Will lighting my cymbals on fire damage them?

I've got a gig coming up next week and we've got a fire entertainer performing onstage with us.

I wanted to light my cymbals on fire, with some lamp oil or Zippo lighter fluid during our intro music but I'm not sure if it would damage them in anyway. I'm using Zildjian Z Customs. I've seen it done before. If any of you have seen the Pantera "5 Minutes Alone" video, Vinnie Paul lights his chinese on fire in the video. That's kind of what I'm going for.

Thoughts, suggestions?

No Great White jokes! hahahaha.


New member
Maybe it's just me, but my logic says it might melt off some part of the metal on the cymbal... You'd have to ask someone who's done this before.

Maybe when Vinnie did it, he did it on a crap cymbal he didn't care too much about? I dont really know.
Hmm, good point, Moshii. I also wondered if it would leave a permanent burn ring on the cymbal. I suppose I could use rubbing alcohol, since the flames go out when all the alcohol is burned off.

I believe it was a good cymbal that Vinnie used, one of his Sabians. I've seen the making of the video on the Pantera Home Video part 3, before. But afterall, he is endorsed and I'm not, haha. I might have to dig out the ol' VCR and watch it again.

I might know a couple people I could ask. I figured I'd post it here and see if anybody knew.


New member
I have absolutely no idea if it would damage them or not.
I can tell you 100% though that it would look KICKASS!!! Youd be the awesomest (its a word look it up..) drummer at the gig thats for sure.
If you do decide to do it, one thing I could recomend is maybe using Purell or another type of hand sanitiser. Its all alcohol pretty much so it burns with a lower blue flame kinda. Also its not as hot as gas or another liquid so less chance of melting your metal.
Cheers, and if you do this POST VIDS!!!
I'll try and get video of it.
I was reading that the guy from the Butthole Surfers used rubbing alcohol.
Lamp oil will probably leave some residue but it can be wiped off. I've got an oil lamp here at home and the glass globe has black residue towards the top and it can be wiped off.
Beside the fact that my fire girl is gonna be using lamp oil for her tricks. I'm thinking lamp oil will work. It will probably burn brighter than alcohol. And I'll have a wet towel and pitcher of water on hand. I'm not gonna be crashing the cymbals while they're lit anyway.

I'm gonna experiment in a couple days. I gotta run out and get some lamp oil for her anyway this week.


New member
I can't imagine the chemicals being burned off in the process would be any good to breath in.

Fire will change your cymbals. Maybe wont see it untill later but it'll change ever so slightly.


New member
the question is: how hot will whatever you're burning on top of the cymbal get, and will it burn long enough to make the cymbal go out of temper?

I've seen Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers do this many times.

I'm not sure what it will do to the cymbal myself, but unless you're playing in a larger venue I couldn't imagine it being very copasetic safety-wise.

Empyrean Drums

New member
You can get that pyrogel stuff that doesn't transfer much heat, but I'd be more worried about flamming liquid splashing around and setting the building abalze then damage to my cymbals


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Empyrean Drums":3l1j4cgr said:
You can get that pyrogel stuff that doesn't transfer much heat, but I'd be more worried about flamming liquid splashing around and setting the building abalze then damage to my cymbals

Thats what I was gonna say .. Id be worried about it dripping onto my drum heads ... or the building like you said.


New member
Here is something to think about, how long would you let that stuff burn in the palm of your hand? Thats about how long I would leave it on a cymbal before I was worried about damage. Metals like brass and bronze, are much more susceptible to heat. That's why we braze or solder these as opposed to welding. Plus I also echo the fire danger possibility.


New member
Great post bong!

Aside from
Damage to your cymbals I would consider more of the danger or lighting yourself or maybe burning the club down.
Also I don't think the cymbals would stay lit up long enough to hurt a heavy cymbal like a z custom or something similar .