6. Application

Hardware

You’ll need hardware (stands) in order to mount cymbals around your drum kit. A good selection of stands can certainly make reaching and playing your cymbals more comfortable, and knowing the proper use of stands can help your cymbals last longer and give a more musical sound. Hardware should be easy to adjust and position while offering enough stability for your style of playing. A light jazz drummer doesn’t require the heavy-duty hardware of a hard-hitting metal drummer. You should always make sure your cymbal stands have felt washers above and below the cymbal and a plastic sleeve to prevent metal-to-metal contact between the cymbal and the stand. Since the stand is made of steel and the cymbal is made from softer materials, metal-to-metal contact can cause gradual damage to the cymbal. Over time, that abrasion of metal can cause the hole in the centre of the cymbal to become oval (keyhole-shaped) and eventually to crack and break. Your cymbals should be able to move freely between the cymbal felts and the wing screw should not clamp a cymbal tightly as this can cause damage to your cymbal and alter its tone.

Proper Playing Technique

The edge of a cymbal is its thinnest and most sensitive part, therefore one should think about the angle and force with which it is struck. Tilting a crash cymbal reduces the impact of the stick. In addition, playing crash cymbals with a brief “glancing blow” in which the stick makes a brief angled contact with the cymbal, rather than playing straight through it can also protect cymbals from damage. Drummers who play their cymbals mounted very high and flat tend to crack and eventually break them. However, if the cymbal is angled is too steeply, it is difficult to get a good rebound from the cymbal and will be fatiguing to play.

Choosing the proper cymbal for your playing style is very important. Drummers who play heavy music and hit strongly with larger sticks shouldn’t choose thinner cymbals since they won’t project enough to cut through the music or withstand an aggressive style of playing. Drummers who do play with cymbals that are too thin tend to hit them too hard, exert themselves excessively and damage their cymbals. Loud drummers should select thicker cymbals that will project more, be more durable and help them conserve their energy. Becoming familiar with your cymbals and how they react to your playing will help you get the results you want.

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