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5 Iconic Moments Drummers Have Broken Drum Sticks in a Show

Drumming is an art revered by many due to the thrill and musical sound it produces. A key component in producing these rhythmic sounds is the set of drumsticks. 

Professionals who usually play drums in major concerts and gigs know how important it is to have good quality drumsticks. However, accidents happen even to the most experienced drummers. One of them is drum sticks breaking, so it’s always crucial to have a pair for backup. 

Drumsticks mostly break at the tip or along the shaft. It can happen when you hit the metallic or even the soft part of the drum. The passion of professional drummers makes them take this art—and their drumsticks—to the limit. Like they say, if you aren’t breaking sticks then you aren’t playing enough! But what can you do when the drum sticks break during a live performance? 

Here are five instances of drum sticks breaking during a live performance.

1. Josh Dun Breaks a Drumstick During a Live Performance 

Josh Dun is known to many for his passion and talent as a percussionist and drummer for Twenty One Pilots. Dun started learning drums from a young age and has developed to become one of the best in the industry. He has been a great part of the musical duo Twenty One Pilots and has enabled the group to produce top-selling albums and win awards. 

Just like any other drummer, Dun has not been spared the experience of broken drum sticks. During one of his 2016 performances in Meriwether Post Pavilion, his performance was almost cut short when one of the sticks broke into half. So what did Dun do? He threw the broken stick to the crowd! 

He used the remaining one to sum up his performance before throwing it to the audience. Nothing can stop this performer! This was an unexpected incidence that turned out to be a cool moment for his audience to enjoy. 

2. RJ Fraser Breaks 2 Drum Sticks in a Row 

The main aim of a drummer is to keep playing even when things aren't going right. If you are a heavy-hitter, you might need a couple of spare sticks. These can be backup for whenever you are performing to prepare for the unexpected. This can be well demonstrated when looking at RJ Fraser’s performance during a live show with the cover band Bipolar Bear. Fraser did not break just one but two sticks in the span of a few seconds. 

The most interesting thing about his performance is that he kept going. He simply grabbed a spare drum stick as soon as he could. The recovery was flawless, and the audience didn’t seem to notice it.  

For the less experienced drummer, breaking two sticks in a row can cause a disruption. However, Fraser’s situation demonstrated how a true artist can cope with such instances. His reaction was a mixture of preparation and experience. 

3. Dylan Elise Breaks Drumstick During the Pasifika Festival

Dylan Elise is a Wellington-born drummer. His passion for drumming started at an early age of 6. He has since been performing in public concerts, New Zealand TV programs, and gigs around the world. Dylan has also played and recorded with top New Zealand artists. He has played with the likes of Jeff Lorber, Bo Bice, and Janine among others. 

During a performance at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland, NZ, Dylan was passionately playing his drums. Suddenly, the tip of one drumstick broke. Dylan seemed to take a glance at the broken drumstick for a few seconds. Then, he threw it away and grabbed another one. The best part was how he kept playing with the remaining stick in his left hand as he observed the nature of the damage on the second stick. That’s how you do it like a pro! 

For a heavy hitter like Dylan, dealing with a broken drumstick in the middle of your performance is a no-brainer. This is something that’s likely to happen many times during practice or even during live concerts. 

4. Yoon Do Woon’s Drum Stick Breaks During the North American Tour 

Dowoon is a young and talented South Korean drummer for the famous musical group Day6. He started his drumming career at the age of 16. Since then, he has become one of South Korea’s young musical icons. 

During one of Day6’s performance at the John W.H Basset Theatre in Canada, Dowoon faced a drum stick break that was fun to watch. Just like other instances, he looked more exhilarated and excited about the incident. He just laughed it off and grabbed another stick as if nothing had happened. 

Dowoon has had to deal with multiple drumstick breaks in his career. However, it always seems like a funny thing to him. He will either laugh it off or put on a serious face as if nothing happened. His professionalism as a drummer is exceptional.

5. Nick Mason’s Broken Stick During a Live Performance at Pompeii

Nick is one of the most talented and experienced English drummers. His decades of experience have seen him perform in different concerts around the world. One of his most interesting performances was during a music concert at Pompeii when his drum stick broke. Nick was quick to switch to a new drumstick without missing a beat. He used one hand to keep the beat going, which created a flawless performance despite the broken drumstick. 

Bottom Line 

Artists dropping and breaking drumsticks is a common occurrence. Although live concerts are more demanding, how an artist reacts to such accidents demonstrates their skills and experience. No matter the quality of the instruments, sometimes the energy or tactic of a drummer pushes it to the limits. Nevertheless, it’s always fun to watch how drummers react to these incidences.