I stopped by Clark’s Music Center last weekend to check out the swap meet and hang out a bit with Clark, Joseph and Larry Steele, author of As I Recall. Larry has authored a great book about local bands in Jacksonville, Florida in the 60’s and the early days of Jax bands like 38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Always great to see my friends.
The mission was two fold as I was wanting to check out the new Active Grip drumsticks by ProMark. Been seeing a bit about them online and a video that Mike Portnoy was sharing on FaceBook a while back. A solid grip has always been something that lets me play some pretty cool and intricate rhythms on the ride, hi-hat and other parts of the kit. Having a high level of Dry Friction so the stick doesn’t slide or roll easily takes muscle pressure off the squeeze to hold the stick and apply that energy to detailed work in the fingers and palm of the hands.
That is my opinion of course ha.
I have recently moved back to a smaller stick from the “tree log” Neil Peart 747s. It is a great stick but a bit longer and heavier than I need. It felt like I was having to do more work to get the sounds I needed at the expense of fatigue. I bet too, if you did a body comparison from me to him I would bet the 747s seem small in his hands with his height and build. Just a theory…
Since ProMark doesn’t offer the Active Grip in all sizes I went with the 7As, the closest match to the PWJZW Shira Kashi™ Oak “Jazz” Wood Tip Drumstick that I recently returned to playing. The ActiveGrip sticks are Forward Balance 7A Acorn Tip Hickory Active Grip F7AAG Drumstick. I have always played Oak sticks but will give the Hickory a shot.
A cursory run through of the stick last night seems promising but it will take more time for me to make a determination. I did find this great review on them and looking forward to playing them and eliminating the need for stick wax in the future.
I will report back soon on how they do…. aye aye Captain!
Until next time, keep on drumming.