electronic drums and are available in a wide range of bright, engaging colors. They are a sturdy plastic material that is easy to clean and durable. These sticks are available in two sizes: 14.5-inch sticks for 8 to 12-year-olds and a 13-inch stick for 4 to 8-year-olds. Adults with small hands may benefit from these sticks as well, although they are really designed for beginners.
These sticks were explicitly designed with the electronic drum set player in mind
The longer taper and unique tip shape offer a great feel on electronic drums and cymbals
These sticks work well for complete electronic kits or kits with electronic elements added in
Made from hickory with a rounded tip for a clean, well-rounded sound
Vic Firth American Classic eSticks were specifically designed for electronic drum kits. The sticks feature a longer taper, which improve the feeling of playing on electronic drum heads. On the other hand, the sticks are still very well-balanced, which allows for improved drumming techniques such as rebound. The rounded tip produces a clean sound, while the wooden material offers a softer, more mellow sound.
It’s essential to be selective about the drumsticks you use on your electronic drums. Of course, you can technically use any drumstick you want to play your electronic drums. Any stick can activate the sensors to produce sound.
However, you want to choose drumsticks that will help you achieve your performance goals, especially when it comes to producing the best sound with the best feel, technique, and playing speed. Therefore, we considered a few factors when selecting the best drumsticks for electronic drums.
It’s essential to choose a quality brand of drumstick. The trouble with cheaper drumsticks is that they don’t have the same quality control standards. So if you end up with sticks that are slightly warped or misshapen, you’re going to have a hard time playing.
The drumsticks on our list are popular brands, known for their consistent quality and sound.
Of course, you want drumsticks that are durable and will last a long time. But if you are only playing electronic drums, you won’t have to worry about durability as much because you’re much less likely to damage your sticks on electronic drums. The hard cymbals and metal rims of an acoustic drum set do the most damage to your sticks. So any quality drumstick should last a long time when you’re playing electronic drums.
The size of the drumstick refers to both the length of the stick and the diameter of the stick. Drumsticks will have a letter and a number printed on them, which tells you the weight of the stick and the diameter.
Drumstick sizes typically run from 1 to 9, with one being the largest and nine being the smallest. This is usually anywhere from 15 to 17.5 inches long. A drumstick with a letter B is larger in diameter than a drumstick with a letter A.
However, the most common sizes are 2, 5, and 7. So a 2B drumstick is larger and heavier than a 7A drumstick. However, a 2B is more likely to puncture an electronic drum, so many people opt for something lighter, such as a 7A.
However, if you are a beginner, you might prefer to learn with a 5B or larger because it is easier to learn the fundamentals of drumming with a heavier stick, and you probably don’t have the strength yet to do any real damage to your drums. But you can find out more, here.
The material that drumsticks are made from is primarily a matter of preference. For example, if you are playing acoustic drums, a wooden stick with a wooden tip might just sound better with acoustic cymbals. On the other hand, a composite stick will flex more than a wooden drumstick, so that will cause less hand fatigue during long practice sessions.
Wooden sticks are very responsive for fast playing and typically are made of wood such as oak, maple, or hickory. Oak is the hardest, so it might not be best for electronic drums. Hickory is lighter weight and works well, especially when combined with a nylon tip. Maple is also lightweight and reduces wrist strain, making it great for fast playing on electronic drums.
Also, keep in mind that wooden sticks may splinter if they break, and that could damage your sensitive electronic drum heads.
Another aspect of drumstick material is how porous the drumstick is. For example, wooden drumsticks are the most porous, and they will absorb the sweat from your hands. On the other hand, synthetic drumsticks are non-porous so that they won’t absorb any moisture. So if your hands tend to sweat a lot when you’re playing drums, you might prefer a wooden stick that soaks up the moisture. On the other hand, synthetic sticks are naturally a little more grippy, so slippery hands might not be a concern either way.
The tip of the drumstick is the part that comes into contact with your electronic drum heads, so this may be the most important part of the drumstick. The tips are available in a variety of shapes and materials, producing different types of sounds.
Nylon tips have more bounce and brighter sounds, while wood tips create softer and warmer tones.
There are five different tip shapes: round, acorn, barrel, oval, and teardrop. Each shape has its own feel and sound.
Round tips create a bright, crisp sound.
Acorn tips create a richer, fuller sound.
Barrel tips are loud.
Teardrops shaped tips create warm tones.
Oval tips create a wide spectrum of sound.
A well-balanced stick will increase your technique and decrease your hand fatigue. Sticks that are warped or are not uniform will not offer the same balance and will not perform the way you would expect them to, making you fatigue more quickly. A well-balanced stick will also provide better sound and responsiveness for faster playing.
The grip is also essential because it helps the sticks sit in your hand better, allowing the stick to rebound more quickly without slipping.
Vibration reduction is a special feature found in Zildjian sticks. This helps to reduce the fatigue you feel in your hands while producing crisper, brighter sounds. Not all drumsticks can offer this feature, so you’ll want to stick with the Zildjian sticks if this is important to you.
There is a wide range of prices to consider when you are searching for your drumsticks. However, keep in mind that drumsticks used exclusively on electronic drums will last longer than sticks used on acoustic sets, so you might be ok investing a little more money into your electronic set for better sound or playability.
Many drumsticks range in price from $7 to $15 per pair, but if you are looking for the best sticks for a smaller budget, look for drumsticks that have nylon tips for an economical choice.
You might want to consider what type of music you will be playing when you choose your drumsticks. Older styles of music were always played with wooden sticks, so if you are playing old-time jazz or even some forms of classical music, you may want to use wooden sticks on your electric drums. However, since you can adjust the sound and timbers of your drum kit electronically, the type of stick you use may have less effect on the sound that is produced.
If you’re going to play electronic drums, you need to choose a drumstick that performs well for that purpose. And while you can use any old drumstick to make sounds, if you want to make great music with proper technique, you’ll want a well-balanced drum stick with great feel, great sound, and great rebound.
For that reason, we chose the Vic Firth American Classic eStick. It was designed specifically for electronic drums, but it has the classic feel of an all-wooden stick. In addition, the longer taper helps with rebounding on mesh or electronic heads, while the rounded tip gives it a crisper, brighter sound.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind, though, is that wooden sticks are more likely to splinter and break if you play them on an acoustic set, so keep your electronic drumsticks separate from your acoustic sticks. That way, you won’t accidentally splinter and break your expensive electronic drum heads.
No matter what drumstick you choose for your playing needs, remember to pick one that works with your style, your hands, your level ability, and your drumset. Because choosing the right drumsticks really does matter.
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