The last 30 years have seen great growth in the number of companies and individuals offering “custom” timpani sticks by mail. There are now many varieties of sticks to choose from. With increased choice has come increased cost, but both students and professionals are playing on better drums with better and more diverse heads and are demanding higher quality sticks for tackling a wide-ranging timpani repertoire. Quite simply, it takes both time and excellent materials to make high-quality timpani sticks. If you consider the amount of money you have probably spent to acquire good drums and to take years of lessons, doesn’t it make sense to invest in a set of sticks — the intermediary between you and your instrument — that will do what you need them to do?

In contrast to many “custom” makers, I don’t do a large number each year, and I make each and every pair myself from selecting the wood to making and finishing the handle, to sewing all the felt and, most important, to testing each pair on a set of four professional quality timpani before I send them to you. There are no intermediaries or “behind-the-scenes people” between you and me.

Since I make every pair of sticks, I personally monitor the quality of the evolving and final product. You need never worry that crooked sticks, sticks with poor balance, mis-matched “pairs”, bad handle finish, exposed seams on cartwheel sticks, and poor-quality sewing on ball sticks will be sent to you. I have never sent anyone a pair of timpani sticks that I wouldn’t want to use myself.

In order to fill volume orders, other stick makers may make up individual pairs of sticks (or individual sticks, not even pairs) ahead of time and someone (perhaps a beginning student or someone who is not a timpanist or even a musician) may pull these out of their “pigeon holes” to mail to you without considering the weight and balance of individual sticks, individual pairs, or the transition in sound from one pair of sticks to the next. It is essentially impossible for you to be sure that all the sticks you have ordered by mail were conceived of as a set from the time the handles were selected through to the final stages of sewing. You may get your sticks faster, but will they be the best set of sticks you could have? My sticks are not selected at random from a bin of pre-made sticks. Every attempt will be made to provide you with your order in a reasonable time frame, but quality is worth the wait. All sticks are made in the order that requests are received. Turnaround time depends strictly on the number of orders ahead of yours. As a general rule, allow three to five weeks for delivery, but please be patient. It will be worth the wait. Also, I make no distinction between “professional” and “student” sticks. Every student and every professional deserves the best, and I do my best to see that you get it. I do no advertising other than “word of mouth,” and many of my clients are either repeat customers or those who have advised their students or colleagues to contact me. I hope you’ll try some Carlisle Timpani Sticks soon. I look forward to working with you to get you a set of sticks you’ll probably have for the rest of your playing career.


“Carlisle Sticks are the sticks to use, and you won’t find better craftsmanship anywhere.”
– Andrew Simco, Timpanist, Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, and formerly timpanist of the Oslo Philharmonic and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestras