Oh boy! The age old debate between the best jazz drumsticks and, which is better. Brushes or sticks? I saw this debate about the best drumsticks for Jazz: www.drumstickcentral.com/best-drumsticks-for-jazz/
And so I decided to give my own perspective on this drumstick topics.
I like to egg this debate on a bit because I am neither phased by either sides of the fence so I can play devils advocate somewhat when it comes to telling you the answer between brushes or sticks as the best jazz drumsticks.
Which Drumsticks For Jazz? Brushes or Sticks?
What If I told you that there was no right or wrong answer here? Would you be surprised? As a beginner, I was surprised to learn that there is no "best" choice when it comes to using drumsticks for jazz. Because, ultimately whatever you decide to use and whichever drumstick you prefer is completely okay and up to you.
But I definitely believe that there are certain situations where a set of brushes would be better for jazz. So I'll take you through the scenarios and situations when I use brushes to play Jazz drums. As well as the different situations and scenarios when I decide to use proper drumsticks for jazz instead of brushes.
When to use brushes for jazz drumming
The times I decide to use brushes for jazz drumming will come down to two factors. Usually only one of those factors come into play. However sometimes both factors come into play when deciding to use jazz brushes.
When to use normal drumsticks for jazz
If the two factors that I mentioned above don't come into play. Then I will always tend towards using the regular/normal drumsticks for jazz. The reason is because they feel the most natural. And you don't get the same rebound with brushes. Regular drumsticks were designed for a reason and I always prefer the way they feel.
The application of brushes though is different and they're not very versatile. Whereas normal drumsticks are a lot more versatile. And if you practice hard enough, you can teach yourself how to play jazz drums quietly with normal sticks.
What do the professional drummer do?
The real professional jazz drummers will not prefer one over the other. No. Instead, they'll take each song into consideration and then decide which will be the most necessary drumstick to use. You see, like a painter needs his different paint brushes. OR how a carpenter needs his different tools. So does a professional drummer who will need a whole host of different drumsticks to tend to the song. For professionals, it is not about them showing off but rather taking the essence of the music or the song in particular in mind, internalizing it and then translating what he/she will sound best as well as serve the song in the best possible way.
That is the way I like to approach drumming from now on. Instead of being fixated on loving certain gear. I've been trying to stay open minded about different types of jazz gear for drums.
You can hopefully see from this drumsticks post that using brushes or sticks for jazz does not have a definitive answer. But like I said, I always tend to prefer to use regular sticks. Even though I feel that brushes have a classic jazzy sound.
The best pro tip: Always when possible, Take the song and the music that you will be playing into consideration when deciding which drum equipment you will be using. Try to keep and open mind and don't be biased to different brands. Doing so will only stunt your growth in becoming a better drummer.
Let the debate rage on and on! All the jazz drummers out there, I am so interested to know what your beliefs are on this particular matter.