10 quick cymbal tips



Cymbals! © Alley Cat Productions/Brand X/Corbis

First sticks, then heads, now cymbals. Check out these handy hints on how to get the most from your cymbals. From care to repair and playing to slaying...

10 cymbal tips

1. Handle with care

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

2. Invest in cymbal bags

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

3. Use extra lining

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

4. Don't strike at right angles

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

drum sticks

drum sticks

5. Choose your sticks wisely

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

Next: warranty and repair

Zildjian k

Zildjian k

6. Choose your cymbals wisely

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. Start here: 7 best cymbals money can buy.

7. Know your warranty

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

8. Seriously, handle with care

…However, the manufacturer may refuse to replace any cymbal which they feel has been abused. Go back to points 1-4.

9. Repair

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. File sparingly

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

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