Best Drumsticks for Electronic Drums You Should Try Right Away
The Zildjian 5B is the best drumsticks for electronic drums. The Zildjian Company has a long history. And now, it is a leader in the production of percussion instruments. Musicians from all over the world actively use their 5B sticks. They are not entirely nylon, as the name suggests. Their body is made of wood, and only the oval tip is nylon.
These sticks have an excellent balance: they are moderately thick while being quite lightweight. Due to this, even novice musicians will be comfortable playing them; and experienced players will not feel the tension in their wrists after prolonged drumming. Maybe those musicians who play jazz and other light music will find them a bit heavy. In this case, it is better to choose another model.
While the Zildjian 5B is really the best option, in my opinion, they aren’t the only good e-drum sticks to look out for. In my article, I included not only a review of this model but also three other items from well-known manufacturers. And if you’re a beginner electronic drum player, my buyer’s guide will come in handy for all the information you need.
Top 4 Best Drumsticks for Electronic Drums Reviews
Since the comfort of playing any drums largely depends on the personal feelings of a musician, I decided not to limit you to one recommendation of excellent sticks, but to offer you three more good options to choose from. So, what are the best drumsticks for electronic drums?
Zildjian 5B: The Best Drumsticks for E-Drums Overall
As I wrote above, I believe that this model is the best because of its characteristics and feelings while using these drumsticks. They are suitable for players of all levels and musical styles.
The dimensions of these sticks are pretty average compared to many others. The item weighs 3.2 ounces, is 16 inches long, and 0.6 inches wide in diameter. That is why it is quite versatile. The large diameter sticks are comfortable to hold in hands, especially if you are just learning to play drums. And the balanced weight does not put unnecessary strain on your wrists, letting you play without discomfort even for long periods. The sticks are made of natural wood (hickory nut-tree) and have a nylon drop-shaped tip. This tip shape delivers sound focus and unrivaled cymbal sound quality.
These drum sticks are completely black and have an anti-slip DIP coating that also absorbs vibrations well, relieving you of the strain on your wrists. Besides, they have a branded gold inscription on the butts. Perhaps it is the only drawback of the model – the letters are erased rather quickly. But they can be a great indicator that you are exercising a lot. The sticks are suitable for any playing style. However, in my opinion, they can be too heavy for musicians with a light touch.
- A favorite size among drummers of all skill levels
- Delivers a strong sound with a little more stick
- Nice balance and weight;
- Have an anti-slip DIP coating;
- Attractive design;
- Perfect for beginners.
- Can be heavy for those with a light touch;
- Gold letters can be erased quickly.
Vic Firth 5A: The Quietest Drum Sticks
Vic Firth is another world-renowned company for the production of accessories for drum kits and orchestral instruments. Their 5A sticks are one of the most popular in their whole product line.
The American Classic series of drum sticks is really good because all the items are well balanced. Model 5A is made of natural wood (hickory), one of the strongest and most durable materials.
Their teardrop-shaped tips are also wooden, not nylon, like in the previous model. These drumsticks can withstand all drumming styles and pressures and are often chosen for stage performances for their durability. They provide a rich cymbals sound.
The product length is 16.9 inches, the diameter is 0.565 inches, and the weight is 3.2 ounces. These drum sticks may seem too long for beginners. Although they are considered versatile, the 5A size is recommended for jazz or orchestral music where a quieter, softer sound is needed. For rock or metal compositions, the sound will be too muffled; but e-drums can be tuned if needed.
Unlike the previous item, which has a black finish, the manufacturer decided to keep the classic color of the processed wood in this model. Of course, the sticks are smooth to the touch, well finished. They are perfect for playing both acoustic and electronic drums. Along the sticks’ body, there is a branded black-red inscription that does not erase or stain your hands.
The sticks themselves have practically no drawbacks, but the packaging does. The sticks are held together with adhesive tape, which is not so easy to remove. You will have to spend a lot of time to clean them from the glue completely.
- The world's best-selling stick!
- Tear drop tip for rich cymbal sounds
- Excellent cymbals sound production;
- Better suited for light music;
- The adhesive tape holding the sticks together is hard to remove.
Vater Power 5A: The Best Drumsticks for Beginners for the Money
You can see Vater Percussion sticks in the hands of many famous drummers, such as the incredibly cool Chad Smith from RHCP. Their Power 5A model has increased length and weight and is made of wood with a high moisture level. Such a tool will last longer and will not crack even due to very intense hits.
These sticks are made of American hickory, one of the most popular woods for making drum sticks. It is denser, heavier and more rigid than maple. This type of wood is better at absorbing kickback and vibration when playing, reducing fatigue on the drummer’s wrists and hands. The nylon teardrop heads are virtually wear-free.
This model is 16.5 inches long, 0.58 inches wide in its diameter, and weighs 4 ounces. The half-inch longer length gives extra leverage for more impact power, and the increased weight provides more massive sound than the 5A. The balance is rather biased towards the tip, which gives your movements precision and a good bounce off the drum surface. This model can be considered universal. It will be comfortable for both heavy-hitting and light touch musicians.
It’s hard to pick out something special in design. These are standard wooden sticks with small black branded letterings on their bodies. They are smooth to the touch and suitable for daily use. And although this item is made of traditional hickory, it conducts vibrations a little more than similar sticks from other manufacturers. Perhaps that is why they are cheaper.
- Comfortable to the 5A player but with 1/2" extra length for extra reach and weight
- Nylon tip
- Universal weight and size;
- Made of wood with a high moisture level.
- Provide vibrations.
Promark Rebound 5A: Professional Drum Sticks
An American company Promark specializes in the production of drum sticks only. In their product line, you can find autographed models from world-famous musicians such as Mike Portnoy or Rich Redmond.
The Rebound 5A is 16 inches long, 0.565 inches wide in diameter, and weighs 2.11 ounces. As you can see, these sticks are the lightest on my list. That is why they have a special coating that no other model has. The patented ActiveGrip technology makes them stickier when your body temperature rises, improving grip. So they won’t slip out of your hands even during an active set. At the same time, the item is quite thin, practically invisible to the touch, does not add extra weight, and does not rub your palms. Now you don’t need wax to prevent sticks from slipping off your hands.
As a bonus, this coating gives the tool more durability. There are far fewer dents from hits on the drum rims compared to uncoated models. The sticks are made of natural wood and have an acorn-shaped wooden tip. This shape provides a large contact surface for enhanced response and articulation.
This model is available in two designs: natural (unpainted) and black. In my opinion, the black one looks more attractive. In both versions, there is a branded inscription in the center of the sticks’ body. But in the black model, shoulders and tips remain unpainted. As I already wrote, 5A is traditionally used for light music. However, since you are going to play electronic drums, these sticks will suit any musical style.
- Have a heat-activated anti-slip coating;
- A bit pricey.
Drum Sticks Buyer’s Guide
If you already have electronic drums, it’s time to find the perfect drumsticks for them. Do drumsticks make a difference, one may ask? Definitely yes! A properly picked instrument will be an excellent assistant in drumming.
To find the exact pair of drumsticks that will fit you perfectly, you need to look at the material used, tip shape, body thickness, and coating. Among the most famous companies, I would highlight Zildjian, Promark, Vater, and Vic Firth. It’s hard to say with certainty which one is the best drumsticks brand. They are all good and produce really outstanding quality products.
Some companies use their own identifications for the thickness and weight of their products, but the generally accepted designation system has two characters. The number indicates the diameter (thickness) of an item, and the lower the number, the thicker the product. Choose the thickness of the sticks, keeping in mind that they should fit your hands comfortably and suit your style.
Larger diameter sticks are heavier and can produce louder sounds.
The letter part shows in which sphere it is better to use sticks, although it is only a convention at present times:
- The letter “A” is placed on sticks with thin shoulders and small heads, which give a softer and quieter sound (like in jazz).
- The “B” letter is used for sticks with larger heads and shoulders; they are most often used in heavy music.
- There are also sticks marked “S” that used in marching bands. Musicians do not use them to play drum sets.
You should also pay attention to the length of the sticks. Long items are difficult to control, but they give good sound power even with small diameters. The perfect length can be determined by measuring the distance from your elbow’s inner bend point to the tip of your ring finger.
Material and coating
Drum sticks are usually made of wood. The most commonly used are American walnut, maple, and oak. And what are the best quality drum sticks? The ones made of hickory (American walnut).
Durable and solid wood absorbs recoil well and effectively dampens vibrations. It has an average weight, is not very susceptible to bending. Maple sticks are considered the most “obedient” due to their flexibility and good rebound. Oak tools are the heaviest, rarely break, but they conduct vibrations. There are also beech, hornbeam, rosewood, steel, and synthetic sticks, but they do not have such universal characteristics.
Sticks can be polished or varnished. The varnish protects the wood from moisture and dust, gives the surface a beautiful intense even shine, and the contrast to the texture. The surface becomes more durable. Polished sticks look much better. Although some drummers do not like varnished and polished sticks, as they can slip out of sweaty hands when playing.
Electronic drum set sticks can be classified into four main groups by their tip shape:
- Round shaped. A small round tip produces a bright, highly focused sound and is especially delicate with cymbals. A large one produces a fuller sound.
- Barrel or acorn-shaped. It has a large contact area, so it creates a medium filling sound with a wider focus.
- Pointed. Such tips produce a medium focused sound.
- Teardrop or olive-shaped. These sticks produce a rich low sound. This type is a suitable choice for those who play hard.
As you can see, different tip shapes produce different sounds. Try each of them to see which one you need.
Differences in playing electronic kits
There is a significant difference in the technique of playing an acoustic and electronic drum kit. Since the volume of drum pads can be adjusted, you don’t need to hit hard to get a perfect sound.
Therefore, if you have developed certain motor skills when playing an acoustic instrument, you will have to control your movements more.
Also, for proper learning and development of the musical ear, an electronic drum kit should have high-quality sound. This parameter includes multi-zone pads, the number of sensitivity degrees, and the sound quality itself. Almost all electronic drums have everything you need to get started right away. The sound modules have a built-in metronome, and the more expensive models have various playbacks to which you can improvise. Many products provide an option to record and listen without connecting to anything, which lets you analyze your performance.
Looking after your sticks
Regular maintenance is essential for any instrument, and drum set sticks are no exception. Although they are considered consumables, it is best to try to extend their lifespan and save money on buying a new pair. Store them in a special bag and a stick holder so as not to expose them to additional damage. Besides, in specialized stores, you can buy drumstick wax, which protects the wood fibers from moisture, sweat, and mechanical damage.
Is nylon or wood tip for electronic drums better?
When playing e-drums, it is recommended to use nylon-tipped drumsticks, as wooden sticks can break and severely damage the mesh on pads. Moreover, nylon-tipped sticks are much quieter and give a softer sound. It is especially important if you don’t want to disturb your neighbors with your practice.
Most Common E-Drums Questions
In this section, I have picked answers to the most common questions about drum kits and accessories. If you still have queries after reading my electronic drumsticks review, please ask them in the comments section below.
What is the difference between 5A and 7A drumsticks?
The larger the number indicated in size, the thinner and more lightweight the sticks. 7As are the thinnest and lightest sticks are. They give the drums a softer orchestral sound but are rarely used for playing drum rudiments as they require thicker sticks. This size is great for jazz music and young drummers. 5As are the most common medium thickness. You can use them to play both loud and soft music. Such sticks are versatile and suitable for any style, especially rock music.
What kind of drumsticks should a beginner use?
Beginning musicians are better off choosing thicker sticks as they are easier to control. Many music tutors recommend picking sticks marked “B” because they are considered versatile in terms of application and musical style. 2B models are often advised as the ideal starting sticks for teens and adults. Children (up to 10 years old) can choose specialized products from the same manufacturers, or simply use lightweight (7A) and short sticks, about 13 inches long.
What are the best headphones for electronic drums?
Specialized earbuds for e-drums should provide near-silent performance. At the same time, they should transmit the maximum full range of sounds of all your drum set elements. Among the famous companies that produce quality audio equipment, I can highlight Beyerdynamic, Roland, Sony, and Shure.
But the choice of a headphone type depends on your personal preferences. In-ear monitors are more compact, suppress external noise well, but they can be quite expensive, not reproduce all low frequencies and cause discomfort in your ear canals. Overhead headphones provide better soundproofing, give a full sound range, and cost less. However, they are cumbersome and can put pressure on your head if not properly picked.
Can you use brushes on electronic drums?
Technically, of course, it is possible. However, you need to be careful not to damage the mesh cover of your drums. Many manufacturers recommend using nylon or plastic brushes instead of wire ones. Besides, not all electronic drum pads are sensitive enough to read a soft hit of a drum brush. In some models, the sensitivity can be increased, or a special “brush mode” can be enabled.
Anyway, I’m sure you can set a sound preset that simulates the brush sound.
Final Thoughts on Picking Drumsticks for E-Drums
After reading my article and memorizing all the aspects that you need to pay attention to, you can safely go to an online or offline music store and choose the best drumsticks for electronic drum kit. I recommend trying several different models and focusing on your own feelings. Feel free to experiment with different materials, sizes, and musical styles. For practice, it is even better to take several sticks with different characteristics at once. And don’t skimp on your purchase: a quality product will last you longer.
What is your favorite brand, and why? Which model do you use most often? How many pairs of sticks do you have now?