My First Drums Experience!
Matched Grip - a good place to start.
Personally, I would advise against using different sticks or drums at the performance, if possible. Especially the sticks...if you use heavier sticks than you are used to you will fatigue yourself.
You need to retrain yourself to hit the drum properly. Part of it will be muscle conditioning, getting your arms used to working harder, but that should be a very small portion of it.
The trick to getting a lot of sound out of the drum isn't hitting it hard...it's hitting is fast. Think of a bullwhip...when the whip is cracked, you move your hand relatively slowly, but the tip moves fast enough to actually break the sound barrier, thereby creating a small sonic boom, hence the crack.
What you should do is the same idea, but on a smaller scale. What you need is the Moeller stroke. There are three Moeller strokes, the low Moeller (useful for playing one handed and fast, like sixteenths or fast eighth notes on the hi-hat), the half Moeller (useful for playing loud back beats) and the full Moeller (useful for playing REALLY lound back beats). All of these strokes use a "whipping" motion to hit the drum very fast without having to tire your muscles by hitting it hard.
A full video description of each of these techniques can be found at vicfirth.com in the Dom Famularo video lessons series. (See sources below for URL).
Good luck, and happy drumming!Barry's Response
- I'm sorry the sources did not show up here. It would have been very useful information for subsequent readers. If you do get a chance, please provide the information in the comments section. Thank you Anbuinfosys.
In the meantime see the article and links on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moeller_method