Vic Firth Products When Vic Firth suggested that that
Steve design a signature stick, he resisted the
idea for a few months. He was extremely happy
with the Vic Firth 5A model and couldn't
conceive of improving it. When Vic wouldn't take
no for an answer, Steve started to seriously
think about a personal signature stick and
decided that he wanted a stick based on the 5A,
but with a new tip.
Steve always liked
the Elvin Jones and Jack DeJohnette sticks that
he bought from the NYC Professional Drum Shop in
the 1970s - with elongated tips. Vic made Steve
a few different sticks with the elongated tip
and he discovered immediately that he liked the
balance better than the 5A.
5A felt heavy in the back and light in the
front, and his new Steve Smith Signature model
felt well balanced and just right. Steve and Vic
Firth tried Maple and Hickory and Steve felt
that Hickory had the best overall feel.
Steve has been very happy with the stick ever
since. Even with Steve's technical developments,
the Steve Smith Signature stick still feels
Steve also uses his Vic firth Tala
Wands, which come in both Birch and Bamboo.
In 2001, when Steve started playing with
drummers from India, he needed to blend his
sounds with the very low volume of the Indian
drums. He tried some "bundle" products that were
on the market, but none of them felt good to
By adding a "foam core" to
the center of the stick, the feel and rebound
improved immensely. He also adjusted the
wrapping higher up toward the middle of the
stick so it accommodated the balance point where
Steve holds the stick.
When Steve wants
to play light and fast, he uses the yellow Birch
12 model. When he wants to groove at a low
volume, he uses the purple Bamboo 11 model.
Your Price: $8.95 (plus
Vic Firth SPECIAL Steve
Smith Signature Drumsticks with the Sonor 30th
Features an elongated tip with a long
shoulder and short taper. It provides the feel
of a 5A with the beef of a 5B. L = 16",
Your Price: $19.95 (plus
Firth Tala Wands (bamboo)
The Steve Smith Tala Wands were conceived when
Steve began playing with drummers from India and
needed a way to blend with their sounds and be
sensitive to lower volume levels. Other bundles
worked as far as volume was concerned but they
lacked the rebound he preferred. As a result,
Steve helped develop two unique and tremendous
tools now among the Vic Firth line of Rute and
The bamboo Tala Wand, with the
purple handle, has a foam center surrounded with
11 bamboo dowels that are wrapped in thin PVC.
The wands have great balance while naturally
producing a lower volume with great rebound. The
purple TW11 feels slightly smaller than the
yellow TW12, yet the TW11 tends to have a little
more weight because bamboo is heavier than
birch. The bamboo is extremely durable. Steve
uses this Tala Wand more for lower volume groove
playing. 15-15/16" long, .585" diameter.
Your Price: $19.95 (plus
Firth Tala Wands (birch)
The birch Tala Wand, with the yellow handle, has
a foam center surrounded with 12 birch dowels
that are wrapped in thin PVC. This stick has
outstanding rebound and sound. While the shaft
of the yellow TW12 is thicker than the purple
TW11, the weight of the 12 birch dowels on the
TW12 actually has a lighter feel and helps
create a lower volume than the bamboo Tala Wand.
The 12 dowels have a very nice feel in your
hands and the sound on the drums and cymbals has
a lot of clarity and definition. Steve uses the
TW12 for light and very detailed, fast playing.
16" long, .625" diameter.
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