• Chris

London Drumstick Strength Test

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

This past Labor Day Weekend is always jam packed with live shows for me and The Boston Naturals. Having 4 shows in one weekend gave me the idea to test a single pair of London Drumstick Company's sticks. I've been playing their sticks* for a while and already knew they were the strongest and longest lasting on the market. But I really wanted to show just how strong they are**. The test parameters were simple: play the same pair of sticks for all 4 shows or until one or both of them break. Would they last? Each show is typically 2.5 hours so that totals about 10 hours of abuse this pair of sticks would have to endure. *I'm a London Drumsticks Company endorsed artist but I do not make money for writing this article or from any customer purchases. I simply have believed in their product for a long time, even before becoming an endorsed artist. **The batch of LDC sticks tested were made by the US based LDC stick maker Jeff Rich who source local hickory and has a proprietary strengthening process.

Here's what happened...

Gig #1

The chosen pair

I marked the test pair of sticks to ensure they were the pair to be used for each show. I added some bright pink tape and a couple of happy faces on the butt ends.

The chosen pair marked and ready for testing.

Friday night and we played The Woodshed (Brewster, MA). The sticks held up extremely well. We played 3 sets. We started playing at 9:15pm and stopped at 12:45. That's 3 hours (minus a couple of 15 minute breaks).

The tips are almost flawless after show #1

Overall very little wear and tear. The barrels are fine. Some signs of cymbal hits but that's pretty normal.

Gig #1 results: Overwhelming success! The sticks are in excellent shape. Hell, I've seen sticks in worse condition on the shelves of Guitar Center!

Gig #2

The Wellfleet Beachcomber, Cape Cod, MA. One of my favorite venues. They treat us like kings and the Wellfleet oysters are the best in the world. The crowds are also amazing at The beachcomber. The beach ain't too shabby either. We played 3 sets again from 10:15pm to 12:45am. Here's how the same pair of sticks held up:

Obvious wear around the mid-point of each stick from rin shots on a single flange hoop.

The sticks are still solid. I play a snare drum with single flange hoops which are not forgiving as seen in this image. A lesser stick would begin to split length-wise or in the very least, break clean in the middle. Not these sticks. They are taking the abuse and still smiling. Gig #3

Our 3rd show at The Beachcomber where we played 2 sets for a total of 2.5 hours of playing. The sticks held up again. No issues whatsoever! Even the tips were still intact!

A close look at the tips which are still intact after 3 gigs (just under 8 hours of playing)!

Our 4th gig was another 2.5 hour set that actually went even longer due to requests to play "one more song". Again, the sticks held up with no splitting at their tips. Although rim shots on the single flange snare drum took their toll however. The sticks did wear away near the center point a couple of inches above my grip but this was expected. The amazing thing is, neither stick broke. The impact of hitting the rim merely broke the wood down little by little over the course of 10 hours of playing. Never once did I feel that either stick was about to break.

The final result. After 10+ hours of solid playing, this pair of LDC sticks exceeded all expectations. Both tips are fully intact. The mid-section of both sticks are noticeably worn but not broken.

I know what you're thinking; "Sure, any pair of sticks will hold up under light jazz or polka music!" True but I'm not playing jazz, or polka or even soft rock. I'm not playing heavy metal or thrash music either. I'm somewhere in between. So here's actual footage from a couple of the shows these sticks were tested to give you an idea of how I play and how hard I was hitting.

The verdict:I have played many types of drumsticks over the course of my playing career and many companies make high quality sticks. Bottom line is, they all wear down and eventually break no matter what. I have played brand new sticks that break within a single song. Some split their tips while other crack length wise down the middle. Some have even broke clean in half. Drumsticks are made of wood and each stick has its own unique grain and moisture content. This test was not an exact comparison between LDC and other companies. It was simply to show you just how durable LDC drumsticks can be. For more information please visit The London Drumstick Company.

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