Sticks & Mallets
Drumsticks and other sticks
Snare drum sticks
The snare drum is usually beaten with special drumsticks: these are thin, tapering to the tip, about 36 cm long, made of hard wood and have round or oval tips. Oval tips are sometimes covered in plastic.
In military music it is customary to use relatively thick and heavy sticks, whereas in jazz, thin and light sticks are preferred. Orchestral musicians choose their sticks according to the requirements of the work to be performed.
Occasionally other sticks are used on the snare drum:
Wire brushes: striking or brushing with one or two brushes. This practice is very common in jazz (on drum kits)
Small timpani mallets: produce a short, dead tone and are generally used with the snares off.
Hard felt mallets: when the snares are released these mallets produce a precise, coarse sound.
Marimba beaters: when the snares are released these beaters produce a dark sound.
Snare drumsticks. Far right: a field drumstick for comparison