It’s interesting. Throughout my childhood and into my thirties, I used nylon tip sticks. I seem to remember thinking when I was a kid that they looked cool with those little white tips. Plus I’m sure most of the cymbals I owned were well used and pretty dull sounding, so that harder surface brought a little life to their sound. Then, when I began editing Drums & Drumming Magazine in the ’80s, I got the opportunity to test sticks we received in the office and found that my taste had completely changed. I fell in love with the smokier and more subdued sound of wood tips and now wouldn’t consider using a nylon tip. Has anybody else out there experienced a conversion from one to the other? Do any of you keep both wood and nylon tip sticks in your bag? If so, why do you alternate between the two?
I too grew up using nylon tips and now prefer wood. Nylon definitely sound too bright. I also switched from brighter sounding cymbals to darker sounding cymbals (A’s to K’s & HHX). Does cymbal preference & tip preference go hand in hand for most drummers?
I do carry a pair of smaller nylon tips in the bag (7A instead of 5A). I find a song or set about once a year to break them out on.
I typically stick (pardon the pun) with a classic 5A wood tip, but I do carry 7A’s with a nylon tip too. I only really break them out on low subdued songs where a much simpler but powerful sound is needed. I also have a pair of Tommy Lee sig’s with a nylon screw on tip for when I’m gonna be really hammering a song.
For me, its the Pro-Mark Oak 727 wood tips. Eventually, the tips get sorta soft and lose the “Ping” but that takes a lot of playing to get them that way but then Im not working much…10 gigs a month on the average…3 hour gigs. We get in another 6 to 10 gigs a year from doing benefits, playing at the V.A. hospital/nursing home and a few other paying gigs that pay too much to turn down. I used to play the Nylon tips but I noticed that the shaft diameter is a bit smaller at the tip on the Nylon than the Wood tip and I dont like the exaggerated Ping on the ride. The wood tip gives a nice ping but its a bit more subtle…jazz, big band and western swing all sound better with that softer wood tip sound. IMO
i use both nylon and wood tips. I mostly use nylon tips, but that is only in practicing because they are more durable. I use wood tips for performances because, in my opinion, they sound a heck of a lot better than nylons.
The “sharpness” of nylon doesn’t fit my style on heads, but nylon tips are great for extending the range of cymbals. How many of you have mallets in your bag for your floor toms? ....I guess it depends on how varied your music is.
I carry a pair of mallets in my stick bag, and use them about two or three times a years on the rare occasion when I want to create cymbal swells of spooky tom beats. They’re great to have when you need them.
Mallets, brushes, rods, 6 types of sticks…. I use Promark 747 nylon Oak generally and I tend to ‘apple core’ them in two shows… afraid wood tips would splinter on me… I’ll have to ‘retry’ them again and see for a set or two… I can shred a pair of hickory sticks in a night. I dunno if I’m just a ‘heavy hitter’ or like my cymbals too high and flat or rim shot too much… but sticks don’t last me long… and my heads seem to withstand it all… and never cracked a cymbal yet (when my students are notorious for that….!!!)
Went through a bunch of sticks last night in the practice room, just for fun. I was mostly soloing, working off of my ride. I started with wood round tips & ended with wood round tips. They sounded the best on my ride.
I carry 9 pair of 5b nylon, acorn tip sticks, a pair of brushes, and a pair of mallets. I only use the mallets for cymbal swells and tom effects as well. I only use the brushes whenever I play old gospel songs.
I carry a handful of Vic Firth American classic 5A’s wood tip, a pair of Vic 7A’s nylon, and some other effect type sticks. Vic Firth Rute 505’s, Vic Firth Tala Wand’s, Pro Mark Thunder/Lightning/and Hot Rods, Vic Firth Steve Gadd signature brushes and a pair of Vic Firth 55A’s that i don’t remember where I got them lol.
I’ve always enjoyed the sound & feel of the wood tip, that is until I decided to try out Pro-Mark’s Mike Portnoy Autograph Model sticks! I noticed that certain cymbal sounds were, for lack of a better term, ‘brighter’. Praticularly when just playing spft ‘pings’ on the ride shoulder. So, ever since, I always carry a set of nylon tipped sticks in my satick bag, as well a a pair of brushes, mallets,& hot-rods!
I’ve always found it interesting to see what other drummers have in their stick bags. Whenever I open for a band, or vice-versa, I always inQuire as to what the other drummer is carrying. I’ve also worked in Law Enforcement for the past 5 & 1/2 years, so I can liken it to always inQuiring as to what type of sidearm another Officer carries!
-WOOD tips are the best, for sure!
-I don’t like the sound of the nylon tips in cymbals. Plus there’s the risk of the tip fall off from the stick.
-And there’s a “legend” that the nylon tips mark and damage you cymbal in long term, is it true?)
I like to use “ProMark - 5A - Wooden Tips - Hickory”
I also have a 5B sized for heavier sounds (like Metal \,,/)