which motors: stepping or straight dc?

I'm starting a project where an arduino will trigger a motor to strike a drum with a stick mounted on the motor. I just ordered the Adafruit motor/stepper/servo shield.

Based on input coming from elsewhere, I'd like the arduino to power the motor with different speeds to effect louder and softer strikes on the drum head.

I'm looking at stepping motors for this, but would a straight DC motor be a better choice? Why or why not?

Thanks! I'm very green, but learning lots.

Ralph

Thanks - this is awesome information, and the video is very inspirational!

This looks like a good solution, with no need for the motor shield (I'm sure I can put it to use!).

I've checked out the Arduino Playground stuff on solenoid hookup; how do you connect multiple solenoids? What is the limit of how many the Arduino could drive?

how do you connect multiple solenoids? What is the limit of how many the Arduino could drive?

Each solenoid would use a seperate Arduino output pin, same circuit (driver transistor, etc) just repeated for the number of drumsticks you want to control. The limit is the number of output pins your Arduino comes with.

How you control them is strickly up to your software program.

Lefty