Vic Firth Drumsticks
Vic Firth has for a long time been recognized as the leading brand in the drumsticks’ world. The best of the best drummers have endorsed the brand and after trying many different brands you will understand why. Build quality, consistency, versatility and general feel are just a few of the pros of Vic Firth sticks.
I am going to touch on just 3 pairs that I have used most often and tell you how and why I use them. I will also touch on which to use for practicing and developing faster drum roll speed which is going to help with those tough beats and drum fills.
Vic Firth American Classic 7A
Tear drop tip. Perfect for light jazz and combo.
Length = 15 1/2″ | Diameter = .540″
When I first started drumming I only used 7A and I would recommend the same for you if you are starting out. The reason being, these are thinner, lighter sticks which really helps as your wrists, hands and muscles get used to the “drumming motions”. I still use 7A drumsticks today, however it’s mostly when playing on my Roland V-drums. The reason being that bigger, heavier sticks are more harsh on the mesh pads and feel like they are going to cause some damage.
Vic Firth American Classic 5A
Tear drop tip for rich cymbal sounds. Light and fast for jazz orchestral
Length = 16″ | Diameter = .565″
As your wrists develop and speed improves, I would recommend making the move to 5A drumsticks. Once you buy these, you should practice with them more often than not – even if you aren’t going to play with them live. This is my personal conviction. I have found that practicing 30min with heavy sticks really improves drum roll speed faster than practicing 1hour with 7A sticks. Try it! See how long you can go doing a single stroke drum roll (that is 1 left hand stroke, 1 right hand stroke repetitively) with 7A and then with 5A sticks. Your muscles grow tired very quickly with 5A and really start to burn especially if you are not used to them. But I always like to remind myself, “no pain, no gain”. Just like a gym workout – a consistent training schedule with the relevant weights are going to develop your muscles to achieve the desired result.
Most Rock artists use the 5B however I have found that the 5A works well for all genres in a church setting. Whether it’s the really busy Israel Houghton & New Breed tracks or the more Rock feel of Hillsong & Planetshakers – the 5A is perfect.
Vic Firth American Classic Extreme 5A
For the 5A player who wants more power and reach.
Length = 16 1/2″ | Diameter = .565″
These are like the destination in your drumstick journey. You start on the 7A and develop your wrist muscles & technique. Move on to the 5A and become faster and more solid in your playing. Now it is worth trying the Extreme 5A. These are only a little longer (and slightly heavier) but really gives you more power behind the kit. The change in weight is not enough to slow you down but the change in length is enough to allow easier reach and more power when required. It’s just a more solid, comfortable feeling when playing with these – especially for the Rock vibe.
Vic Firth isn’t the cheapest of drumsticks however they are definitely worth it. I would recommend going for the bundles at Amazon which aren’t readily available at most music stores as you save quite a bit per pair.