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Drumstick material and rebound characteristicsFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This experiment was conducted to investigate whether the material used to make a drumstick affects its rebound height. Drumsticks of four different makes were used: the drumsticks were made from titanium, aluminum, hickory or oak.

Hypothesis

The drumsticks that are made from oak and hickory will produce higher rebounds as compared to those that are made from titanium and aluminium.

Scientific Terms

Shaft, durability, response, flexibility

Background

The rebound behaviour of a drumstick is influenced by the type of wood that is used to make it. It is also determined by its length, thickness, tip shape, taper and shoulder location. A drumstick that gives good rebounds have the correct balance, a proper response, and give the drummer a ‘right feel’.

The shaft thickness of a drumstick affects both its height and weight. Thicker and heavier drumsticks are more durable and produce deeper sounds. Thinner and lighter sticks are easier to use and suitable for fast play. Drummers should choice their drumsticks according to the type of music they wish to play.

A longer tapered stick provides faster response and flexibility while a shorter tapered stick is stronger and stiffer. The shape of the tip is important for the type of sound produced. The length of the stick influences the type of ‘feel’ and ‘reach’ the drummer has.
The material the drumstick is made from determines its response and durability.

Commonly, drumsticks are made from maple, oak and hickory. They can also be made from fiber and metal.
 

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Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
40
Time required:
Preparation should take 1 day, and the experiment itself will take 1 day.
Material availability:
The materials required for this experiment can be easily obtained at a music school
Safety concerns:

None