Buyers' guide: signature drumsticks
21st Nov 2008 | 16:58
What you need to know before you buy
Having your preferred model or custom creation with your name or actual signature printed on the butt or shaft of the stick seems to be one of the signs that you have reached a particularly high profile in the industry.
This also means that your legions of devoted fans will no doubt rush out and buy up 'bricks' of your signature model (until they decide that another player is the flavour of the month and adopt their sticks instead), which is all very flattering. Whatever your reason to choose a signature stick, you can be sure that drumstick manufacturers will benefit greatly from the association.
Here's our guide to buying signature sticks…
5 signature sticks from £8.99
1. Vic Firth Signature Models
This highly regarded company, whose signature lines include the likes of SteveGadd, Peter Erskine and Stanton Moore, sets a serious modern standard that others are often compared to. It was founded by an extremely successful working percussionist who started designing his own personal mallets and sticks before deciding to manufacture them for the mass market.
2. Zildjian Artist Series
Boasting a roster of names that includes John Riley and Vinnie Colaiuta, the famous cymbal maker started producing its own brand of drumsticks back in 1988 and now has one of the largest signature catalogues on the market today. Zildjian also produces a fine selection of brushes, mallets and hybrid models.
3. Pro-Mark Signature Models
Known to bear the names and grace the drum heads of Neil Peart, Bill Bruford and Phil Collins to name but a few, these highly durable and hugely popular drumsticks are, unsurprisingly, touted by the company as "the finest sticks in the world". You will be truly amazed to see just how short and chunky Phil Collins' sticks are or, for that matter, how light and articulate Mr Bruford's model is.
4. Vater Signature Models
Producing consistently high-quality and well regarded sticks and the like since 1990, Vater actually has an extended family lineage of stickmakers that goes way back to the 1940s, so you can rest assured they have the experience.
5. Regal Tip Performer Series
Including Joey Waronker and Eric Carr models, the series boasts the famous Regal Tip finish that gets tackier as your hands warm up. This has won over legions of players, but equally there are players who might want their sticks totally free of varnish!