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Drums too loud at church? Try these weird drum sticks.

Kade Young
Kade Young
Chief Audio Guru
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Bonus: Drum EQ Cheat Sheet

Like many other churches, we put our drummer behind a drum shield. We all wanted to set her free, but couldn’t bear the loudness of the drums.

When my church went mobile for a short season, I wanted to simplify setup as much as possible. This meant ditching the drum shield and sound panels. The less to load in, the better.

Of course, the first thing I thought of was electronic drums…but, my drummer absolutely refused. And, I don’t blame her.

The only other option was to figure out how to make the drums quieter, so we purchased different drum sticks to try, and here is what we found.

Review: Lidwish Solutions Classic Ultra-Tones Sticks

To be honest, when I first saw the Lidwish Solutions sticks, I thought, “What the heck.” But, you never know until you try, so I ordered a pair.

When they came in, I was nervous to even show my drummer. I knew she’d give me that look…you know, the one people give you when you are acting crazy. But, she willingly decided to give them a shot - especially if it meant she wouldn’t have to play electronic drums.

Pros: Lidwish Solutions Classic Ultra-Tones Sticks

  1. The volume of the drums was brought down by at least half. These drum sticks flex a little, so the energy from each hit is partially translated into the stick, resulting in much quieter drums.
  2. They bounce almost as good as regular drums sticks. To a drummer, the bounce of the stick is super important. I knew if these didn’t bounce, the wouldn’t work out. But they do - and quite well.
  3. The drums sound just as good mic’d as they do with regular sticks. Of course, you will need to adjust the gain to compensate for the volume difference, but the toms can still sound like rolling thunder and the snare nice and punchy with these sticks when mic’d.

Cons: Lidwish Solutions Classic Ultra-Tones Sticks

  1. It takes a minute to get used to how light they are. These sticks are super light compared to regular drums sticks. So, it takes awhile to get used to how these feel in your hands. But, after a few hours of playing, they will feel somewhat normal.
  2. Getting cymbal hits to sound right takes practice. The beautiful ‘tings’ and ‘pings’ you get from lightly hitting cymbals with regular drum sticks is pretty much unachievable with the Lidwish Solutions sticks. You still get the ’ting', it just sounds different. And, when it comes to crashing a cymbal, it takes time to figure out what part of the stick to use. But, once you get it figured out, they work just fine.

Final Thoughts

There are other solutions to fix loud drums, but the Lidwish Solutions sticks enabled us to ditch the drum shield and stay away from electronic drums - both wins for us. The cons mentioned above seem minor in comparison to the pros, so we are happy with this solution.

Here's where to buy them →

Classic vs Version 2.0

We have only tried the Classic version of the Lidwish Solutions sticks as they are quieter than the 2.0 version. If you have used both and have some insight to offer, please drop it in the comments below.

What about the kick beater?

The sticks come with a kick beater. We tried it, and not a fan. With every kick, it feels like it is going to break in half. And it is tough, if not impossible, to get consistent hits on the kick drum. But, they throw it in for free, so nothing to complain about.

You might also enjoy: 5 Tips for an Amazing Drum Mix

Bonus: Drum EQ Cheat Sheet

26 Comments

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26 comments on “Drums too loud at church? Try these weird drum sticks.”

  1. Just bought a set to try it out because we are dealing with this issue with our very talented and loud drummer.

  2. The problems with all alternatives to using proper drumsticks are that the drums don’t sound like drums when played and those alternatives don’t respond like sticks; an integral part of the playing experience. The drummer is then a percussionist.

    I suggest that the real alternative is for the drummer to learn all aspects of the instrument including playing at all loudness levels including quiet. Jazz players can play quietly and with great facility ! It is a myth that drum-set is a boisterous instrument.

    To assist me in playing quietly (and sensitively, and musically) I sometimes use Regal Tip Jazz ‘E’ sticks which get all of the drum sounds and give all of the feedback and feel. However I am largely using the result of hours of rudimental practise to accomplish my musical-making.

    Alternative mallets, Perspex screens, padded booths and electronic drums are all second-best alternatives to having a good command of your instrument.

    1. I agree that a great drummer must exemplify great control. But, in our situation, for the drummer to use real sticks, they would have to play super quiet all the time - no room for dynamics. These sticks give the drummer dynamic range without suffering from loudness. And, they still sound like real drums when mic'd.

  3. A high end electric kit is far superior to being behind a sheild all of the time. Plus you get the advantage of having a world of kit sounds and mallet instruments at your fingertips. Purchase the right pieces and you can even use brushes with a great sound.

    1. Nonsense. If your tech mics and mixes properly and your drummer tunes and plays properly, then there is no substitute for a real quality drum kit.

    2. Kyle, as a PA op and bass player I totally get where you're coming from, if you're based somewhere like Nashville (I've gigged there and have worship leader friends there). Now I'm back home in Europe after several years I'm now in a middle-sized city without much of a music culture and the two drummers we have in our medium sized church are somewhat agricultural. At this point an electronic kit looks like a sensible option as they're really getting considerably better than the past and frankly shut down a great many problems.

    3. We don't have them due to the expense but the Roland TD series is amazing for electric drums. My drummer and I went to demo some electric drums and the Roland is by far superior. We do plan to buy once the budget is in place.

  4. What's the lifespan of these sticks? Are they easily breakable? Do they seem like they will last a while?

    1. We have only been using these sticks a month, so not sure of the life span. They are not easily breakable and seem like they will hold up just fine.

  5. We are doing the same thing!! Since we travel every week we also ditched the drum set for a cajon with kick pedal (this acts as a bass drum and throne only), snare, crash and ride.

    It works wells, gives my drummer enough to work with but VERY easy to move around and VERY small foot print.

  6. I have used 3 solutions that allow me to be a drummer, and still not overpower the congregation or band. 1) I've always been able to play dynamically. I can use a thinner jazz type stick and hold back on the volume. Maybe stretch a handkerchief across my snare if necessary. 2) I often play my acoustic kit with sticks called Hot Rods, the pair I have are black plastic or nylon. The sound can be controlled by positioning of the rubber band that either tightens the rods up more solid, or spreads them like brushes. They come as either wood or plastic. 3) I disliked playing electronic drums with hard rubber pads. Didn't feel natural to me and hurt my wrists. But I love playing a set with mesh heads. They are available from Roland, and several other companies. The Drum Brains today sound fantastic, give you the option of having many kits at your fingertips, and can be combined with real cymbals if you'd like. There are electronic setups that trigger real sampled drum sounds from a laptop and are indistinguishable from a real kit, IMHO. For those who don't mind playing on a rubber pad and want a powerful and very compact kit you should look into a Drum-Kat. I had one. It had 10 zones on the main box with inputs for 12 more triggers. The whole thing fit inside a small case.

  7. We bought these and it made a huge difference. However, the tips keep coming out or breaking. One of our quieter drummers broke 2 tips already and had them come out during our opener yesterday. Any thoughts?

    1. Hey Jon - we have never had a problem with them breaking...maybe the drummer just needs to lighten up a bit? Also, here are some sticks that may be a little more durable for you guys. They don't bring down the volume as much as the Lidwish sticks, but they still help: http://amzn.to/2wMmnSu

  8. Hi All

    I was wondering if anyone have compared the Classic vs Version 2.0? Is there a major difference in volume?

    Thanks
    Marv

    1. Hey Marvin - I have not compared the two. Maybe someone else has?

  9. Thanks for the reply Kade, decided to order the Version 2.0. Will see what happens when they turn up...

    1. Thanks for the link, Teresa. Drumtee actually sounds pretty cool on the sound, but don't like the way the toms sound. Also, it definitely wouldn't work well as a solution for bringing cymbals down in a live setting. However, this would be an awesome solution for private practicing!

  10. I just got a pair of these to try out and whilst I'm still getting used to them, I can already tell these will do the trick to playing softer. For me, finding the dynamic range of these sticks takes some time as they are obviously not "proper" sticks but once you get the hang of them you can play dynamically, with control but at a lower volume.

    Thanks!

    Justin 🙂
    http://drumstickcentral.com/

  11. hello all
    I used the v1 and presently the v2
    I qiuckly got used to them and I tan several test in play and at different locations.
    yes u do use the kick beater as well but it wasn't free and it does feel perfectly normal to me maybe it's a revised beater .
    we're it fails !
    those who use alot of rim or do rim shots .
    there's is no sound like a well executed cross stick these don't even come close.

    and I have broken several of these v2 catching rim .

    2. coated heads on toms also tend to just sound like a tink !
    to the drummer but in the mic and recording sound OK.

    they are pricey given that you tend to hit harder not a bad thing but they can't handle catching rim hard or totally letting loose in fills and the moment .

    down side to constant use for a drummer .
    they are very light and actually a joy to play you can zoom threw fills and roles but then when you find yourself back to a normal stick you get tired pretty quickly lol.
    granted I do many small churches a week including small studios with full bands they love them so it's a rare occasion for me to use wood anymore but I had to last week in a big venue and man it was hard to keep up to what they normally expect from me .

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