Anyone who is interesting in innovative ways to create grooves and beats will be interested in a new product on the market called The Slapstik®. The Slapstik® is essentially a drumstick taken to the next level… with a completely original design for a drumstick tip.
The Slapstick® functions as any other drumstick would, but with the added benefit of a swivel tip that let’s you play 16th notes with ease on your hi-hat by enabling an “up” stroke in addition to the normal “down” stroke.
While it seems like a simple concept, it does require practice. It is not a typical movement that your hand would be accustom to playing. But, that said, once you practice it enough, I think it actually helps even out your stroke. I found putting a bit more arm movement helps in the beginning, then you gradually shift that technique to your wrist.
One thing I found really helpful here was the Slapstik® web site. It features drummer Yotam Rosenbaum taking you through the various techniques in mastering the Slapstik® groove. There is also a video of Paul Wertico taking you through some of the ways he is using the Slapstik®.
It’s a liberating experience to be able to play sambas and R&B grooves with ease, and letting your other limbs play around a bit more. Also, the fact that the Slapstik® tip also includes a ‘standard’ wooden tip, it let’s you use the Slapstik® as a normal stick as well. You can still move around the kit with this stick.
If you are someone who is always looking for new and exiting ways to play grooves, this may be the stick for you. What is great is you only need to buy one to try it out! While it does require some practice, I find it to be an excellent tool to keep next to your brushes, mallets, and blasticks.