Let's take a look at those letters and numbers on a drumstick. First up, manufacturers have slightly different versions of the same stick. A 5B stick by one manufacturer will not be identical to a 5B produced by a different company. So, what do those letters and numbers mean?
The number indicates the circumference of the drumstick, or in other words, how thick it is. The lower the number the ticker the stick. The letter shows the drum stick's suggested application. An 'S' stick has a large diameter and is great for marching bands. The 'B' letter indicates the stick is for concert type bands, orchestras. It is a common gauge. The 'A' is for softer music and bands. The 5A is the most commonly used drumstick for rock bands, while heavier bands would use the 5B
A quick guide:
- 7A - A thin, light stick suitable for a less intense attack. Great for jazz and also beginner drummers.
- 5A - as mentioned above great for rock drumming as it give a strong hit when needed but can be used for a softer approach.
- 2B/5B - are harder type sticks great for hard rock drumming.
One final thought. If you are often breaking sticks it may be your technique, not the drumsticks you are using. Happy jamming.
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