This Free series of drumset lessons is focused on using rudiments at the drumset, both in groove and fill applications. Through the course of the series, we'll come up with patterns using all 40 rudiments at the drumset. Lesson 1 is focused on rudiment 1, Single Stroke Rolls.
I get questions about the multitude of tools I tend to carry wherever I go, so here's a brief rundown on the "what and why" of my stick selections...
My main workhorse, the Vic Firth Thomas Lang signature stick. Great for drumset and general snare drum playing, this one lets me keep one stick for a whole lesson! Not as heavy as it looks, the main feature of this stick that draws it for me is the balance point - hard to describe, but it is the most "even" balance (not top or bottom heavy) I've found in a stick. Only to be used by someone with good stick control already! I also sand the ends - the finish gets slick once you start sweating.
My second workhorse is the Vic Firth SD1, the "general". It's just that, a general snare drum stick. All my orchestral snare work is done with this stick, also good for rudiment practice and general stick control work. I used to use it for drumset playing, but the light wood breaks really easily. Maybe if I got them for free...
The Vic Firth F1 is great for jazz and light drumset playing. Light, quick, good response, and good tone from drums and cymbals (I'm a big fan of round tips for drawing a good tone out of a drum, but still having definintion on a cymbal)
Though the business is now defunct, I still have a pair of Johnny Rabb Rhythm-Saws, the "guiro/stick". I think somebody may have started making these after JR went under, because it's a great idea - really fun on accessories like cowbells and jamblocks.
Pro Mark lightning rods - great for playing on hand percussion (djembes and congas) and for light sounds on cymbals. I use these constantly on my hybrid drum/percussion setups. Don't use them purely for volume control, though - that can be accomplished through control of any stick. Use them for the interesting tonal possibilities.
Vic Firth jazz brush - the only brush I've ever liked! The wires are the perfect thickness to me, and you can control the amount of spread precisely how you want it.
A pair of hard felt multi-tenor mallets (I think from Regal Tip) can get very big, round tones out of toms and hand drums, but are still hard enough for snare drums and some cymbal work. A Corpsmaster bass mallet - good for african dununs, slamming a big bass drum, things like that.
A pair of yarn-wrapped mallets for cymbal rolls can also work as soft xylophone/vibe mallets or hard marimba mallets in a pinch. Hard acrylic for orchestra bells or xylophone (for a ragtime-type sound). Brass mallets, used only if I really need to project the bells or other metallic instruments, or if I need a spare for something (the odd 3-note chord pops up unexpectedly). These mallets' tone is really not musical at all, so I really don't recommend them for much of anything!
If these tools have been useful to you, please consider leaving a tip!
If you're looking for something else, let me know, and I'll do my best to add it!