There are some companies that have, until now, sadly slipped under the Jazzwise radar. Headhunters is one such. Based in Ontario, Canada, they have been producing quality drumsticks and brushes since 1993, but have more recently started to push the boundaries of creativity with their ever increasing product range. In their own words, Headhunters have “changed their game plan”, with innovations and creations beyond that of the traditional drumstick.
This includes amazing brush designs, rods and, interestingly, sticks with the addition of polycarbonate tubes for a faster rebound and less volume. Headhunters do, of course, continue to make a standard stick, reflected in their traditional range (rock maple and hickory sets available). But they come with a twist. With the maple range, groove rings have been cut into the holding area for increased grip. Or you can opt for the same models with the addition of a thin rubber grip covering the holding area.
The hickory sets come with the traditional smooth surface, but can be shipped with either the groove rings or rubber grip. We loved the maple B Bop, a relatively thin, beautifully smooth, 16” stick that tapers from the tip right to the end and feels very light in the hand. This is a true ‘jazzers’ stick!
The cut grooves obviously increase resistance, while the addition of the tight fitting thin rubber grip gives an even greater sense of security, without making the stick feel any thicker. The barrel tip is round and subtle, and produces a great cymbal response. As for Headhunters’ brushes, the retractable wire Jazz Brush has a very traditional appearance, is perfectly balanced and comes in at exactly the right weight and feel. We loved them.
However, the most interesting item on test was the Dreamcatchers wired brush (pictured). This is a non-retractable brush that comes with plastic tube covers to prevent transit damage. The innovation is the addition of an adjustable nylon-coated hoop. Play with the hoop down for a more traditional brush effect. Play with the hoop up and you achieve a fat backbeat. It also allows you to use the brushes on a ride cymbal and actually hear a response! These really are unlike any other brush.
Other notable advances include the Tublitz and Ninja Tip sticks, featuring a polycarbonate tubing, fused over a 5B stick, replacing the tip. The Ninja tube is slightly thinner and comes with the guarantee that these tips will “never come off”. They are obviously quieter than the replaced tip and the bounce and rebound is noticeably more profound. They also enable you to play the cymbal at very low volumes. It’s a simple idea, but one that really works.
Further information www.headhunterssticksandcreations.com