Cracking cymbals is it poor technique? Also a question about thickness.

NYDRUMMA

Senior Member
Recently I've been playing with more confidence and hitting harder. I cracked an A custom 16 inch medium thin crash that was used and old and I replaced it with a 16 inch Paiste signature power crash used from ebay. Well 3 weeks with that crash and it is cracking. I am also noticing that my other A custom crash, a 19 inch crash/ride has a crack in it. That one is also older. I think when I am hitting them I am sweeping but I am hitting hard also. I've seen drummers hit harder however.

Also I prefer the sound of thin crashes but when I bought the power crash I bought it with the logic that a power crash is thicker and less prone to breaking or cracking. Is that correct?
Just looking for any advice that could help them last longer. Or perhaps advice on a more durable cymbal that also sounds good.

Thanks
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
Alright. Sorry to say but it is bad technique. To break that many in such a short time is a bad sign. Fortunately there are a few things you can do about it.

First, don't hit so hard. I've found that cymbals, especially thinner ones, open up a lot better with a lighter touch in a glancing motion. I'd say, keep working on the glancing blows and try to lighten up the hits a bit.

Second, look at the angles you have stuff mounted at. For instance, crashes should be angled towards you slightly so that you can easily hit all parts of the cymbal. This also limits the damage that the edge takes.
 

NYDRUMMA

Senior Member
Alright. Sorry to say but it is bad technique. To break that many in such a short time is a bad sign. Fortunately there are a few things you can do about it.

First, don't hit so hard. I've found that cymbals, especially thinner ones, open up a lot better with a lighter touch in a glancing motion. I'd say, keep working on the glancing blows and try to lighten up the hits a bit.

Second, look at the angles you have stuff mounted at. For instance, crashes should be angled towards you slightly so that you can easily hit all parts of the cymbal. This also limits the damage that the edge takes.
No don't be sorry. I figured that's what it was. LOL
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
Also make sure you look at the mounting though because that might be contributing to this.

Remember:

 

shadowlorde

Senior Member
without seeing a video we can't really tear apart your technique

. but another thought .. do you tighten them down so hard they barely move?

. that could have more impact on the cymbals cracking than how hard you hit (within reason .. if you bash like a gorilla .. or a barker.. then your doomed to cymbal breakage)
 

Strangelove

Gold Member
Quit bashing, use lighter sticks, don't crash/ride constantly, mic your cymbals at gigs, etc. etc. If you cannot change any of that, then just consider it a cost of your playing style or even the style of music you play and just accept that you will always crack cymbals.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Each individual cymbal has a volume threshold. You can play it up to that threshold, and be in the clear. If you play it harder, not only will it will choke the sound, but it will send too much energy through the metal, possibly causing it to crack.

Also, there is the remote possibility of the cymbal having a defect, like microcracks or the softer inner layer having inconsistencies, but with modern manufacturing techniques, those instances are all but taken out of the equation anymore.

Play 'em, don't beat 'em.
 

NYDRUMMA

Senior Member
Thanks guys great info here. After looking at these posts I see that my cymbals are mounted too flat. I am hitting too hard and really for no reason other than I'm watching too many rock videos. Lesson learned. Expensive one at that lol.
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
without seeing a video we can't really tear apart your technique

. but another thought .. do you tighten them down so hard they barely move?

. that could have more impact on the cymbals cracking than how hard you hit (within reason .. if you bash like a gorilla .. or a barker.. then your doomed to cymbal breakage)
Yeah, take a video or something and post a link here, that will help.

Loosen them up and maybe take off the top felt (learned that trick from Simon Phillips). I use these and don't even have to use wingnuts or sleeves anymore. Of course, if you're hitting that hard, you might need a wingnut just in case!

The angle is important, too. Even a glancing blow edge-on to a "flat" cymbal will do more damage in the long run than one tilted a few degrees. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Gxut0odyc
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
I am hitting too hard and really for no reason other than I'm watching too many rock videos.
Yup that will do it. It took me a little while to understand too. Just remember, those guys wouldn't be hitting so hard or smashing instruments if they didn't have endorsement deals and actually had to pay to replace busted cymbals (and heads and sticks and hardware and guitars and...)
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Thanks guys great info here. After looking at these posts I see that my cymbals are mounted too flat. I am hitting too hard and really for no reason other than I'm watching too many rock videos. Lesson learned. Expensive one at that lol.
Well, flat cymbals aren't the problem alone. That contributes to breakage of crashes when the angle of the sticks at the striking point of the motion are... uh, too... dang, can't find the words. You should crash with the shoulder of the stick striking the edge, but not too far away from "flat". Obviously they can't be perfectly flat 'cause then the tips would be hitting the top of the cymbal... In other words, if the crashes are flat and/or high, relative to your height when seated behind the kit, and you're kinda chopping toward the edges of the cymbals rather than coming downward on the edges, that's gonna eat up cymbals AND sticks. If you're really tall and can still come down from over the cymbals when you strike them, then flat/high isn't a problem.

You also don't want to adjust your motion to conform to how you mount your crashes. (Or anything else on the kit, for that matter.) You want to do the opposite. Find out where your comfortable motion to hit the crashes is, and put the cymbals in a position where they're comfortable to hit properly.

All that said, if you're bashing like you're in a metal band video, yeah, you're probably just hitting them too hard. The previous advice regarding that is also accurate, just thought I'd address that flat-position thing.
 
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