Although every drummer is aware that they require brushes in their stick bag, few drummers genuinely enjoy using them. Whether you need them for quiet moments or just to have some interesting noises, they’re such a terrific tool for performing dynamically on the drums.
If you have never used a drum brush before, you could mistakenly believe that they are all the same, but this is untrue. In order to give a thorough understanding of what these drum brushes are, which drummers will find them most useful, and whose playing styles they can complement, we’ve examined the best drum brushes for a range of situations and drumming styles.
Drum brushes have a straightforward design, yet even the smallest nuances can significantly alter how they sound and the overall effect for the drummer. To achieve a feel and sound that you are comfortable with as a drummer, it is essential to consider the type of drum brush, whether or not it has a retractable handle, as well as its weight, dimensions, and the materials used to make the wires.
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Zildjian Professional Wire Brushes
- Zildjian's popular brush model
- A range of sound and color possibilities
- Extend or retract to change articulation
One of the best cymbal manufacturers in the world is Zildjian. Despite the fact that cymbals are their major product, they also sell drumsticks and brushes. The quality of these brushes is unquestionably on par with that of Zildjian’s cymbals, providing you a valuable item that will serve you well in a variety of ways.
These Zildjian regular wire brushes are hard yet smooth enough to perform on the drums with highly precise patterns and phrases. They have a fairly straightforward design. But they provide everything you could ever want in a pair of brushes. The rubber handle on these brushes feels wonderful in my hands. You can play the drums the same way you would with sticks because to its smoothness. When selecting brushes, keep in mind that the handle is superior to the wires in terms of quality.
In comparison to some other brushes I’ve used, the wires don’t bend as much. However, if you’re not careful, they might fall free. If you leave the brushes protruding, this occurs more frequently. Pulling them back in is usually preferable when there are brushes lying about. The price of these brushes in comparison to other ones is one drawback. Their build quality, however, reflects their price.
When you retract the wires, I also discovered that they make a very faint squeaking sound. Even though this is a very slight sound, it could come off as loud if you’re trying to change brushes while performing a slow ballad. Mics frequently take up items that aren’t intended for them. Overall, if you’re not seeking for a lot of stiffness, I believe these brushes are an excellent choice. The brushes are gentle because the wires are extremely flexible. This is the Best Drum Brush in 2023.
Vic Firth Jazz Brush Plastic Handle
- A great all-around brush
- Retractable wire brush with an infinitely adjustable brush spread, capable of maintaining any playing position
- Medium gauge wire provides excellent coverage and sound
Possibly the most well-known drum stick manufacturer is Vic Firth. They produce a huge number of superb sticks that are adored by drummers throughout. You can therefore be sure that they will also provide you with some excellent brushes. Since I’ve been using these WB Jazz Brushes for a while, I can attest that they are among the thickest brushes available. The cables are exceptionally heavy, making them an excellent choice for performing at a greater volume.
The recognisable white grip has come to be identified with the thick wires. With these wires, you can play common brush patterns at a considerably louder volume than you could with thinner brushes. These characteristics make these brushes an excellent tool for more demanding scenarios when the sweeping sound of the snare drum is still required. Additionally, the wires stretch farther than normal brushes, giving you a larger playing area. On cymbals, they’ll produce a louder sound and greater impact than regular brushes would.
The white handles on the brushes are gorgeous. When I’m playing gigs with poor lighting, it has always made finding them in my stick bag quite simple. The best illustration of this is my participation in pit bands for musicals. It can be challenging to locate specific sticks in a stick bag when the only light you have is on your music stand.
All things considered, they’re a terrific pair of brushes to have for noisy playing settings. These could be useful for rock drummers while performing ballads and other gentle music.
The best issue I’ve had with these brushes is that if you leave them out in the sun, the rubber stuff within the handles tends to melt. Over the years, I’ve gone through a few of these since the wires started to stick and were challenging to remove once the plastic melted. Make sure you store these safely in your drum stick bag and learn from my mistakes. This is the Best Drum Brushes in 2023.
Vic Firth Heritage Brush Rubber Handle
- Retractable wire brush
- Light gauge wires make for fast, effortless playing
- Great for jazz and alternative sounds
Vic Firth drum brushes are frequently chosen by those looking for the best drum brushes. This is a well-known drum brand that makes a tonne of different drum accessories, including brushes.
The fact that these brushes have a smooth rubber handle is one of their best features. This implies that they can be utilised for subtle and nuanced playing as well as detailed brushwork because they don’t produce a massive, loud boomy sound when they contact the drums. Since the brushes are retractable, you can adjust their spacing or their distance from the handle’s tip to produce a variety of sounds. These metal wires are of high quality and provide a distinctive sound.
The smooth rubber construction can be initially a little stiff. You should “break-in” your sticks. You’ll discover that they start to sound much more natural and high-quality after playing them a few times. Some individuals dislike the lightweight design they provide, however this is largely a question of taste. They work well for quick drum work. Vic Firth is a reputable name, so you know you’re receiving high quality, and there’s no question about the long-term viability of these drum brushes. If properly cared for, they can endure a very long period.
Vater Percussion Monster Brush
- Designed in collaboration with New York based Vater Artist La Free Olivia Sci
- Versatile specialty brush that can be adjusted to provide the subtlety and swish of a brush or a "stick like" feel for a fat backbeat without a ton of...
- Features a large but comfortable grip and wavy polymer strands for a unique sound and feel
After the conventional wire brushes, we have the Vater Monster brushes. One of the other major stick manufacturers that makes a tonne of high-quality sticks for various drummers is Vater. The poly strand rods in the Monster brushes produce a really melodious sound on the drums. They don’t look like typical brushes, as you can see. These are rather heavier and, in my opinion, fill the space between brushes and drumsticks. If you still want the imposing sounds of sticks but the cosier and more delicate tones of brushes, you must use these items.
Long wire drum brushes made by Vater are of very good quality, however they are probably better used as percussion brushes. For these specialised drum goods, Vater is a developing brand. Together with the New York-based artist “La Free Olivia Sci,” this brush was created.
The brush, which contains a series of wavy nylon wires to produce a swishing sound, may be adjusted. Without making the sound extremely loud, you can still produce a highly distinctive percussive sound. A hardwood stick is positioned beneath the grip, which is cosy and tape-wrapped. Despite looking large and thick, these sticks only weigh 4 oz.
The polymer strands defy industry convention, but that’s acceptable because it provides you a chance to play with your sound. They may not be the ideal jazz drum brushes for playing in a band, but they can be useful for percussion and trying out different recording techniques. Investing in them can help you create an intriguing new sound and spice up your drumming. Additionally, the fact that they can be adjusted means you can modify the sound according to your own preferences. Despite not being the most adaptable brush sticks for drums, they definitely merit a spot on our list.
ProMark PMBRM1 Medium Broomstick
- Hybrid of brushes and ProMark Rods
- Adjustable O-rings allow for control of bristle spread
- Made from actual broomcorn
The Vater Monster brushes and the Promark Broomsticks have the same design philosophy. However, because they are composed of broomcorn, their attack is far more ferocious. Their method of attack is in between traditional drumsticks and brushes. The sticks’ O-rings are identical, and you can change how tightly they are clamped together. The sticks seem tougher the tighter they are. The sticks feel looser the more lax they are. When using these sticks to play the drums, they feel quite natural. They’re an excellent tool for modestly reducing volume, but not as much as you could with conventional brushes.
They work well when played on cajons as well. Since cajons don’t allow for the use of sticks, many drummers dislike playing them. I formerly belonged to that group of drummers. However, I discovered that it’s really not so horrible after all the day someone advised I just use plastic or wooden brushes. For that, these Broomsticks are ideal.
Since they are made of wood, they will break in the same manner as regular drum sticks. They might therefore not last as long as wire brushes. However, they are not the most expensive items available, so if you occasionally get a new pair, you won’t incur a significant financial burden. Nevertheless, because the wooden reeds are so thin, they won’t splinter like hot rods will. The fact that these brushes feel so flexible surprised me greatly. You wouldn’t imagine that something made of wood could be so flexible.
Due to their flexibility, the drums’ reaction is incredibly organic because no sound is muffled when you play a note. Overall, if you want something that feels and sounds more substantial than the Vater Monster brushes, I’d advise purchasing these.