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School of music®

PERFORM

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PERFORM

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The stick chooses the drummer - Mallets, Rods, Broomsticks, Tubz

2024-06-12 18:16

Matteo Garzaro

Perform School of music, Teachers, Education, Perform School of music, Drums, Drummers, Matteo Garzaro, Bacchette, Drumsticks, Spazzole, Mallets, Rods, Vic Firth, Pro Mark, Broomsticks, Tubz,

The stick chooses the drummer - Mallets, Rods, Broomsticks, Tubz

Today we will look at some types of drumsticks that are less known compared to traditional drumsticks and brushes, but very versatile nonetheless.

After the second article, dedicated to brushes, the final installment of this column is devoted to everything that can be used to play a drum kit (and anything else you can get your hands on).

 

Today we will explore some special types of drumsticks, less known compared to traditional drumsticks and brushes, but very versatile in terms of sound.

Mallets

They are called "mallets" in English. They have a wooden shaft and a large tip covered in felt, wool, or rubber, allowing for a much gentler attack compared to wood or nylon.

You have surely seen them in orchestras, in the hands of timpanists, players of instruments like marimba and vibraphone (who may use two per hand), and the most important musician of all: the gong player.

 

Regarding the drum kit, they are perfect for crescendos on cymbals and for creating unique sounds on toms and timpani. Even the bass drum beater can be considered a mallet!

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Mallets with felt tips. (Photo from the official Pro-Mark website)

Mallets performance by Steve Smith.

Rods

Rods are wooden dowels (usually birch) wrapped with plastic bands. They are designed for situations that require moderate volume, such as small venues or acoustic live performances. The dowels dampen the attack on the drumhead for a lower volume compared to normal drumsticks and provide better rebound than brushes, but this varies depending on the number of "strands" they are composed of (see image below).

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Hot Rods (Photo from the official website of Pro-Mark)

There are several models available depending on the need, which vary in terms of the number of dowels and thickness.

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Different types of Rods. (Photo from the official Pro-Mark website)

Negrita - Rotolando Verso Sud

In questa canzone dei Negrita si sentono molto bene i Rods sul rullante. La stessa parte suonata con le bacchette sarebbe stata troppo aggressiva per il mood del pezzo.

Broomsticks

Rods are wooden sticks (usually birch) wrapped in plastic bands. They are designed for situations that require moderate volume, such as small venues or acoustic live performances. The sticks dampen the attack on the drumhead for a quieter volume compared to normal drumsticks and provide better rebound than brushes, but it varies depending on the number of "wires" they are composed of (see image below).

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Broomsticks (Photo taken from Pro-Mark official website)

Broomsticks used on the drumset. 

Tubz

The Tubz are definitely the strangest of the models seen so far! They are hollow tubes made of very resistant plastic. Their main feature is that they resonate at their own frequency when they hit a surface, producing a sound similar to that of a bongo.

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Tubz (photo taken from Pro-Mark's website)

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Tubz detail (photo taken from Pro-Mark's website)

Drumeo - Test different types of sticks

Conclusions

There's something for everyone! And these are just a few examples. With a bit of patience, you can truly find an accessory for any type of sound and practical need. So, it's good to have a well-stocked stick bag to always be ready for any situation!


Did you know all of them? Do you have even stranger ones? Have you ever tried them? Let us know in the comments!

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