Gear Reviews
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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Slapstik The Slapstik® is a new patented drumstick that every drummer will want to have in their stick bag. Like mallets and brushes, the Slapstik® not only enables drummers to create different feels and textures, but also completely new grooves.

The genius of the Slapstik is its flexible tip, which allows drummers to articulate on both the up and down strokes! It is simple to use, easy to master, and useful for all styles including Jazz, Drum n Bass, Funk, ect. While its main use is to play fast, syncopated, two handed hi-hat patterns with one hand, the Slapstik® can be played all over the drum kit. The Slapstik® is sold singly, not in pairs. It is intended to be used in the dominant hand, with a regular drumstick in the other hand. Slapstik®.

Slapstik® The new beat in music!

REVIEW4cups

When I first saw the Slapstik® a number of months ago, I contacted the company directly, asking them if they would send me one of their drumsticks to review on the Drummer Cafe. They were prompt in their reply and eager to hear what I thought of their product. I've taken several months to use and try out the Slapstik® for myself, and here's what I found.

The Slapstik® has a diameter close to that of a 5A drumstick and has held up to rigorous playing and experimentation on my part. I've used it on the entire drumset, drums and cymbals, as well as a variety of hand drums. Its design is such that you can play an instrument with the flexible plastic tip or with the rounded receiving end (see photo above). Perhaps a bit obvious, the drumstick can be flipped over, using the butt of the stick to strike the instrument.

As mentioned in the video demos (see below) it does take some practice to fully experience what this apparatus can do. If you think that you'll be able to just purchase the Slapstik® and immediately begin using it, think again. This isn't like purchasing a of pair multi-rods, which you can immediately begin using like a drumstick. Using the Slapstik is more like playing with brushes, which can be used like drumstick but take time to fully develop the technique needed to experience the full potential of the apparatus.

The first thing I tried with the Slapstik ... sixteenth-notes on the HiHats. To do this one needs to play eighth-note pulses in such a way that the tip of the Slapstik goes beyond/past the edge of the HiHat after each down-stroke, allowing the off-beat sixteenth-notes to be played on the pick up (lifting/raising the stick). The challenge I found is getting the up and down motion smooth enough to create even sixteenth-notes. If you are like me, and you have developed a technique where the stick immediately rebounds and returns to its resting position after a single stroke, you will need to devote some time controlling the up-swing. Slow, methodical practice is the only way to really develop the technique necessary to perform even sixteenth-notes. I had no problem playing triplet figures (within seconds of using the Slapstik) but for even strokes I had to spend some time learning to delay my up swing.

I've had a lot of fun, spending hours experimenting with the Slapstik®. To play horizontal surfaces on the drumkit, I came up with using a modified Traditional grip ... looking and feeling a lot like the grip one would use when playing a Bodhran with a tipper. This same grip worked well when I tried the Slapstik on the Tambourine and other handheld Frame drums. With this grip I was able to play even sixteenth-notes immediately, probably because I play Bodhran fairly regularly. One thing that I wasn't thrilled with was the scraping sound I got from the plastic tip of the Slapstik when using this grip on flat surfaces (eg. Frame drums). I came up with a solution by using what is known as a "caulk condom" (eg. Little Red Cap). This softened the attack and reduced the scraping sound to my liking.

I don't know that "every drummer will want to have in their stick bag", but certainly any drummer or percussionist who enjoys exploring and creating new sounds will want to check out the Slapstik®. Nice product; highly recommended.

Slapstik
For more information and additional video demonstrations, visit www.theslapstik.com.