Your practice session should probably the most appreciated time of your drumming times. Really few people treat practice time like that. However, you already know that it is your practice sessions when you become a better drummer.
It is your practice sessions when you are reaching out to your limits and try to leave them behind. For that reason, you should actually value and respect your practice time.
If you do, you will probably feel an urge to make it the most productive it could ever be. Buying yourself dedicated practice equipment might be the most useful way to show some respect to yourself and your profession.
The answer is a simple “no”. Practice sticks do, however, enhance drumming practice. During practice sessions there are a few basic skills that you should be working on. These include stamina, finger control, stick control independence and the strength of your hands (lower arms, wrists, fingers) and feet.
Drum practice sticks are produced in a way that stimulate your hands to become more powerful and controlled. They are produced so that your feel of rebound and accentuation will also become more controlled. Not through magic, but through making you actually work harder.
There are different types of practice drum sticks, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. The main difference usually lies in the weight of the sticks: practice sticks are usually a few grams heavier so that your hands have to work harder in order to move and control them – that extra weight trains your hand muscles so that when you will be playing regularly with lighter sticks you will easily handle them for longer periods of time.
Another practice scenario is when you are not focusing on training any particular skills: you just want to play around, to have some fun. There are different cases when practicing with a regular drum stick would be too loud and you would disturb people around you. So, there is another “breed” of practice drum sticks, those produced for extra silent drumming. These are usually narrower than regular sticks and sometimes feature a nylon tip.
The choice of drum sticks is always a matter of personal taste, whether we are speaking of regular or practice sticks. As you have seen, drum practice sticks are not produced in entirely different ways, they are not to be handled in any special way; they just have features that can be of great advantage in different practice cases.
Whether you finally opt to buy practice drum sticks or not, you should probably not buy the most expensive most “specialized” drum sticks – in many cases you are only paying for the added “practice” label, when a simple heavier drum stick would do the exact same job.
Using different practice drum sticks will almost surely yield extremely positive results. However, you should probably not forget about your regular drum sticks, just as your practice pad does not replace your drum set. Playing with practice sticks should be considered training.
Training that does not always stands on its own feet – that is, you have to incorporate real life scenarios into your practice sessions as well. No matter which practice route you choose, remember, it is not the tools you use that will lead you to become a great drummer – it is your patience, your persistence and your love of the craft.
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