Trueline Drumsticks
United States
It was a broken cabinet hinge and finger surgery that propelled drummer Dan Frank into the drumstick business in 1987.

I broke a hinge in my kitchen and I was looking for a True Value hardware store, Frank said. I look in the White Pages and see \'Trueline Drumstick.\' I had been wanting to get into the music industry.

A couple of days and a phone call later, Frank, a restaurant industry worker, visited the factory floor.

He started as an employee in May of 1987 and four months later, bought out a partner to work with Lalo Barcelo, the Original TG stick designer, who started the company in 1981.

We had a great time, Frank said. Here we were, two drummers that love drumming, that love making great drumsticks.

The two brought a custom-craft mentality to the business. They hand-selected hickory boards for each model, carefully pairing them to ensure matched sticks. In 1994, the two sold the company.

The business eventually ended up in the hands of Dick Podoloc\'s Moot Wood Turnings in Vermont. Then, Moot Wood hired Frank to manage sales and handle artist relations.

I\'d been with the company so long that I knew the product, why some things work, why some models don\'t work and what drummers should use which product, Frank said.

Business was reminiscent at first of the company\'s days as a start-up, but now, Trueline is on track and heading into the future, helped by the latest office technology such as e-mail.

That\'s the way to do business, Frank said. I can send an e-mail to my distributor in the Netherlands and when he decides to answer his e-mail, he gets back to me. It\'s so easy that way. It makes the planet real close.

Although the company makes traditional sticks, two models stand out.

The Natural Diamond Grip model has a roughened end to improve a drummer\'s hold and the Original TG has a bulge in the middle of the stick about where a drummer would hold it.

It\'s a feature designed to help drummers-like Frank-relax their hands. After years of playing and blisters, Frank had developed a hand problem requiring surgery.

It was a combination of two things, he said. One, holding the sticks-which you have to do, and holding it tight so you don\'t lose it, and two, the vibration. The sticks with the lump on it, the hand relaxes because the pressure it takes to hold the stick is so much less.

After his surgery, he found a pair of Original TG sticks and hasn\'t switched since.
If you like the lump, you\'ll know in 30 seconds or less, he said.

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