This article previously appeared on Harmony Central - your information source for making better music.
by Dendy Jarrett
Stick Bags — they can become a part of a drummer's identity. I have drummer friends who have had the same old worn out leather stick bag since college, and they are mostly in their 50's now!
Some drummers get steeped in their groove and never really change, but others are always looking for something that will improve their ability to play better or make their performing a less-complicated task. I fall into both categories! There is some gear that I just cannot let go and other pieces of gear that I am always looking to improve. Enter the Stick Flip.
A STAND UP IDEA
It is said that "necessity is the mother of invention." I suppose that it must be true because I'm one of those drummers who is a tinkerer. I always am looking for an innovative way to better my set up, sound, and playing. Whoever came up with the Stick Flip for Sabian must be of the same ilk!
When the package arrived from Sabian, it was oddly flat. It was literally about the thickness of an iPad — flat! My initial reaction was, "Hey, something must be missing here!"
The packaging is minimal but totally adequate with an enclosed instruction card that visually explains how to use the bag.
HOW DOES IT WORK
The typical drummer uses a stick bag that is akin to a European "man bag." Upon setting up, we will hook the bag to the floor tom leg tension rods. This never really has worked well for me because of either having the bag over-stuffed (my fault) or because of the handle causing the bag to not lie flat or stable (poor manufacturers' design).
While the Stick Flip arrived flat, a quick flip of the bag yielded a clever stick bag that sits on the floor either by the floor tom or anywhere you like, for that matter.
When you flip the bag it open, there are magnets inside the top that, once opened, form a rigid back that holds the bag open with all your sticks present like soldiers at the ready.
WHAT'S IT LIKE
The outside of the bag is made of a ballistic nylon material. It is a basic black, and the inside of the bag (when opened and standing) has a striking red back and a grey interior with a white stripe where the sticks are held (which helps you see the area where the sticks insert when the lights are dim). The bag has a great heavy-duty zipper that closes it, and the interior has two mesh zippered pockets for storing things like drum keys, ear plugs, or even your smart phone or click device.
Additionally, it has a shoulder strap tucked away on the inside in case you wish to use it. It also has substantial, but non-obtrusive handles for carrying. The outside, when closed, has a round Sabian logo stitched on it, and the red side that faces away from you when it is open has the Sabian Crest stitched on it. The bag is really very high quality.
I love this bag. I found having the sticks in the standing position made them so much more accessible. The "platform" is stable and helps make it a quick grab when you need a stick. If there were one wish, it would be that it held more sticks. I found that I was able to get about 12 sticks per side; but, if I wanted to add mallets, rods or brushes, it reduces the overall number of items it will carry. (Maybe Sabian will come out with a larger version for percussionist! — hey Sabian!) That said, I would probably carry a much larger bag for hauling the vast array of items I may or may not use and carry the necessary crucial sticks for a specific gig in this bag. A huge benefit: not having a stick bag hanging from my floor tom really opened up the tone of the drum. The bottom line is that the simplistic ease of use and the fact that it stands like a quiver at the ready makes this my new favorite stick bag.
Get the Stick Flip and I think you too will flip over it!
Web: See The Stick Flip At Sabian.com
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines
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