You can easily improve grippage and/or protect your sticks by taping them. There actually is a technique to doing this.
There are special grip tapes that you can buy if you need extra grippage, but if you want to conserve sticks you should definitely use electrical tape. It’s relatively cheap, comes in all kinds of crazy colors, and is pretty easy to come by.
Beware: Sweaty palms and electrical tape do not mix. Have extra sticks as close as possible while performing, or perhaps add some grip tape.
When you tape, start at the tip. Wrap the tape around parallel to the tip once, then begin working your way down.
As you go, try to wrap as evenly as possible. Consistency comes with time. It definitely helps to keep the tape that you’re working with taut. You don’t want bubbles.
At the bottom, do one last wrap parallel to the butt of the stick, and you’re done.
You don’t have to tape the whole stick either. You could only tape the top half to protect it from chipping or splitting. I’ve also seen people tape the bottom and top, leaving the middle open.
Keep in mind, you can always peel the tape off and replace it, but you don’t want to peel the tape off and use the bare stick again. It’ll be sticky and gross. Make sure that you really want to tape the sticks before you do it, because you won’t want to drum with gooey sticks, trust me.
Next week’s topic: Losing sticks?