I've had at least a half dozen people PM me asking about different drumstick types, so I figured I would just create a post and let everybody read it here.
(And yes, I know I just posted this almost identically in another thread, but that thread title wasn't really relevant so thpbbbbbbbt!)
One thing that everybody needs to to keep in mind when purchasing sticks: every stick is different. Zildjian's 5A and Pro Mark's 5A and Vic Firth's 5A are not going to all be identical.
The stick model (5A/5B/7A/7B/etc.) refers to the length and thickness of the shaft and taper of the stick. The model designation does not necessitate the size nor shape of the tip of the stick.
The numerical portion signifies the circumference of the stick. In general, the lower the number the larger circumference, and the greater the number the smaller the circumference. For example, the 7A is smaller in circumference than a 5A which in turn is narrower than the 2B. The exception is the 3S, which is larger in circumference than a 2B despite its number.
The letter suffix: "S," "B," and "A" originally indicated the recommended application.
- "S" model sticks were designed for Street applications such as drum corps and marching band, and are typically the largest diameter sticks.
- "B" model sticks were intended for Band applications such as brass bands and symphonic concert bands. Smaller in circumference than the "S" models, they were easier to control and thus especially popular with beginning drummers. To this day the 2B is recommended by teachers practically everywhere as ideal starter sticks.
- "A" stands for Orchestra. "A" model sticks were designed for big band or dance type orchestras. They're smaller in circumference than "B" series sticks and lend themselves well for softer type playing. Nobody really knows why Ludwig chose to use "A" for "orchestra" (I think it was because they didn't like the way the "O" printed on the stick), but they were the first and now everybody uses it.
There are Round tips: http://www.drumsoloartist.com/Site/S...s/roundtip.jpg
Barrel tips: http://www.drumsoloartist.com/Site/S.../barreltip.jpg
Pointed (or triangle) tips: http://www.drumsoloartist.com/Site/S...riangletip.jpg
And Tear Drop (or olive) tips: http://www.drumsoloartist.com/Site/S...s/olivetip.jpg
And of course, the same shapes are also available in nylon tips.
I'm not even going to get into the different types of wood available for drumsticks unless people specifically ask for it.
I realize that was probably way more information than anybody needed, but it never hurts to learn something new everyday!