“Convenience” is a big word in my book. Especially when it comes to drumming. Drums are the only instrument that requires all four of your limbs so what do you do when you need to play that fifth piece of percussion? What fifth instrument comes to mind? Chances are the shaker is at the top of your list. How many times have you had to play that tight Brazilian groove with one stick while trying to manage the accompaniment with a shaker? It sucks doesn’t it? You never quite get that smooth transition between stick and shaker, or that perfect balance in dynamics. Most of the time you fake it and then move on to the next song part. The folks at Shakerstix™ recognize this problem and have come up with a great solution. Why not combine the drumstick and the shaker to create a single instrument. The idea is so simple and they have executed it perfectly. I had the pleasure of trying out the entire Shakerstix™ line and I was extremely impressed.
The SSRT1 was the first style that was designed by the company and is their flagship stick. It is similar to a 5A and the shaker is located a few inches up the 16” stick from the tip. Contrary to what you would think the stick isn’t too top heavy. The drummer can still use the tip or strike with the shaker itself. I found the response and rebound to be good regardless if you were hitting a drumhead or a cymbal.
The SSDR1 is a rod style stick that I found very interesting. The shaker sits in the same location as the SSRT1 and adds strength to the tightly wrapped rod. I found that you can strike hard with the rod or use a lighter technique and still get the benefit of the shaker. This would be perfect for a gig that requires low volume. The rods look very durable and should last a long time.
The SSMT1 has a felt mallet on the back end and a shaker in the same location as it is on the SSRT1. This makes the SSMT1 a three-in-one stick as a standard 5A, shaker, and mallet. The felt mallet on the end is hard. The rest of the stick has the same balance and response as the SSRT1. With one of these in your bag you’ll be ready for a variety of playing conditions.
The SSBE1 has its shaker on the butt end of the stick making it similar to a maraca. The drummer that uses this would likely hit with both ends based upon the playing situation. It is probably the most evenly balanced of all of the sticks and would probably take the most beating. I tried it using both ends on drums and cymbals and the response was loud. These sticks would also be great if the situation called for maracas. I wouldn’t see a drummer using these all the time but they are a great option to replace faking it with a shaker. If the song called for maracas I would definitely use these.
According to Robbie Destocki, President & Creative Director of Shakerstix™: “There is no other stick on the market like ours that adds that smooth, rhythmic shaker sound without sacrificing creativity. We’ve given drummers the freedom to play as they would with traditional drumsticks while adding that shaker sound all in one stick! No more taping egg-shakers to your sticks or playing with an egg shaker in one hand and a drumstick in the other, those days are over.”