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. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.