Home » Arts and Entertainment » Music

Percussion Mallets: More Than Just Sticks

Sep 10, 2008
When I hear the term "drumstick," I visualize precisely that-a stick that is used to strike a drum (unless, of course, I'm hungry, in which case I go another direction altogether). Simple, right? Wrong. A drumstick, or more accurately, a percussion mallet, is any object used to strike a drum or other percussion instrument in order to produce sound. This means that the category of percussion mallets includes items like beaters and brushes as well as the ubiquitous drumstick. Of course, it is fortunate for us that so many different types of mallets do exist, as they make possible the amazing variety of sounds that can be produced from a simple drum.

The basic drumstick, which is usually about 0.5 inches in diameter and 16 inches long, is recognizable to almost everyone. While they do vary in length and material, the shape is usually standard enough that there can be no doubt about the item's name. All drumsticks can be divided into four basic segments: the tip, which is used to beat the drum; the shoulder, which tapers out from the tip to the shaft; the shaft, which is of a regular diameter running from the bottom of the shoulder to the butt; and the butt, or the rounded portion at the bottom of the stick. Major producers of drumsticks include Vic Firth, Malletech, Vater, Regal Tip, Zildjian, Pro-Mark and Ahead among others.

Within the category of drumsticks, there is a subcategory specifically for those used with snare drums. Snare drumsticks are usually made of wood, often hickory, oak or hard maple, but they can also be of aluminum, fiberglass, nylon, acrylic, plastic or carbon fiber. While the tip of a drumstick is traditionally made of the same material as the shoulder, shaft and butt, snare drumsticks sometimes have nylon tips, which prevent fast wearing and produce a brighter sound on cymbals. It should be noted that snare drumsticks may be specifically designed for particular types of performances. Those intended for orchestral playing are often smaller in diameter or balanced farther toward the tip, which allows for fine control and soft dynamics. But snare drumsticks designed for drums in marching bands are usually thick and weighty in order to create as loud a sound as possible.

A mallet is also a sort of stick, but it is comprised of a head connected to a thinner shaft. The head may be wrapped or unwrapped depending on its intended use. Unwrapped mallets are usually used on instruments made of more durable material, whereas wrapped mallets are used on softer instruments. The heads can be wrapped in a variety of materials, including nylon, acrylic and yarn. Not surprisingly, different mallets produce different sounds and timbres.

Finally, a brush is a set of bristles shaped like a fan and connected to a handle. The bristles are can be metal or plastic, the handle various materials including wood, aluminum and rubber. Brushes are most often seen in jazz or blues music performances. Thanks to their construction, brushes add texture and create sounds not achievable with a stick or a mallet.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, keyboards, sheet music, guitar tab, and home theater audio. You can find the best marketplace at these sites for drums, drumstick, mallet, brush , sheet music, guitar tabs, and subwoofers.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 111
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources