How to Hit Cymbals?


New member
Whenever I crash cymbals they tend to wobble so much that I can't get a second hit in (nevermind a pattern). I figured it was because I'm playing ZXTs (I know, I know, just temporary), and they're really light, but someone suggested it might be because I hit them straight on instead of glancing them. Anyone know about this?


New member
alot of factors come in here. ive heard from ppl and reading mags etc that if you hit cymbals straight on it can eventually lead to cracking them it hasnt happened to me. (dont want it to) i heard hitting across the cymbal is better for them mainly "i think" its because your constantly moving the cymbal and not directing all the force on one spot on the cymbal. anyone agree?


New member
i hear you brother. the lighter bigger cymbals seem to wobble as much as this, heavier ones seem to stop this, but in doing this u might end up buying a cymbal with a sound u dont like, and thts not good.
use a slicing hit when u hit your cymbals, like a flick of the wrist, this slows down brakages and allows the cymbals to 'open up', letting u use it for long without it constantly wobbling, althought, the wobbling cant always be helped.
And dont worry if your using zxt's, they may not be the best, but their cymbals none the less, their as good as any to practice with.

Hope i've helped in some way :idea:


New member
Try tightening your stand, buying some soft washers to go above and below the cymbal when it is on the stand. Tighten as appropriate. Either that or new stands are in order. The weight of the cymbal should make jack all difference as long as they are mounted up correctly


New member
Yeah its not a real good idea to hit em straight on. You should angle your cymbals just mildly enough so you can still make contact with them. Hitting at a slight angle on ALL cymbals is a must if you want yours to last a long time. it takes some technique adjustment to get it, but it will save you cymbals as well as money.


New member
well . mine dont woble.even wheni used my old ratty cymbals.
but yes hittin thim dead on is a no no. i recomend tilting them in just slightly.puttin a stiff felt with a t hin soft on on bottom and maybe 2 soft ones on top. while using a cymbal sleeve. that helps some. now the slicing method works. myself i use more of a glanced strike. similar to slicing. but uses more of the stick. and no tip. mainly the upper shaft. if done right the cymbal will rotate ever slightly every hit. also helping lengthen life. the way you strike and part of stick and even your felts andcymbal position can effect the ultimate sound you get. i recomend taking time and using just 1 cymbal and a stand in the open by itself and practice getting the extact same sound with that cymabl everytime and maybe taping yourself doing this zoomed ont he hand/wrist and cymbal area so youc an better improve your technique


New member
What's up guys. When I set up my cymbals I find that a slight tilt towards me works the best. Play cymbals that match your style of music. Most of the cymbals I play are pretty heavy cymbals (Z-customs), so the weight helps them not to move alot. Hitting a cymbal when it sits horizontal causes 2 problems. 1. sticks break quicker and 2. cymbals tend to crack faster ( even the expensive ones). I do use glancing strikes on my lighter cymbals but on my heavier ones I let it rip. Don't be scared to hit a cymbal...that's what it is made for. If you play long enough you are going to see that some cymbals have a longer life that others. As far as I am concerned what happens was meant to happen. Hell if one cracks...there are alot more out there. Play hard guys!


New member
I hit them with sticks... Drumsticks work best!

I've been playing drums for a really long time. OK, Maybe that should read a REALLY, REALLY long time... I have never... not even once... thought about how I hit my cymbals.

The only cymbals I have ever broken are Wuhan Chinas. I have, however, sent countless thousands of drumsticks to an early grave.


New member
I do a few things when setting up and playing to keep my Saluda cymbals in good shape.

1. All my half-stands (I use a rack) are set up so the cymbals are slightly tilted towards me. If you can see the edge of the cymbal all the way around when you are sitting at the kit, that should be good.

2. Never EVER tighten the wing nuts so that there is no "give" in the cymbal. Use thinner felts, or loosen your wing nut. The cymbal should swing freely on the stand.

3. I try to strike my Saludas at a 45 degree angle, coming across the cymbal instead of straight down. The glancing blow will still open up the cymbal and produce the desired sound, but will not damage the cymbal in any way.


New member
it's weird, in all the years I've been drumming, I never heard the 'don't mount your cymbals flat (parallel with the floor)' rule. Not sure how I missed that.

I'm tempted to put some angle on them now, but they've lasted this long, I guess they can survive that config.


New member
I strike my cymbals up and down, no glancing blows. I strike my cymbals in a LOT of different fasions(crashes like rides, bells, crashing rides etc). I crank the screw all the way, but I have a trick. I have very long plastic sleeves that protect the cymbals from hitting bare metal. They are long so that when I screw the wing nut all the way, there is still an inch of free space for the cymbal to shake freely.
Also I approach cymbals as if I was playing drums- don't dig into them, let them breathe. When I crash a cymbal I instantly loosen my grip after hitting and let the stick come up. I also use thin sticks(.555)- hickory for rock, hardbeam(lighter than hickory, heavier than maple) for more jazzy stuff.
I'd like to learn the glancing blow technique, but I can't find any real, comprehensive info. Can anyone make a slow motion presentation of the glancing blow vid and post it on youtube? :)
But still I'd like


New member

You don't need a video. For a glancing blow, sit at your kit and raise your arm with a stick to strike a cymbal.


Instead of hitting it with your arm motion being straight up and down, strike it by moving your arm diagonally, either from left to right or right to left, but still with some downward motion.

Come down at an angle. You'll still get the full force of the strike, but the cymbal will be able to dissipate that force much easier, buy spreading the vibration out more easily. Trust me, it works.

Another way to practice it is to imagine the "big ending" of any rock song, where the drummer has the big double-handed cymbal roll. Instead of just beating the crap out of the cymbals, make circles with your wrists as you strike the cymbal. That's a natural glancing blow. You'll get it.


New member
All Cymbals will resonate clearer and longer the closer to being parrallel with the floor they are. And if they are completely free to move. The stand is there to make sure it doesn't fall after you strike it. So don't tighten things up too much.

If you play crash cymbals in an orchestra, the most efficient way to play them is to flam them together and sweep down so that the cymbals hang from the straps. Not up in the air like mickey ears. They don't resonate for as long or as brightly. The sound waves of the cymbals come straight off the side. Not from underneath of above.

Now that that's covered, Secondly:
When striking a cymbal. It depends how you want it to sound. If you want a nib sound, like on a ride cymbal, come straight down. You are only playing to the surface of the cymbal, not through it.
If you want to play a crash cymbal, play with the meat of the stick through it. Imagine only an inch through with a flick, but make sure your hand knows where it's going next. If say you're playing a Left Crash going back to the hi-hat, swing down from the right with the wrist and come off to the left. And reverse if you're going to the ride cymbal.
If however you wish to continue playing that cymbal, test the cymbal for it's natural swing back. Notice that there is a point where if you hit it too hard it will swing back violently. Try playing the cymbal to it's slowest possible swing. Where you can continue to hit it by playing through it at a slow pace, without it swinging back too quickly. If you want to play faster, play through the cymbal less and it will get a rhythm to suit any desired tempo.

Always roll your wrist but use your fingers as well when playing crashs. Your wrist should be flat and fingers in at the point of contact.

Wish I could film it. :/

Any questions don't hesitate to ask.


New member
This one's simple. First check to see if the cymbal is tight on the stand, but not too tight that it restricts movement. If it can't be tightened enough, you may need to buy soft bushings or even a new stand. If this problem persists, stop trying to kill your symbal, either hit it lighter or angle your hits better.

That's it. Hope it works.


New member
I play em' straight. I can't stand it when theres an angel. I've only broke one and that was an A Custom 16" crash..I belive that thats one of the most broken cymbols. Over time they age and break easyer.
Anyways, Do what feels right. Just beacuse I play em straight, doesn't mean everyone should. I also play my toms straight, which to me, sounds better, and my heads last longer.
I've never had the 'Wobble' problom. hmm...try not following thrugh so much..I don't know.

I like drums. I like them alot.


New member
i dont know of any way that actually works for me

i've been heavy handed since i started really
i learned rock, and advanced onto metal, and i get through a crash in about a year (zildjian Z customs)

cracked a paiste rude in 4 months

i usually hit with a slight side swipe ( i only know cos my cymbals are always slowly rotating)

i used to hit straight (by that i mean a direct downward motion, i always have my cymbals angled, and have since i first used AHEAD sticks), and to be honest, it got no better or worse

im now thinking it may well be the style of cymbal though, as i always bought the heaftiest i could find, and in watching a dereck roddy video (similar playing style i suppose) he says for heavy hitters, it is better to have thin flaxible cymbals that have some give in them

it kinda makes sense to me, but i dont have any money to try this at the moment


New member
sounds like u might be pushing into the cymbals...cymbals are like drums in a way, hitting them and the stick leaving the drum should happen almost instantly. When hitting the cymbal dont push into it and that should help.


New member
Alcyon":1u067m46 said:
Whenever I crash cymbals they tend to wobble so much that I can't get a second hit in (nevermind a pattern). I figured it was because I'm playing ZXTs (I know, I know, just temporary), and they're really light, but someone suggested it might be because I hit them straight on instead of glancing them. Anyone know about this?
Well I can tell you it has nothing to do with the series of cymbal your using. It sounds like you have them very lose, try tightening the wing nut so it moves less.