There aren’t any special types of drum sticks required for electronic drums. But there are some types of sticks that might work better than others. The biggest thing to watch out for is to never use damaged or splintered sticks with electronic drums.
Sticks Won’t Affect Tone on Electronic Drums
One neat thing about electronic drums is that the type of stick you use won’t affect the tone of the sounds. It’s not like an acoustic kit, where striking a cymbal with a wood tipped stick vs a nylon tipped stick will have a different tone or different attack. You’re mostly going to just want to find sticks that feel good in hand when it comes to electronic drums.
Nylon Tipped Drum Sticks Are Preferred
Electronic drum kits with mesh or rubber heads won’t require any special types of sticks. However, many electronic drummers prefer to use nylon tipped sticks since they are less likely to splinter on the tip.
Splintered drum sticks can cause damage to mesh or rubber drum heads, so anything that helps avoid that is welcome when it comes to electronic drumming. While a mesh or rubber drum head that is worn out won’t affect the tone of your kit like a worn acoustic drum head could, it’s still no fun to play on a kit with worn out or damaged heads.
Wood Tipped Drum Sticks Can Work Just Fine
If you prefer to use wood tipped sticks, you don’t need to be scared away from using them on your electronic drum kit. They’ll work just fine. The main thing here is to make sure that they haven’t been used on an acoustic drum kit first.
A pair of sticks that has been used on an acoustic kit will have indentations, chips, splinters and other imperfections along the barrel and possibly on the tip that can damage electronic drum pads. When you consider how much it costs to replace pads, why risk it?
So the rule of thumb here is to use brand new or undamaged stick on your electronic drum kit. If you’re wanting to use a beat up pair of sticks on your electronic kit to save a few bucks, consider that it will cost quite a bit more to replace damaged drum pads. Buying a pair of new drum sticks is cheaper than replacing drum pads.
Personally, I’ve gotten into the habit of using new sticks on my electronic kits, and then once they get a little beat up from rim shots and what not, rotate them over to the acoustic kit and let them live out their life over there.
Don’t Forget About Kick Drum Beaters
We’re talking mostly about sticks here, but we can’t forget about the kick drum. Different types of kick drum beaters can work better for certain types of kick drum pads.
If your electronic drum kit uses a rubber pad for the kick drum pad, you can get by with using any type of kick drum beater without damaging the pad. However, some people find that a felt faced beater wears out a rubber pad less quickly.
On the flip side, if your electronic drum kit uses a mesh head on the kick drum pad, it’s best to use a hard beater with no felt or cloth facing. Some people find that the felt-faced beaters can wear out a mesh pad more quickly.
The negative effects of using the incorrect type of beater might not be overly noticeable for many drummers, but if you’re trying to get the longest life from your drum pads it can make a difference.
Long Story Short
At the end of the day, the rule of thumb for electronic drums is that it best to make sure to use undamaged sticks on your electronic drum kit, regardless of the type of tip on the stick. This will help get the longest life out of the pads around your kit. It’s nice to not have to buy a special type of drum stick for electronic drums. You can keep using whatever types of sticks you already prefer, just make sure to pick up a new, undamaged pair for your electronic kit.