Drumsticks Pay The Toll 🪦
How long should drumsticks last? Trust me, I’ve been through hundreds of pairs of drumsticks in over my 20 years of drumming. ‘How long’ is the question among drummers and it haunts all of us in our sleep. 👻
How Long Will My Sticks Survive The Torture?
When it comes to drumsticks, there is no one-size fits all approach. The lifespan of a drumstick largely depends on a few factors, including the playing style, frequency of use, and quality of the sticks themselves.
Generally speaking, a pair of drumsticks can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Heavy hitters can even manage to get through drumsticks in days or less.
All Things Considered Are Working
Playing style, frequency of use, and stick quality go hand in hand with a few more things in determining how long you can make your drumsticks last.
Be sure to check out my recommended list of drumsticks by clicking here. Now, let’s get you on the road to best practices with lasting drumsticks.
How Long Should Drumsticks Last For?
1. Playing Style
If a drummer plays with a heavy hand and frequently hits hard, the drumsticks are likely to wear out more quickly than if the drummer has feather hands and hits lightly. Drummers who play with a lot of force may find that their drumsticks break or become damaged relatively quickly.
1a. Type Of Drumming
The type of music and drumming style can also impact the lifespan of drumsticks. For example, heavy metal drummers drummers may wear out their sticks faster than those who play softer genres like jazz or acoustic folk music. The style of music is important to thing about.
A lot of heavy hitters (such as myself) normally play within a certain style of music, or multiple styles, where they will buy new sticks more often and go through them like a beaver rummages through trees in the forest.
Something about metal and hard rock makes you want to break things, so it’s understood here at Attuned Musician! 🤔
2. Quality Of Drumsticks
How long should drumsticks last when quality is brought into the picture? Drumsticks come in various quality levels, from basic and budget-friendly options to high-quality, durable sticks.
Premium drumsticks made from better materials are likely to last longer than cheaper, lower-quality sticks.
There are tons of different sticks from different companies and it’s a good idea to do your research and look around.
I would avoid the really cheap sticks you see online or at the music store. These sticks will break the fastest on you. If you’re just starting out
3. Stick Material & Wood Tips Vs. Nylon Tips
Drumsticks are typically made from various types of wood, with hickory and maple being popular choices.
Hickory sticks are known for their durability and are less likely to break than maple sticks. Oak is an even harder wood than hickory drumsticks and some drummers swear by the durability of Oak sticks.
Maple drumsticks are not as popular as hickory and are not as dense a wood.
When looking at nylon and wood tips, you’ll have to make that call for yourself. You may go through nylon tips faster than wooden tips.
‘How long should drumsticks last if I choose nylon tips??‘
I only say this because I’ve always lost the tips on any nylon tip sticks I’ve gotten in the past. They’d just fly off the tips of the sticks.
This caused me to put dents in my drumheads because I noticed it too late. This isn’t always the case for every drummer, but it should be considered.
Another type of drumstick are ones made of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber drumsticks are supposed to be more durable than wooden drumsticks. Many drummers consider them to last a long time and swear by them.
I haven’t personally noticed wooden sticks to be less durable than carbon fiber drumsticks. I have gone through carbon sticks just as fast (and sometimes faster) than any wooden drumsticks, whether they be Promark, Vic Firth, or Vater.
4. Frequency Of Playing
The more often a drummer plays, the faster their drumsticks are likely to wear out. Professional drummers who perform regularly may need to replace their drumsticks more frequently than hobbyist drummers who play less often.
Drummers who practice and play on a weekly basis may go through sticks faster. I practice a lot and play at least once a week and notice I go through sticks every few weeks at the moment.
In the past when I played multiple shows a week, I would go through sticks in a week or less. This is all dependent on your playing (as I mentioned) and I’ve always been a heavy hitter.
Proper technique can also affect the lifespan of drumsticks. Drummers who strike the drums and cymbals intentionally and with good technique may experience less wear and tear on their sticks.
How long should drumsticks last if you’re a drummer who does lots of rim shots behind the drum kit? I can tell you the best drumsticks would still break on you.
Regardless of musical style, rim shots are constantly putting metal on stick contact right at the shoulder of the stick (as well as shaft).
Your best option is to limit rim shots to only when they’re needed musically. I know they are fun, but your drum heads will be a lot nicer to your new sticks, and your hands will thank you from limiting the amount of shock traveling through your wrists. Hello tendonitis, you are not welcome here..
Taking care of drumsticks can extend their lifespan. Keeping them clean, free of excess moisture, and storing them properly can help prevent premature damage.
Some drummers will rotate their drumsticks as they play. This distributes the wear and tear on all of your sticks.
I always try to make sure there are no splits in my stick and that the tip is still in tact. Be sure to remove splintering as it happens on your sticks.
This will save you from splinters as they are NOT fun at all, especially from your drumsticks. You’ll notice when your stick is about to break as the stick won’t feel as solid and the rebound you get from your drums starts going away.
Drumsticks And Deals
So, how long should drumsticks last? It depends on all of the factors we talked about. I recommend buying a pack of sticks as it’s cheaper than individual pairs.
You can always find a good deal on cheap drum sticks (that are reputable brands) at your local music store.
It is all personal preference and everyone will have different experiences. If you don’t have heavy hands and don’t do a lot of rim shots, you should be good!
Drumsticks, Not The Chicken Kind!
What have your experiences been with drumsticks? Do you have different opinions or anything you’d like to add? Let me know if you have any questions too! I’d love to hear them in the comments below!