Posts Tagged With: drumsticks

Drumstick Coatings

A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of “bamboo” drumsticks. I bought the “Boso Natural 7A” drumsticks. They’re:

  • 15 7/8-inch long,
  • .530-inch in diameter and
  • weigh 1.3oz. / 36.85g.

Although I have a pair of “Zildjian Anti-Vibe”, a pair of “Vater Sugar Maple”, as well as sticks made from other woods, I wanted to find Drumsticks which were even lighter. Since I only play “electronic” drums, I don’t have a need to use wooden sticks which are as indestructible as steel. Plus, I’m concerned about damaging the mesh heads, rubbers pads and various sensors which make-up these drums.

Here’s the link to the Boso drumsticks:
http://www.bosodrumsticks.com/collections/7a/products/boso-natural-7a

Drumstick Coatings
Last week, we bought a can of:

  • “Rust-o-leum Metallic Finish” (Chrome, 7718830) spray paint.

and a can of

  • “Rust-o-leum LeakSeal (265495): flexible,clear, rubber coating” spray paint.

Using 2-coats from each spray can, sprayed a few days apart, I painted my Boso Drumsticks with the Chrome paint and my  “Vic Firth: American Classic, hickory, 7A” sticks with the rubber.

The Chrome coating feels slightly grippier than the rubber. Both are better than the clear “Plasti-DIP” coating I used on another pair of sticks a few months ago.

  • (At that time, I sprayed-on too thick of a Plasti-DIP” layer and this made them “spongy” feeling. Plus it contributed to that coating tearing only after playing with them a few times.)

My goal with all this was to have a consistent grippy coating on all of my drumsticks, no matter which “brand” or “model” I purchased. I thought about, but never purchased, drumstick “tape”, “wax”, and other “designed-for-drumsticks” coatings as well as drummer’s gloves. I even experimented with some tacky “lip balm” that Sylvia and I have purchased, which does work but it leaves too much residue on my hands. I want something which will provide the tackiness while I’m playing but affect my hands when I set those sticks down.

Yes, some drumstick manufacturers do offer rubberized coatings on their sticks and they are pretty good. However, besides wanting grippy sticks for “playing” I also want grippy sticks for “twirling”.

  • When I was first teaching myself about drumming, I intensely watched the drummers at each concert I went to. Back in the 70s, when I was doing this, you could easily go up to the higher levels in the concert hall and stand either next to the stage or slightly behind it. I would head for that “watch the drummer” sweet-spot every time. I could see almost every drum-strike and pedal-press they made. Whenever they would “twirl” their drumsticks, it went by so fast, I couldn’t really tell what they were doing. I “thought” they were “twirling” their sticks end-over-end, around their Index Finger. So that’s what I taught myself. (I’m still not very good at it.) To do this, it requires that your Index Finger be at the balance point of the stick. Most drumstick manufacturers stop their “grip coating” just before this point. This means… when I twirl a stick, even with a rubberized coating on it, my finger starts at the non-grip area and then the sticks usually slip away from me.

Right now, I’m still experimenting but the “Chrome” coating seems to work just a bit better than the “LeakSeal” rubber. Neither is as grippy as I need for twirling but the sticks ARE tacky enough to remain comfortably in my hands. (Keep in mind, I’ve only been testing these coatings for 2-days.)

Besides ending-up with a consistent grippy coating, I prefer to have that coating be “clear”. This will allow me to paint my drumsticks “purple”, Sylvia’s favorite color or a gradient of “blue-to-purple”, which is our band’s colors — Sylvia’s “purple” and my “blue”. Plus, I can then print out our band’s logo on clear, self-sticking paper, cut them out and attach it to my drumsticks. When finished, each stick will be colored, show our logo AND be tacky.

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Drumsticks

Although I talk a lot about “synthesizers”, I’m really a “Drummer”. (However, I also like doing Sound Design.)
About a week ago, I was doing some research on the different ways Drummers keep their drumsticks from slipping in their hands when their hands begin to sweat.
I looked through ideas on:

  • drumstick tape,
  • spray-on rubber coating,
  • roughly-sanded drumsticks,
  • and the various tacky liquids that companies make for this purpose.

At one point, while in the middle of all this confusion, Sylvia mentioned: “Why not use that extra tube of “lip balm” that’s on your desk?” So I put some on my hands and then coated the drumsticks with it. It’s a bit too tacky but it does work.
Today, when I started to practice my drums, I noticed that the lip balm coating had worn off. Since that tube had been finished, I used another tube from a different manufacturer. However, this brand didn’t work at all. It almost made the drumsticks slippery. I even tested a 3rd brand that we had and it didn’t work either. So here’s the score:

  • Badger (brand) lip balm is what I used first and worked the best.
  • Biggs & Featherbelle (brand) almost made the drumsticks slippery.
  • Alaffia (brand) also didn’t work.

So the next time Sylvia and I are shopping, we’ll pick-up another tube of Badger brand and I’ll do a little more testing with it.
Just thought I’d pass this along, in case it helps others in the same situation.

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