The 5 Best Marching Snare Sticks Reviews

19-365-tools-IIEvery drummer knows that there’s no place in the world for flimsy drumsticks. But the need for tough drumsticks is especially true for marching percussionists. If you’re in a marching band, you’re not playing in comfort indoors. You’re outdoors, under the harsh sun, pouring rain, and falling snow. For that reason alone you need to get the best marching snare sticks you can find.

Since you’re outdoors, you will need to use the sticks quite forcefully, since your audience is so far away from you. In addition, marching bands tend to practice a lot to perfect their routines and movements, so your snare sticks will go through a lot of wear and tear. If you go with flimsy drumsticks, they won’t last long.

Top 5 Marching Snare Sticks: Comparison Chart

Length and Diameter
View On Amazon
16⅞”, .720″
6.4 ounces
16¾” , .690″
3.2 ounces
17″, .697″
5.6 ounces
16¼”, .685″
7.2 ounces
16″, .595″
4.8 ounces


Best Picks of Marching Snare Sticks

#1: Promark Hickory TXDC50W Wood Tip Marching DrumstickS

Promark marching sticks have been around for the last 50 years, and they’re drum sticks have been used by such famous drummers as Ringo Starr and Phil Collins. It’s safe to say that they know what they’re doing.

This uses hickory, and it has a hefty bit of it too. It’s nicely thick at 0.72 inches, since it’s been designed primarily to provide drummers with the utmost control over their drumsticks. It’s also comfortably long at 16⅞ inches. It even offers a nice beefy feel when you hold it due to the reversed butt end taper.

Promark Hickory TXDC50W Wood Tip Marching DrumstickS
  • Hickory is the most popular wood choice for drumsticks due to its resilience, responsiveness, durability, and classic feel
  • Diameter: .720" Length: 16 7/8"
  • Large round wood tip provides a dark yet articulate sound on marching snare drums
  • Reversed butt end taper for a beefy feel in your hand
  • All Promark drumsticks are designed and manufactured in the USA

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yet for many, its main selling point is the sound it produces. It offers a dark sound on your snare drums, but they aren’t muffled. The articulation is quite sharp, and the sound sure is loud. For outdoor performances, they’re great. No wonder the Blue Devils use these sticks. These work as concert snare sticks too.

Highlighted Features
  • It offers a large diameter without being too heavy.
  • The sound is loud, dark, and also articulate.
  • It feels quite comfortable in your hand.
  • You get a lot of control over your sticks as it is nicely balanced.
  • It’s US-made.

#2: Innovative Percussion ASMM Mike McIntosh Indoor Hickory Marching Snare Drum Sticks

Innovative Percussion maybe a newcomer in the industry, but then they collaborated with Mike McIntosh to produce this model. Mike McIntosh is the Caption Head of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, and he’s also the percussion coordinator for the multi-awarded Carmel High School band.

This is set to be the first of the brand’s drum sticks for indoor marching percussion. Yet the way it performs makes it entirely suitable for outdoor play. The extra snap to the sticks will always have fans among outdoor snare drummers. Also, the toughness of the hickory can stand up well to an outdoor environment.

Innovative Percussion Mike McIntosh Marching Snare Drum, inch (ASMM)
  • Brand: Innovative Percussion
  • Product Code: ASMM
  • Made in the USA
  • Hickory

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is made from heartwood hickory, which has been chosen for its responsiveness as well as for its proven durability. Its 16¾-inch length and 0.96-inch thickness matches the dimensions you’d expect from an outdoor marching snare drumstick. But it also offers greater articulation due to the smaller round bead it uses.

You also get a terrific response and a fast rebound from the sticks because of the short taper and the smaller neck. It’s extremely lightweight, so they’re among the best marching snare sticks for beginners.

Highlighted Features
  • The shape makes it very comfortable to hold, and certainly easy to control.
  • It also helps that it’s quite lightweight for control, and it also won’t tire you out quickly.
  • The added snap is a delight, and its articulation is excellent.
  • The price is also nice, so you can buy several all at once without messing up your budget.

#3: Vic Firth Corpsmaster Signature Snare – Tom Aungst

There’s no doubt that plenty of people over the years have owned Vic Firth marching snare sticks. The brands founder Vic Firth was born in 1930 and he was the youngest ever member of the Boston Symphony. He started to design sticks for his own use, which proved popular and retailers clamored to sell them. He then started his own company and produced 12 million sticks a year by 2012.

Vic Firth Corpsmaster Signature Snare -- Tom Aungst
  • Model STA
  • Length: 17"
  • Diameter: 0. 697"
  • A long, "reverse tear drop" tip and moderately long taper.
  • Rebounds with ease and creates a bold sound.
  • Vic Firth STA Tom Aungst Marching Snare Drumsticks feature a long, reverse tear drop tip and moderately long taper.
  • Length: 17", Diameter: .697"

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You may find some of his sticks among the best marching snare sticks for rock. His sticks have been used by Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones, Roger Taylor of Queen, Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden, and Charlie Benante of Anthrax.

This is a 17-inch stick, with a diameter of 0.697 inches. The weight is ideal for numerous people, at just 5.6 ounces. It has a moderately long taper and a long reverse tear drop tip. These attributes provide you with the dramatic sound while it rebounds easily when you use it. You get better control, and it’s great for rim shots and rolls.

Surprisingly, its price is quite accommodating, as it costs only about half of what it would normally cost you to get other Vic Firth sticks. But it’s still durable, though you may want to tape the sticks so you don’t have them slip from your hands.

Highlighted Features
  • It rebounds easily.
  • The balance is outstanding.
  • The sound is terrific.
  • It’s very responsive.
  • You get a lot of value for your money.

#4: Vic Firth Corpsmaster Snare — 16 1/4 StaPac

This is the MS4, and unlike the other drumsticks on this list it’s not made of hickory. In fact, it’s not even made of any kind of wood. It’s made of composite material.

That’s why it’s quite at 7.2 ounces. It’s not even that long at 16¼ inches. It has a medium taper, and its diameter is 0.685 inches. Its wood tip features a unique “Taj Mahal” shape.

Vic Firth Corpsmaster Snare -- 16 1/4 StaPac
  • In stapes for maximum strength and density. Plays “through” Kevlar heads for maximum snare and batter head response
  • The Package Height of the Product is 10 inches
  • The Package Length of the Product is 17 inches
  • The Package Width of the Product is 11 inches

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Plenty of people use this as their practice sticks, because the weight can help you train to be stronger. So you may want to find the best practice pad for marching snare sticks to help you practice. Use these heavy sticks for practice and you’ll find that when you switch to your regular sticks you can play much faster.

It’s also great for frequent practice because the composite material is extremely durable. It’s quite common for drummers to realize that they only need a single pair of drum sticks for an entire playing season.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using this for real performances. They’re nicely balanced and their weight sure does give your sound a bigger oomph.

Highlighted Features
  • It’s quite heavy so you’re faster when you use lighter sticks.
  • It’s also extremely durable, so they work well for daily practices.
  • The weight gives you a nice punchy sound.
  • Its balance lets you control it easily.

#5: Promark F5BFG FireGrain Forward 5B Drumsticks, Acorn Tip

We’re back to hickory sticks, but something’s different here. That’s because this uses “FireGrain” technology. It’s an innovative heat-tempering process that changes your regular hickory sticks with something that’s even more durable and also easier to control.

Your control is also improved by the relatively short 16-inch length. This is the Forward Balance model, which means it also has a shorter 2¼-inch taper to maximize your speed and power.  With its light weight at merely 4.8 ounces, you will get excellent control without worrying too much about fatigue.

Promark Forward 5B FireGrain (F5BFG)
  • Hickory is the most popular wood choice for drumsticks due to its resilience, responsiveness, durability, and classic feel
  • Length: 16"
  • Diameter: .595" (5B)
  • FireGrain - a revolutionary heat-tempering process that transforms ordinary hickory drumsticks into precision tolls with unprecedented durability.
  • The reinvented Acorn tip provides a larger sweet-spot to increase responsiveness and articulation.

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It’s already naturally able to produce sharp articulations, so its new-style acorn tips bring balance to the tone by offering a darker texture. The acorn tips have larger sweet spots to boost articulation and responsiveness.

Highlighted Features
  • It’s extremely durable.
  • You’ll be amazed at how lightweight it is.
  • You can play it faster.
  • It’s very easy to control.
  • The sound is a nice mix of a dark tone with sharp articulation.
  • You’ll get a lot of volume.

Why Do You Need Marching Snare Sticks?

You need to find yourself the top marching snare sticks you can get, because otherwise you’re not going to perform as well and as comfortably as you should. You can’t just use ordinary drum sticks because they’re not as durable as they ought to be. In a marching band, you’re pounding as hard as you, you practice for long hours, and you may even have to play outdoors in inclement weather.

You also need to project your sound, since your listeners aren’t by your side. At the same time, you need a good level of control for your drumsticks, so you can play well enough with the other band members. With the complex rhythms you may have to play, a set of drumsticks have to be comfy in your hands.

How to Choose Marching Snare Sticks

If you’re in a marching band, you probably have a band director who may suggest what kind of drumsticks you should get. Your other band members may also recommend a certain brand and model. They may recommend what they use, if only to make sure that the percussionists are all on the same page.

If you’re allowed to pick your own marching bands, then you should limit your choices to well-regarded brands such as Promark and Vic Firth Company. You can also try new brands, though they should work with well-known band captains and percussion coordinators.

You can check the price as well as the durability. Most of the time, these drumsticks are made of hickory, as this is a proven wood for drumsticks in terms of sound and durability. But you may want to try sticks made from composite materials, though they may not have an extensive history and they may be more expensive besides.

For the most part, you pick the drumsticks for how they sound and how comfortably you can use and control it. That’s a set of preferences and needs that won’t be the same for everyone.

Things to Consider before Buying Marching Snare Sticks

Aside from the material (hickory or composite), there are several factors you need to consider.

  • Shape of the tip: Each tip style has a different sound and feel.
    • Acorn. Its tone is dark, rich, and full, though the articulations aren’t as pronounced.
    • Teardrop. It offers a warm tone that’s not as dark as with the acorn tip and you get more focus on the low end.
    • Oval. This is the most balanced of the tip styles.
    • Ball or round. The articulation is quite crisp, and the tone is clean and bright.
    • Barrel. This provides your articulations with the most punch, and it’s certainly the loudest.
  • Taper: This describes how much the thickness changes from the tip to the shoulder, as well as how quickly that thickness changes. The taper will affect the balance and feel of the drumsticks.
    • Long. You’ll get a faster response and more flex with a long taper. This is easiest to control.
    • Medium. This is louder than the long taper, and provides more control than the short taper.
    • Short. It’s the loudest and most durable, but it’s not as easy to control.
  • Thickness: This will affect both the sound and feel.
    • Thinner. The sound is brighter and you can play faster. But the sticks may break more easily.
    • Thicker. They play louder and they’re more durable. However, the articulation isn’t as sharp and you may be a bit slower.
  • Length: This mainly affects the feel of the sticks.
    • Longer. The longer the stick, the more it feels end-loaded like a hammer. You get more leverage and dynamic power.
    • Shorter. It’s not as powerful, but then you do get more control.

Final Verdict

All the hickory sticks here are excellent, so the best way to pick among them is to try them out. You can then pick the set that gives you the sound you like while it offers you a comfortable feel.

However, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, you should really buy yourself a pair of Vic Firth Corpsmaster Snare MS4 sticks. Even if you’re just using them for practice, they’re simply excellent. Use this every day and you’ll find yourself a better drummer when you switch to your regular sticks.

Or you can just use them for your performance as well. With its weight, you can sure add a punchy sound for your audience to enjoy. As they’re not bad for performances and absolutely perfect for daily practice, they’re among the best marching snare sticks around.

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