The First Step:Drumsticks

This article is for the beginning drumset student.

The following are just tips that worked for me when I started out.

First off it’s important to buy the right sticks. Make sure they are not too big for your hands. Even if you do have large hands, to start out, a good size stick is 5A. The 5A is a very “middle of the road” size stick. If the stick is too heavy in the beginning, you will have a hard time controlling it when it comes time to play. The same goes if it is too light.

The popular brands are Promark, Vic Firth, and Calato. Each of these makers design different drumsticks with different feels. The Vic Firth 5a, wooden tip has a nice balance and a nice feel. These are made out of hickory and are a bit light. If you want something more front heavy, I would suggest the Promark 5A oak sticks. By front heavy I mean the stick has more weight closer to the tip.

You can also choose wooden tips or nylon tips. I prefer the wooden tips myself. The tips don’t last as long, but I prefer the tone of wood on the cymbals. Nylon tips tend to pop off after a while too.


When I first started playing drums, I didn’t have a kit yet, so at the time (I was 12), I would play in my bed with different pillows as the different drums, and I would jam to Rush playing from my little record player. Eventually my folks provided me with a drum kit, but I learned a lot playing on the pillows. I still exercise on pillows to this day. Playing singles on pillows is great for strengthening your wrists and fingers.

You now have your sticks, so how do you learn to play the drum kit without one? If you are a beginner and want to start playing the kit, here’s the first beat you should learn on drum kit, even if you don’t have one. Just follow the link.