Drum stick

From Academic Kids

This article is about the drum stick, a musical tool. For more meanings, see drumstick (disambiguation).

A drum stick or drumstick is an item used to hit percussion instruments, including but not only drums, to produce sound. Some specialised drum sticks are called beaters, mallets, or brushes.

Contents

Snare drum sticks

Snare drum sticks are usually made of wood, often hickory, ebony or maple. A typical drum stick is around 1cm in diameter and 30cm long, although drummers have a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from. Many drummers are very particular about the exact shape, size, weight, balance, density, and grain of their sticks. All of these qualities attribute to its so-called "feel" and sound of the stick.

Snare drum sticks may be designed for use in particular performance contexts. Sticks that are smaller in diameter or balanced farther towards the tip may be intended for orchestral playing that requires fine control and soft dynamics. Sticks for street playing (e.g. drum corps and marching bands) are almost always thick and weighty, to promote extended production of sound at extreme dynamics.

Anatomy of a snare drum stick

Missing image
Drumstick_anatomy.png


The drum is struck with the tip of the drum stick. Traditionally this has been made of the same piece of wood as the rest of the stick, although there are several drum sticks with a plastic nylon tip, which produces a brighter sound when playing cymbals and is less likely to splinter after sustained or violent use, but is prone to cracking or flying off. Immediately below the tip is the shoulder of the stick; this is often used to strike crash cymbals. The rest of the stick is referred to as the shaft, with the butt at the opposite end to the tip.

Most players hold the stick with the balance point slightly beyond their hands.

Mallets

The sticks used to play tuned percussion instruments are referred to as mallets. A mallet comprises a head connected to a thin shaft. Unwrapped mallets, used on glockenspiel, xylophone and other instruments with keys made of durable material, have heads made of brass, kelon, nylon, acrylic, wood, or other hard materials; wrapped mallets, used on marimba, vibraphone and other instruments with softer keys, have heads of kelon, nylon, acrylic or other medium-hard materials wrapped in softer materials like yarn, cord or latex. Mallet shafts are commonly made of rattan or birch.

Different mallets are used primarily to alter the timbre of the mallet instrument being played. Typically, softer or thicker mallets are used on an instrument's lower registers and harder, thinner mallets used on higher registers. Mallet choice is typically left up to the performer, though some compositions specify if a certain sound is desired by the composer.

Timpani sticks

See Timpani.

External links

ja:ドラムスティック

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