Drumsticks are a lot more than what they appear to be. There is more to them than simply something to hit percussion instruments with.
For the drummers, drumsticks are an extension of their hands, allowing them to provide the exact beat that will express their style of music. That’s also the reason why drummers are very particular with their choice of drumsticks, and one of the options out there is the nylon vs wood tip drumsticks.
If you’re also in search for the best drumsticks out there, here are some pros, cons and insights about the nylon tip vs wood tip drumsticks to help you decide on which type will suit you best.
Nylon Tip Drumsticks
These are the drumsticks with the wooden body and hollow tips that are made from synthetic nylon. Nylon tips feature different shapes that are mounted or glued at the end of the drumsticks. Being synthetic, these tips are less likely to disintegrate, which also prolongs the life of your drumsticks.
In most cases, nylon tip drumsticks are preferred due to the sharper and brighter sound that they produce when used for the cymbals and other percussion instruments like cowbells.
The first nylon tips emerged sometime in the late 1950’s, so if you’re playing music from this timeline up to the present genres, then you may find it convenient to use drumsticks with nylon tips. Rock or jazz musicians that often do a lot of cymbal work may find the sounds coming from nylon tips more typical to their type of music. The durability of nylon tip drumsticks may also sustain the drumming for heavy metal music better.
• Distinctive sound, adds definition to your music
• Great rock, jazz and heavy metal music
• Some tips may fall out while playing
• Synthetic material
Wood Tip Drumsticks
Wood tip drumsticks are the classic type. These are the more traditional tips that are carved to assume different shapes in the standard forms of drumsticks. Since they are made with an all-natural material, these drumsticks appear more authentic, especially if you’re playing music that was popular before the 1950’s.
Many musicians prefer the wood tip drumsticks due to their warmer, darker and more solid sounds, making them ideal for heavier music genres. The solid sound that these wood heads create are also preferred on toms and snares. So if you’re frequently playing a lot of drum rolling like that of metal music, then you may find it perfect to have a pair of wood tip drumsticks for your gigs.
Finally, these drumsticks are made out of similar material all over, which is wood. So if you’re after the consistency of your sound on cymbals, then you may want to go for the wooden tips. Whether you hit the instrument with their body or head, wood tip drumsticks play a consistent sound all over.
• Classic look
• More solid sounds
• Environmental-friendly material
• Ideal for military and metal music
• More consistent sound from shaft to tips
• Wood tips may wear off over time and alter their shape, thus affecting the sound that they create
• When broken, the sharp edges that may tear the skin of your drums
Electric Drums – One Key Exception
The only exception to this advice is if you are playing on an electric drum kit.
With electric kits, there are no differences at all in terms of tone (although there may be slight differences in terms of bounce and velocity.)
However, wooden tips can quickly damage your electric drum pads if they begin to become frayed or split. Therefore, you’ll either need to pay extra attention to ensure your wooden sticks are in pristine condition, or use nylon tip sticks only with your edrums.
A tip somewhere in between…
If you want to have the modern features of the nylon tips, along with the warmer tones that the wood tips can create, then you’ll find a common ground in the E-series tips from Regal Tip. These tips are designed so that less nylon hits the cymbals, creating the similar wooden tones that you love with the durability of nylon all combined in a single pair of drumsticks.
The good thing about drumsticks is that they’re not that expensive, so most likely, you can buy and compare a pair from each type to test their sounds for yourself. You can also keep some pairs as a spare once you decide to play music that are outside your usual genre.
So basically, nylon and wood tip drumsticks have their own pros and cons, and your choice will eventually result from the type of tone and music that you want to play. You may acquire both types, go for that E-series tip, or eventually trust your instincts and suggestions from friends. After all, the best drumstick out there is the one that you can feel a connection with, something that you can entrust to play your own, unique tone.