Playing Without Sticks
From Brushes to the Kitchen Whisk
There is no doubt that drumming started with the hands, the ears, and a desire to say something with music. Today, there are so many types of drums, cymbals and percussion instruments, that we as drummers have a ton of different sounds at our disposal. Almost as vast is what we can hit our instruments with.
Here are a few examples of tools, other than drumsticks, that can inspire music while still playing the drums.
- STANDARD OPTIONS
1. Brushes- Great for jazz and ballads. Soft and elegant, makes many sounds and very practical for every drummer to have. I use the Vic Firth Jazz Brushes and Heritage Brushes for their feel, thick sound and balanced handles.
2. Mallets- From Timpani style rolls on toms to cymbal swells, these felt tipped cousins of the drumstick can give a drummer a lot more options without changing standard drumstick technique. I prefer T2 Cartwheel Mallets for their wider surface area.
- BE CREATIVE
3. Swizzle Sticks/Mallets- A combination mallet/drumstick that are very usual for quick changes. The TG25′s are always near by in my stick bag.
4. Multi-Dowel Sticks- Softer thank sticks but with a stronger attack than brushes, this family of sticks can really be a life saver in a quick but rock setting. The Rutes are my favorite, for their feel, attack, and the wooden handle makes a great rim click sound.
- HAVE FUN
5. Shaker/tambourine Sticks- Anything from egg shakers taped to a stick or brush, to a mallet with some rattling effects, these types of sticks can add a lot of color to any groove and cover those percussion parts that we might normally need another drummer for. Lately, Vic Firth Maraca Mallet has been a great add to my studio sound arsenal.
6. Kitchen Whisk- That’s right, I may not be a chef, but a whisk can definitely “mix” it up when looking for new and interesting sounds. (Maybe one day, Vic Firth Gourmet will run a hybrid cooking/drumming whisk!)
- Feel free to write in and share your preferred equipment and how they have enhanced your drumming.
- For more examples, please check out my video and more at www.youtube.com/ftdrum456