I’ve been looking for some sticks to use for my weekly jazz set with the Gex trio. We have to play very very quietly most of the set. I am using brushes 80% of the time but need to swing some sticks on a couple of numbers. I tried the AJ2′s and the AJ6′s both pretty good. The 6′s feel really weird like playing with overgrown toothpicks but great for a really small sound. If I have to play anything in an R&B or pop style, they are horrid. The AJ2′s have a nice length and weight to them and feel fast and well balanced but I find it easy to get too loud when I get excited. During my lesson with Todd Bishop he recommended SD10′s or 11′s or maybe 9′s, forgot to write it down. Anyway, the point was they are made of maple and are very light. Much lighter than the hickory ones.
Anyway, I decided to try a pair of the SD4′s. I saw a video with Dave King of the Bad Plus wittering on about them. I might try the others too. I really liked the SD4′s and they helped me play even quieter than the AJ’s. They had a great cross-stick sound and the tip was pingy enough on the cymbals but meaty enough on the snare and toms. One thing, though, they are bloody hard, makes the hickory sticks feel supple by comparison.
I mean to write about the difficult relationship our art has to consumerism some time soon.