Drum sticks are the extended arms of a drummer and which stick you choose is a very individual decision. Sticks can be differed by their length, gauge, head form, material and balance. Generally they are named with a number and a letter (e.g. 5A). The higher the number, the finer the geometry of the stick and therefore the lighter it is. Sticks that are indicated with the letter “B” are thicker than sticks indicated with “A”. Most drummers use drum sticks with heads made of wood, but some appreciate the clear “ping” of nylon-heads while playing cymbals. There are also sticks that are made of plastic fibre or metal. They last longer than the wooden sticks, but are more inflexible and a little bit more expensive.
Beginners should try different pairs of sticks to find out which ones suit best. Some drummers also use different sticks for practising than they use for playing live or at a studio.
Many percussion instruments need to be played with special mallet types that again have various sizes, lengths and gauges. Sometimes it takes a while to find the proper stick or mallet for your own individual style.