Alternative to Wood Drumsticks – But Why?

Wood Shavings Be Gone – The Search For a Good Alternative To Wood Drumsticks

Image of black drumsticks on Aquarian drumsticks page
Photo by Poecus / Public Domain

As a person who plays drums but considers himself a guitarist, I do not always find myself in agreement with drummers. I play cheap drum sets, cheap cymbals, and I tune my bass drum tighter than many people prefer. And I may not have the most technical or conventional style of playing, but it has seemed to work for me. And I do not ever get any complaints on my drum sound. It is only those times when another drummer plays my kit that I get criticism on my setup. But you know what? I do not care.

Another issue that has been a source of disagreement is my reluctance to use wood drumsticks. I used them for the first 5-6 years that I played. But I became fed up. Not with the sound or the comfort, but because of the mess. I hit very hard, probably too hard. And so I would just shred those wood sticks to nothing very quickly. I didn’t like the mess that ended up surrounding my kit. I also didn’t like the marks that wood-tip sticks left on my cymbals. I suppose I could have used plastic-tip sticks, but that would have only solved part of the problem. So around 2000, I started searching for an alternative to wood drumsticks. And I found Ahead aluminum drumsticks. These are alloy core sticks that have polyurethane covers. And I loved them. I didn’t have to deal with wood shavings anymore, and they lasted way longer than wood sticks. They were a great alternative to wood drumsticks, and they still are. I ended up using them for over a decade. But I just never liked changing the covers. The covers would never go on without being heated first for a few seconds in the microwave. This was not something I could do at a practice or at a show. And a set of Ahead drumsticks costs around $30. That’s not too much, but most of the time I do not even have that much money on me. Back when I used wood drumsticks, I could much more easily afford to have a couple pair available at all times. With the Ahead sticks, I rarely owned more than one pair at a time.

So I started thinking, “maybe there is another alternative to wood drumsticks that I do not know about.” And hopefully it would be something that, like wood sticks, would break and just be done… no replacement parts! That’s when I stumbled across the Aquarian X-10 Rock drumsticks. This discovery changed everything. These sticks are constructed from a unique formula of nylon and graphite. So once again, no shavings. And like wood sticks, when they break they are done. But fortunately, they do not break quickly. A pair of Aquarian X-10 Rock drumsticks has often lasted me 4-5 times as long as a pair of wood drumsticks. And at a price just a little over $10, this makes them a cheaper alternative to wood drumsticks. And let’s not forget about the most important thing. They sound great. I have gotten more positive feedback on these sticks than I ever did with wood sticks or the Ahead sticks. But when it comes down to it, what do I really know about a good alternative to wood drumsticks? I’m just a guitarist.