Alright, so I’ve spent the better part of the last 3 months searching for and experimenting with different sizes of sticks. In an effort to find the best combination of sound and feel and to narrow down my usual 3 or 4 models of go-to’s to 1 or 2, I researched specs and tried out probably 25 or 30 contenders. And yes, dare I say I even looked at other brands than Vic Firth just to make sure I wasn’t missing and opportunity to find that perfect stick. In the end, I settled on the Vic Firth 85A as my “everything” stick.
I believe I can use this for just about any musical situation I find myself faced with. A little smaller than the 5A for a nice, articulate cymbal sound but enough weight up front to hang in there on a high volume gig. But since I often find myself having to play in very low volume situations for long periods of time, I was also looking for a stick that could keep the noise down to a minimum and still allow me to dig in and play with intensity. I found this in the Vic Firth AJ3.
I’ll most likely continue to experiment with different sticks here and there but I’m excited to commit to just 1 or 2 models and simplify things a bit! My thanks to Christian Lyman at Vic Firth for help and patience in this process. Just another example of why Vic Firth is the best stick company in the world!
So, what’s YOUR stick? Do you use just one size or do you rotate between different models? Do you have a brand loyalty or is it purely about what feels right? Chime in and share your thoughts.