A few weeks ago the people at Stickteck approached me to see if I had any interest in reviewing their DRUMMERZ Tablet Drumsticks. Since I’m up for almost anything, I said sure and a few days later I found a set of specially made capacitive drumsticks in my mailbox. Are the DRUMMERZ a worthy set of sticks or are they only good for the novelty factor? Let’s find out.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
First of all, I want to start out by saying that I’m not a drummer and I don’t play one on TV. I’ve never played the drums in my life and made sure that Stickteck knew this before sending me the sample.
The DRUMMERZ drumsticks are a little more than 9 inches long, and have a plastic core that is completely covered in a black conductive elastomer material that feels like rubber. Neon green lines decorate the sticks and give them a Tron-like appearance.
Also included with the sticks is a set of tips that are supposed to provide more sensitivity. In my testing, the sticks barely work without these tips, so I’m not sure why they are optional.
The StickTeck website suggests several drumming apps to use with the sticks. GarageBand was already installed on my iPad mini, and I added a couple others including Rhythm Pad and Pocket Drums. I didn’t care for Pocket Drums at all, so I spent most of the time in GarageBand and Rhythm Pad. After a couple sessions goofing around with the sticks, I quickly came to the conclusion that drumming is not my thing… not even a little bit. In other words, I suck at it. Bad. But I didn’t know if it was just me, or if the DRUMMERZ sticks played a role in my overall suckage.
So I went searching for a person with actual drum playing experience to try them. After asking all my co-workers who thought it was the oddest question that I’ve ever asked them, I finally tracked down someone who had many years of experience (I think he said 20) play drums. He even had a drum oriented tattoo on his arm that he showed me.
DJ’s first reaction when I pulled the sticks out of my bag was a smirk. I am sure he thought he was going to be trying out a set of standard sized drumsticks. The DRUMMERZ are only 9 inches long, where standard sticks are quite a bit longer (16-17 inches). I loaded up GarageBand on the iPad mini, handed him the sticks and prepared to be amazed. Although he was much better than me, no difficult task there, he wasn’t exactly amazing. It seemed like only every other beat was recognized by the app/iPad. We switched to the Rhythm Pad app and noticed a similar experience. After several minutes, DJ’s final comment was that the sticks would be fine for a kid to play with, but they weren’t up to par for a real musician.
I brought the sticks home and started writing the review. I respect DJ’s opinion since he has so many years of experience, but after another “session” trying them out, I think I’m getting a tiny bit better. I found a video with someone using them and the Rhythm Pad app and I spent about 30 minutes trying to copy their beat sequences. I wasn’t very successful, but I had fun trying.
In the end, I found that the DRUMMERZ sticks may not be pro quality drumsticks, which they don’t claim to be, but they are a lot of fun to play with and that’s what really matters. They are definitely cheaper and quieter than a full sized drum kit, so they would be perfect for anyone who wants to feel the beat without investing a lot of space and money.
Do you use your iPad or Android tablet to make REAL music? If so, what apps and accessories do you use?