Nova drumsticks are Vic Firth's budget brand/line. Made of hickory with your choice of either wood or nylon tip, these are a great value for the beginning player or musician on a budget. Get Vic Firth quality at an extremely affordable price. Usually thinner sticks are better for playing lighter musical styles such as Jazz. Typically suitable sizes are 7A or 8D. For those playing pop styles through to the lighter genres of rock-pop or indie, 5A is a good compromise of weight. Rock demands a bit more power, so a meatier stick is in order. A 5B is good option for rock to heavy rock. For those playing the heaviest styles of metal and rock, where power is everything, the super-thick 2B sticks are a great choice.
"S" model sticks were designed for "street" applications such as drum corps and marching bands. These large sticks were designed for the louder volume and projection needed for these uses.
"B" model sticks were intended for "band" applications such as brass bands and symphonic orchestras. With a smaller circumference than the "S" models, they were easier to control and thus especially popular with beginning drummers. 2Bs continue to be recommended by drum teachers everywhere as perfect starter sticks.
"A" stands for Orchestra. "A" model sticks were designed for big band and dance orchestras. They're smaller in circumference than "B" series sticks and lend themselves to softer playing. These sticks continue to be very popular with many jazz and rock players.
Short-tapered sticks have a stiffer feel and are more durable, while long, more narrowly tapered sticks are more fragile and flexible with a more delicate sound. The body is main area of the stick, and can be played on the rim for a wooden sidestick sound.
There are four basic shapes, each with unique tonal qualities, and in a choice of wood or nylon.
Round tips deliver a focused sound that's especially good on cymbals, ranging from the tight ping sound of small round tips to the broader, fuller tones of larger round tips.
Barrel tips have a larger contact area for a broader, more diffuse tone.
Pointed or triangle-tipped sticks produce a focused medium tone.
Teardrop or olive-shaped tips produce a range of sounds from tightly focused to diffuse depending on how they are held.
Drumsticks are made of different materials, each with different characteristics.
The most popular material is hickory. This is due to the fact that it is dense, strong, stiff, and has great shock-absorption properties- essential when drumming.
Maple is another popular choice, offering a lighter, quicker option with more ‘flex’, whilst still being very tough.
Other wood options include oak, aluminium and graphite. Oak sticks are denser, this means they will last longer and are designed for heavy hitting. Aluminium and Graphite sticks are very hard to break and last the longest.