If you are in a hurry and want to know which are the best drumsticks for electronic drums, it’s the Zildjian 7A Nylon Anti-Vibe Drumsticks.
In my search in order to buy the best drum practice pad, I ended up buying not only a practice pad but also a Roland TD-17 KVX electronic kit to play in my apartment, so I don’t disturb my neighbors, and I can keep practicing my rudiments in quarantine times.
I was really excited about this new electronic set, but you know who was more excited than me? My 7-year old daughter Julia. This week I heard some loud noises coming from my office, where the new set is. To my surprise, I saw Julia whacking on the drum kit as hard as she could with some random drumsticks she found in my drumstick case.
Here is a picture of the drumsticks she was playing on the brand-new mesh heads.
Okay, okay… lesson learned. So today, I decided to write an article so you can get yourself the best drumsticks for an electronic kit that won’t hurt your pads, aren’t loud (so won’t disturb your family members and neighbors) and will last long enough.
What to look for when buying drumsticks for your e-kit?
Everyone has different preferences on what is essential or not when buying sticks for your e-kit. Still, we wanted to offer our opinion on the most critical characteristics the best drumsticks for electronic drums should have.
Take preference for lighter drumset sticks. They tend to make less noise in your kit and don’t cause an extra wear-and-tear to your electronic set like marching sticks (as they are usually heavier with a bigger tip).
We recommend nylon-tipped drumsticks for your e-drums because they have less of a hard impact on your e-kit, give a lot more bounce, and aren’t as loud as them. Wooden tipped drumsticks will wear mesh heads, as the sticks noticeably after some time end up with its varnish removed and basically sanded by the heads, a process that doesn’t seem to happen with nylon-tipped sticks.
Drumsticks with nylon tips can only cause damage to your pads if the tip comes unglued and leaves just the stick tip to strike your pads—obviously, time to buy new drumsticks.
But if you love playing with wooden-tipped drumsticks, make sure they are new and show no signs of fraying fibers on the tips.
What doesn’t matter as much?
Even though drumsticks for your e-kit will not influence how your kit sounds at all (obviously) and only how it feels when playing it, here are some factors that are more about personal preference than anything else.
Yes, the tip should be made of nylon. Still, the body could be made of different types of wood or other materials. A good example is used in Lars Ulrich Ahead Drumsticks protected with a polyurethane cover (don’t buy those unless you are looking for a thrown weapon if someone breaks into your house while you’re drumming).
Your drumstick size won’t matter when playing your e-kit as long as they aren’t heavy in a thumb rule.
Different numbers and letters can identify drumsticks sizes. The lower the number, the thicker a stick is (with some exceptions like the 2B that may be the thickest drumset stick).
Sizes you can expect to find mainly:
- 7A: Thin
- 5A: This is the “standard stick,” most players use this
- 5B: Slightly thicker than 5A
- 2B: The thickest of all drumsticks
Among the variety of drumsticks available on the market, here are the best options:
1. Best Overall – Zildjian 7A Nylon Anti-Vibe Drumsticks
In many “tips for electronic drums” videos on YouTube, you will find someone recommending this specific Zildjian’s drumstick pair in the comments section. And they are right by doing so.
These drumsticks are very durable and feature in the butt-end of the stick a Zildjian’s patent for an “Absorption Technology,” which reduces key vibrations when playing.
The first time playing with those, you won’t find much difference; it is very subtle. But once you start playing consistently, you will understand how much less impact these drumsticks create in your wrists and your electronic kit. After this, you won’t go back to traditional.
Another outstanding feature on these sticks is they produce a lot less noise, it’s recommended for those who continuously annoy family members and neighbors when playing an e-kit. Keep these sticks away from your little ones, or they will pull the rubber out of the butt-end.
The “Zildjian” logo paint rubs off quite soon, though, but it doesn’t matter.
You can find those in a good variety of sizes: 7A, 5A, and 5B.
2. Wooden-tipped Alternative – Vic Firth American Classic eStick
Vic Firth is usually in the “top-3” brands for drumsticks nowadays because of their product quality and artists who use their sticks.
These drumsticks we are reviewing are designed explicitly for electronic drums. If you prefer playing with wooden-tipped drumsticks, this is the pair that will impact less your electronic drums pads.
They are longer but heavier than 7A’s but are lighter and smaller than 5A’s. They feature a smaller and roundish-tip, specially shaped for the mesh heads and the cymbals.
Overall, these sticks feel very natural in hands with an excellent rebound. The only disappointing thing is these drumsticks don’t have options in sizes like standard 7As and 5A’s.
3. Most Durable Promark TX5AN American Hickory Nylon Tip
These next drumsticks are made by Promark, like Vic Firth; it’s well-known for its quality drumsticks and their endorsed drummers (Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, and others).
Personally, my drumstick bag is full of those because, in my last 30 years playing acoustic drums, Promark sticks are the more durable ones. But as we said before, durability is not the only feature necessary when the business is the best drumsticks for electronic drums.
Promark quality control is pretty good, so these are well-made and will last long. If you are looking for durability, these are the sticks.
They are available in other sizes like 7A, 2B, 5AB, 707 and 747.
This next pair is made by Vater, who endorses drummers like Mike Mangini from Dream Theater and Chad Smith from Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Vater in the past didn’t have a good reputation as durable sticks. But a few years from now, their manufacturing process got a lot better, and those are now sticks that will last long.
Something surprising was how Vater 5A’s feels when playing in comparison to Vic Firth 5A’s, it’s taper starts about half an inch higher up the shaft and doesn’t go as thin as the Vic Firths.
Also available in other sizes like 7A, 5B, 3A, 3B, and 1A.
Drumeo recently made a cool video showing “how sturdy” are Vater drumsticks.
Finally, the best drumsticks for electronic drums are the Zildjian 7A Nylon Anti-Vibe Drumsticks. They won this roundup review because it’s the only model of all compared today that actually uses technology to reduce vibrations when playing. You can even feel when playing that it makes a difference. Great for your kit and great for your wrist.
If you want to stick with the same models you use in an acoustic set or your hybrid set, it’s not recommended, but okay. Just make sure you don’t mix the sticks you use on an acoustic kit with your sticks for electronic drums, as acoustic kits wear drumsticks a lot, and your e-kit heads can end up damaged.