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In this lesson we look at all the sticks and mallets a professional drummers stick bag includes. Let's look at sticks first. It's a good idea to have a variety of different stick models to use in different situations. This is a very personal thing, but in any case you will want a selection of sticks that were designed to play soft, all the way through to sticks that were designed to play loud.

Start in the middle with an all purpose stick like a 5A, you will want at least 2 pairs of this, if this is your most common stick. For heavier styles you will want something like a 5B, or even a 2B. For lighter playing situations get some 7A sticks. For delicate and articulate snare drum work get some fine tipped sticks like Vater Staccato. If you play in a drum line, you may want some heavier marching sticks also.

Next get some wire brushes for jazz and other softer acoustic playing. If you want the volume of a brush but the articulation closer to a stick, get some rods. It's also a good idea to get some soft mallets for cymbal rolls and tom rolls. If you look at an orchestral percussionists stick bag, it will likely be twice the size, and include many variations of mallets, including: xylophone, marimba, suspended cymbal, glockenspiel, vibraphone etc. This would cost well over $1,000!

Here is a picture of my mallet bag; I use this when I play or teach percussion.

Far left: Marimba mallets (hard, med, soft - birch handles) and Xylophone mallets (hard, med, soft)

Middle left: Vibraphone mallets (hard, 2 pair med, soft - rattan handles)

Middle right: Timpani mallets (hard, med, soft)

Far right: sticks and rods, triangle beaters, glock mallets, cantibles (double ended glock mallets) and more.

EXTRAS: It also a good idea to keep a drum tuning key, a conga tuning key, 2B pencil, white eraser, black permanent marker, business cards, ear plugs, and maybe a screwdriver and stanley knife in the front pouch of your stick bag. These are all just odds and ends, you may find you use at different gigs.




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