Best Drumsticks For Jazz
Top 5 Best Drumsticks For Jazz
Today I am going to discuss and review the best drumsticks for Jazz. Now, Jazz is probably one of the oldest genres when it comes to drumming as we know it today.
With that in mind, we might need to consider a few other factors that may not normally come into play when you think of Metal drumming etc.
With Jazz drumming, we are looking at a sound that is generally softer in volume, requires a lot more control as well as dynamics.
Therefore we need to choose a stick accordingly. Jazz is a very specific type of music but it also has many different sub-genres. I’ll be talking about the best drumsticks for the jazz genre as a whole.
I will also take you through what I think are some of the best choices you can make when deciding to buy your drumsticks for jazz music.
|Vic Firth AJ6||Promark Acid Jazz||RegalTip 111NT||Promark Shira Kashi Oak
|Top Choice||Best Budget Jazz Stick||Best Articulation||Nylon Tip Jazz Stick||Heaviest Jazz Stick|
What Size Drumstick is Best For Jazz?
You’ll always hear me going on about how I think that the size of drumstick you choose comes down to personal preference. You can see examples of this in my best drumsticks for beginners article. However having said that, there are definitely general rules of thumb for Jazz drum stick size. The size of drumstick best suited for Jazz drumming is the 7A.
The reason is that this is a thinner stick compared to the 5 & 2 sizes. You’ll generally want a thinner stick for Jazz because you won’t be playing as loud and thinner sticks are generally softer in volume. I also believe that the thinner drumsticks like the 7A allow for more control and dynamics which are essential for playing jazz drums. The 7A drumstick also allows you to play faster which is often necessary for jazz
What Type of Wood is Best for Jazz Drumstick?
In my opinion, the best material for a jazz drumstick is maple wood. The reason I think maple is better suited for jazz is that it is a much lighter, softer and is a more flexible type of wood that I think responds better for jazz drumming.
Some jazz drummers even say that if you feel that the 7A drumsticks are too light for you, then you can try using a bigger size like the 5A drumsticks. But instead, make sure that the 5A is maple wood because it is the lightest of the woods.
Hickory as wood for jazz would probably be my second choice but I generally wouldn’t recommend oak wood for jazz drumsticks. However, do not let my recommendation stop you from experimenting as I strongly believe that experimenting with your drumming and music is never a bad thing. However, that is once you have gotten the basics down of course.
Wooden or Nylon Tip for Jazz Drumsticks?
I’d have to say that for me, wood is definitely the best choice for a jazz drumstick tip. I feel this way because wood is the most organic sounding of the two materials as it gives you a much rounder and deeper sound. Whereas the nylon tip is definitely brighter sounding.
Wooden tips are also the best for jazz drumsticks because they give the best control and dynamics for snare and cymbal work which are two very important aspects of jazz drumming.
Best Tip Shape for Jazz Drumsticks?
The tear drop tip is probably the most popular choice drumstick tip for jazz and the reason is due to its warmer sound. I also think that the acorn tip is sometimes also a good choice for a jazz drumstick as it gives a fuller sound.
What About Brushes For Jazz Drumming?
When talking about jazz drumming and jazz drumsticks, it would be completely wrong of me to not mention the use of brushes. For pretty much any jazz drummer (actually, for any drummer) having brushes in the drumstick arsenal is very important.
Brushes are needed for specific jazz parts and songs. This is due to the dynamics and the softer parts of drumming that the jazz genre requires. With brushes, not only do they allow you to play much softer than regular drumsticks but they also allow you to create different sounds on the snare drum.
For example, a “washy” type snare pattern can be achieved using brushes. This is a very commonly used drum effect in jazz drumming.
Best Brands for Jazz Drumsticks?
Now let me get into the specific brands and drumsticks that I believe are best suited for jazz.
1) Vic Firth American Jazz 6 Drumsticks
This is my number one best drumstick for jazz and it is the American Jazz 6 (AJ6) by Vic Firth. This is a 7A drumstick that has a comparatively smaller neck than most but is able to give the drummer a great rebound feel on both cymbals as well as the drums.
It also always for fast playing without sacrificing the tone. This Vic Firth Jazz drumstick has a tear-drop shaped tip made out of the same hickory wood as the rest of the stick.
Whilst this is a 7A jazz stick, I should mention that Vic Firth also makes a series of Jazz sticks in various sizes. The AJ6 is for me, the best sounding and feeling Jazz drumstick of this range.
2) Zildjian Maple Jazz Drumsticks
Second, on my list of the top jazz drumsticks are the pair of Zildjian maple Jazz sticks. What I like about this jazz stick for drums is the way it feels as well as the way it sounds.
The Zildjian Jazz sticks bounce really well and have somewhat of a softer feel. They’re also nice and light in terms of weight which I like specifically for jazz drumming. This is generally characteristic of most jazz sticks.
In Zildjian Jazz series of drumsticks, there are also heavier versions made out of different woods such as hickory and birch. The size of this Zildjian stick is somewhere around a 7A with a length of 16″ and a diameter of.054.
Whilst this stick has a tear-drop wooden tip, they are available with nylon tips should you wish.
3) Promark Acid Jazz Drumsticks
Promark is one of my favorite manufacturers of drumsticks and I particularly enjoy their Acid Jazz stick. The fact that this drumstick is named after a specific type of Jazz sub-genre should not pigeon hole it as it is actually pretty versatile for most types of Jazz.
What makes it an Acid Jazz stick (in my opinion) is the round wooden tip it has. The reason is that the round tip allows for more articulation especially when it comes to cymbals work which is reminiscent to me of the sub-genre. The downside of this stick for me is that it does not bounce as well as I would like. This is most likely due to the shorter taper it has.
4) Vater VHSJW Jazz Sticks
As far as value for money goes when it comes to drumsticks, the Vater brand is up there with some of the best. This certainly applies to this classic Vater jazz drumstick made out of hickory wood. I struggle to call this stick a “budget” drumstick but when compared to the others I suppose it is.
The quality, sound, and feel are all fantastic on this model. It is a 7A sized stick with wooden tear-drop tip but has been designed to be slightly longer than your average length. This is not a bad thing as it may improve grip.
5) RegalTip Jazz Stick
RegalTip are not always the first brand the come to mind but they sure do produce some high-quality sticks. If you’re looking for a jazz drumstick with a nylon tip then this one by Regaltip is the best choice.
The nylon tip will give produce a lot more high-end sounds from the drums and cymbals but you also get a defined sound. A great feature of the RegalTip jazz stick is the coating. The coating makes it so that the drumstick slips out of your hand less.
6) Promark Shira Kashi Jazz Drumstick
If you are looking for a 7A sized jazz drumstick that is heavy both in weight as well as sound/tone then I’d definitely recommend the Promark Oak Shira Kashi stick.
It is made from the Shira Kashi oak wood which is a heavier wood in comparison to hickory or maple. This along with the wooden oval tip gives this drumstick such a full sound.
7) Vic Firth Brushes
No list of jazz drumsticks would be complete without a pair of brushes. As I mentioned earlier in this article, brushes are an important part of any drummers pallet of sticks and therefore could not be forgotten.
The best jazz brushes, in my opinion, are made by Vic Firth, wire brushes which can be retracted back into its plastic handle.