As a drummer, I can tell you that not all drumsticks are made the same and finding the right pair that feel good in your hands and sound good can sometimes be a very hard thing. There are so many sizes and weights and tips to choose from that it is sometimes very confusing. Switching from playing Rock & Roll to Jazz was not only a big switch in styles for me but also a big switch in the drum sticks i used. It was trial and error for a while until i found the right ones and I often wished that there was a company that specialized in sticks for jazz drummers.
Enter Bopworks. Bopworks has made it easy for the Jazz Drummer to select just the right pair of sticks. Before I tell you more about Bopworks, let me first say that it is refreshing to hear of more music related businesses starting up in Austin, Texas. I love a good success story and we need to make sure that we all continue to help and support these musical business entrepreneurs.
Chris Bennett has been playing drums professionally since 1968. His first musical experiences were in rock, but by the mid 70's had expanded to blues, r &b (soul) and finally, jazz. Gigs during the late 70's took him throughout the East coast, and in 1982, he relocated to Austin. He has continued to broaden his playing style, playing musicals, TV and radio, recording studios and of course, live. Noted teachers have included Dominic Moio, Stanley Spector, Ed Soph , Jim Chapin, Mike Clarke, and Johnny Vidacovich. Teaching began while working in a music store in the mid 80's. By the mid 90's there were enough students that Chris could work part time, while teaching and performing the rest of the time. He began teaching full time in1998. In 1993, he received an "Outstanding Jazz Musician" award while playing at the Southwest Texas Jazz Festival with the ACC Big Band.
In late 2005. he started his Jazz drumstick company aptly titled "Bopworks". (www.bopworks.net).
To Quote Chris, " We introduced the "Birdland Model" and the response was, to say the least… surprising. Word got out, and encouraged, we eventually added more models. With the number of great “classic” ride cymbals being produced, it made sense that demand was there for a stick that has the response and feel of the original Jazz models from the 1950's and 60's."
The models from Bopworks are essentially recreations of the 1950’s/60’s Jazz drumsticks. Research on tip length and shoulder tapers using the actual sticks enables Bopworks to produce sticks that have a unique “old school” feel and sound. Some Jazz sticks can be too weighted in the front and “overdrive” a ride cymbal in quiet playing situations. Drummers often have to deal with “live” rooms that are acoustic nightmares: un-miked pianos & acoustic basses in restaurants, hotel lobbies, etc. You can now play “off” your ride at fast tempos because there is simply less weight up front,and unlike older style sticks, Bopworks sticks are pitch paired and matched for weight.
From the Birdland Model to the Art Blakely model to the 40's swing classic, you will feel and hear the difference when you have a pair of these in your hands. I encourage you to go and pick out a pair and see for yourself how a real jazz drumstick should feel and sound. You won't want to go back to your old sticks. In Austin, you can buy them at Strait Music, Tommy's Drum Shop, Music Lab, and Jeff Ryder Drum Shop.