[How to choose the best equipment by Waywood Music]

Selecting & Buying Other Equipment


On this page you will find

Drum Heads
Drum Sticks
General Spares

There are so many options that this page can only 'skim the surface'.

However, hopefully it will provide you with a good start.


Drum Heads

There are literally thousands of different combinations of size and weight for drum heads, made by a number of manufacturers with excellent quality control. The following general rules should help you to decide where to start.

You can choose any of the top manufacturers and be assured of an excellent product. Try using the links to these sites below to find out more.

Check-out the Drum Head Manufacturers page for more information and expert help.


Drum Sticks

There are a large number of companies manufacturing a wide range of sticks in different sizes, weights, materials and with different tip materials.

The sticks should:

a. Have a good balance
b. Be perfectly straight
c. Be comfortable to hold (different sizes of sticks are more or less comfortable depending on the size of your hands)
d. be heavy enough to suit your style of playing, but not too heavy to strain your wrists.

Most drummers select a range of different sized drum sticks to suit different playing situations.

[Vic Firth 5AN drumsticks]Sticks with nylon tips give a brighter sound from the drums and cymbals (and whatever they hit!). Wood tip sticks tend to give an overall 'warmer' sound. Stick tips (or 'beads') come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Generally, the smaller tips produce a light, 'tighter' and more 'focussed' sound. Larger tips tend to produce a fuller sound. It really is a matter of experimenting and then selecting the sticks that suit you best.

Try 'alternative' types of sticks such as brushes, mallets or beaters and 'multi-rod' type sticks for a variety of different sounds and textures.

Wire brushes produce a 'softer' sound (and bend/distort more easily!) whilst their nylon equivalents sound slightly 'coarser' and are harder wearing. Retractable brushes afford some protection to the brush part, but wire brushes are notorious for jamming and bending if the handle is twisted by accident as the brushes are retracted.

Multi-rod sticks comprise a number of thin dowels strapped together. When the drum or cymbal is stuck, the rods produce a softer response than a stick, but with an accompanying 'click' (caused by the rods striking against each other). Weights of stick depend upon the thickness of the dowels. The thicker the dowels, the heavier the stick, the greater the response from the drum or cymbal and harder the sound.

Mallets and beaters are available with tips or heads in different grades of 'hardness'. Softer heads produce a more mellow sound, but may take more effort to get heavier cymbals 'moving' especially when building to a crescendo. They produce a very mellow sound on the drums, producing an almost 'tympani' like effect when used on toms.

Waywood Music supplies the Vic Firth (including the NOVA) range of drumsticks and mallets at greatly reduced prices. Contact Us for details.

Check-out the Drum Stick Manufacturers page for more information and expert help.



[Hardcase 8-inch tom case]The main requirement of cases for the travelling drummer or percussionist is that they are light AND give maximum protection against impacts from falling objects or against being dropped.

They should also give protection against the keyboard or guitar amp which can so often be stacked on top of them late at night after a hard gig.

There are four main options available:

1. Don't case anything!
2. Fibre or plastic hard cases
3. Soft bag/flexible cases
4. Professionally-made flight cases

NO CASES: This option is sadly too common. The effects are spectacular; dents, gouges and scratches appear very quickly. It is also guaranteed to get you a really low return if ever you try to sell them on (if anyone will buy them). As you may have gathered, this approach does NOT come highly recommended!  Also AVOID the temptation to pack your drums one inside the other (if you are using single-headed drums). They don't like it!

[LeBlond 10-inch tom case foam-lined]FIBRE OR PLASTIC HARD CASES: Perhaps the most widely used cases. Made from compressed board, fibre or plastic materials they come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours to fit most items you need to carry about with you. They are light and give excellent protection against direct impact.  Few come ready-lined so it's always a good idea to line them with some sort of foam or fleecy material to give extra protection, especially in the event of impact. Prices vary but they are not that expensive for the protection you get.

SOFT CASES are gaining in popularity, especially with the advent of very strong synthetic fabrics. They also tend to be well padded and lined, so giving good protection and helping to keep your equipment looking good. They are ideal for the travelling drummer, BUT because they are softer and more flexible, greater CARE must be taken when packing your drums. This is fine if you monitor the process yourself, but not so good if the guitarists are helping! Soft cases are available in a huge range of shapes and sizes to fit most things.

PROFESSIONALLY-MADE FLIGHT CASES: These are rigid and give maximum protection for the serious or much-travelled drummer. However, being based on a metal-reinforced or glass-fibre construction, they are heavier than the other two options. They are also considerably more expensive.

SECOND-HAND CASES are often available and worth the investment. Always look for damage (they are likely to have taken some abuse) and check that it is not likely to compromise their function. Pay special attention to the handle(s) to make sure your prized possession does not suddenly fall under the wheels of a passing lorry as the handle comes away from the body!).

Check-out the Case Manufacturers page for more information and expert help.


General Spares

It is ALWAYS a good idea to keep a small 'emergency spares' kit for those times we all dread i.e., when something goes wrong or doesn't work.

More recently, some manufacturers have started selling spares kits for cymbals or drums.

The following is a suggested list which will be useful to carry with you to help ensure that you get through the gig. Ensure that all items are properly stored so that they are protected, can be accessed quickly and actually WORK when they are used.





As always, you may like to Contact Us with specific Questions.

Alternatively, you may like to contact the Manufacturers directly, or the Music Press to access reviews and 'road tests' of the equipment you're looking for.


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