When developing skills and sounds, most drummers concentrate on their choice of drums, heads, and cymbals. However, some other important factors, like sticks and beaters, are often ignored. Mo Drumsticks, who’ve been making unique products since 2010, recently developed a magnetic bass drum beater system that’s easy to install and that represents a new, valid option for developing bass drum skills.
Concept and Build
Mo’s magnetic beater system comprises two parts: a stick-on kick pad that incorporates a thin magnet, and a beater with an internal magnet. When properly installed, the magnets are oriented so the polarities match and repel each other at proximity. We received a set of two beaters and kick pads for review. We also received a set of additional impact pads that could be added to the drumhead for increased resistance. The kick pads installed just as easily as any other commercially available patch or drumhead protector. They use a similar type of adhesive as other pads, so they install best if the head is clean and free of debris. The beaters are one-sided and made of round felt. I was concerned that the magnet would add an excessive amount of weight to the beater head, but it didn’t.
I was surprised at how well the magnets functioned in the Mo system. They’re very strong. The resistance from the kick pad is quite strong, even without using the additional impact pads. I needed to reduce the spring tension on my pedals to find a comfortable balance. The company recommends reducing spring tension so that you achieve “effortless forward motion with just the right amount of repulsion.” Each user will have to experiment to find a setting that feels best. One side effect of using this system is that you can lower the tuning of your bass drum for a deeper sound, since you don’t have to rely on tension of the head for rebound.
The real benefits of this system reveal themselves when using it for exercises and warm-ups. Since the magnets add resistance, using this setup offers a similar experience to practicing on the drums with heavier drumsticks. I spent a few days switching back and forth between the magnetic beaters and regular versions. I noticed a difference in my speed and control when I went back to my normal beaters, especially while playing double strokes in more extreme musical styles.
The only issues I had with the system are related to sound. While the kick pad is light enough to not muffle the bass drum, it does add some noticeable click to the attack. This additional attack wouldn’t be ideal for certain situations when you need a softer bass drum sound, such as acoustic jazz. That said, players of any genre could benefit from using this system while warming up or practicing. The Mo Drumsticks magnetic beater system can be purchased directly from modrumsticks.com for $59.95 for one beater or $99.95 for two.