HOW IS A WAND DONE?
The materials: Most of the chopsticks on the market are made of American walnut ( Hickory ), which guarantees the right density, and hardness that a wand needs, while other woods such as maple, beech, birch, and ebony they are used in a lower percentage. The oak wood is the densest, and the sticks made with this wood are more resistant but have the defect of transmitting more vibrations. Currently, on the market, there are also sticks made with other materials, such as carbon fiber which, however, has caused numerous cases of tendon problems, unable, unlike wood, to absorb the micro-vibrations produced by the stroke and thus transferring them entirely to the wrist joints. In the past, acrylic rods have often been used to achieve special scenic effects, such as fluorescence or transparency.
“If you use carbon fiber, watch out for injuries”
The real difference in sound produced by one stick compared to another is the tip. The tips can be wood or plastic. The wooden ones produce darker sounds on the skins but also on the plates where their impact is somewhat softer than those in plastic, whose impact on the dishes is more crystalline and defined.
The tips also differ in their shape, which can be olive, spherical or triangular. With the triangular tip, you have the advantage of being able to choose the tone while playing. Striking in a flat manner the sound emitted will be clearer and brighter, while by tilting it and thus increasing the contact surface with the skin or plate, the sound will be warmer and more powerful.
§ A round-shaped tip guarantees uniformity of sound even varying the way of striking and is in fact mainly used by those who need to standardize the stamps as much as possible.
The oval or olive tip has characteristics similar to the triangular one, but having less pronounced angles, the transition between the various timbres is more gradual and manageable. Usually, the surface is struck with the rod as parallel as possible to obtain a full and powerful sound.
It is the least important characteristic of all since today all the most famous brands manufacture sticks of remarkable quality and with a wide range of choices. There may be differences between the same sizes and different brands, but if you try them and play a little, you immediately realize which ones are the most suitable for our style.