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How to Pick Brushes for Drumming

Learn how to pick brushes from drum teacher Jason Gianni in this Howcast drum video.


Now I want to talk about a different type of stick you may use on a drum set, you may experience while playing drums, and they're called brushes.

This here is called the retractable brush, and what a retractable brush is is a little hook on the end of the brush, if you pull on that hook, the brushes disappear into the rubber handle, as you push back on to it, the brushes come back out. There're also different levels that the brush itself can be fanned at, if you pull it down a little bit, it comes into the rubber handle, looks more like that, and if you push it out, it will fan out more.

The bristles themselves are pretty flimsy, depending on the brush that you want to buy, there are brushes that have a little bit more tense bristles that might create more sounds on the snare drums, whereas these bristles are a little bit flimsier, and they're going to create more of a whisper sound on the snare drum. Alternatives to retractable brushes are brushes that don't have the hook on the back, and the bristles stay out.

Sometimes also you may have a wood shaft rather than a rubber shaft. One final point is you may come across brushes that have different bristles besides metal, you may find plastic, you might find little wooden dowels called wrap sticks, or they call them rods or hot rods, and they usually are used for different styles of music, whereas the standard brushes are more for the jazz style, the other ones are going to have more of a contact sound, or fuller sound, for other styles of music.

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