Rhythm Top Ten Tips: getting the most from your cymbals

We've shown you how to get the best from your sticks and heads, now check out these handy hints on getting the best from your cymbals.

1. When handling cymbals, use towels or an old soft blanket and use a cymbal bag to transport them

2. Better bags have internal divisions to prevent cymbals from scratching against each other

3. When buying a bag, make sure the bottom is strong - cymbals can cut through. Line the bottom with tough material (rubber or plastic)

4. Never strike a cymbal at right angles to its edge. Make a glancing side blow with the shoulder of the stick

5. The type of stick - weight and tip shape - makes a huge difference to the sound of a cymbal, particularly rides and hi-hats

6. Be sensible and tailor your cymbal choices to the type of music and your style of playing. If you´re a heavy metal player, play heavy cymbals

7. Cymbals are usually guaranteed against manufacturing faults of a year. If yours breaks within that period, return it

8. …However, the manufacturer may refuse to replace any cymbal which they feel has been abused

9. Fix hairline cracks in the edge of a cymbal by cutting a half moon around the crack; smooth out the damage using a metal file

10. Filing will cause a local build up in frictional heat. This can alter the sound of the Cymbal, a highly sensitive instrument

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.