For every piece of music it is a choice again which instrument with which sticks will give the most desired sound. The right stick is just as important as the instrument it is played on. Some sticks can be made easily and with all kinds of materials.
* First some general stick making tips; *
For the handle part of an average drumstick, one could use old curtian rails, furniture legs, spokes from a bike wheel, knitting pins or a straight piece of willow- or beech twig. They are usually around 35-40 cm long and about 1,5-2 cm in diameter. Of course the final choice depends on the instrument. When using wood, make sure you polish the ends enough and varnish them with some celluloid lacquer.
* How to make Timpani Sticks with felt tips you can find out at Marc Zoutendijk's Homepagen
* Making Bodhran Beaters is explained by Brent Santinn
* Balafon or Steeldrum Sticks can easily be made by wrapping an inner tube of a bicycle around the end of a stick. The inner tube wrap has a similar effect to the cork that Marc Zoutendijk advises for timpani sticks, though louder sounding.oul
* Mallets for Xylophone and Woodblock can be made by glueing a wooden bead on the tip of a stick.
* Split Sticks are great for jazz and animal-hide drums like djembe and conga, because they are very soft. You need to find a Japanese style placemat or window blinds of app. 40 cm in width, made of the narrow rods used for the sticks. They shouldn't cost you more than $ 5,- and should supply for several pairs of sticks. All you need then is some good tape and woodglue. Take 18 of the thin rods, bundle them together, helping it stay with a bit of woodglue. Then, on the handle side, wrap the tape around it, three bands should suffice. Now your stick is ready to use! If you'd like to make them nicer or more comfortable to use, you can put 'shrink wrap' plastic around the handle...
* My friend Sambamobil showed me how to make great Tamborim Sticks. Read the explanation above, but replace the wooden rods for about 5 plastic rods. However, you will need shrink wrap plastic or tape at least as strong as gaffa tape for these sticks. Sambamobil uses bicyclehandles... Being dutch, this inspires me greatly!