Cymbal care & buying - Paul Hose

We’re thrilled to bring you the first in a set of video tips from best-selling drum author, player, teacher, and Grammy member Paul Hose.


Tutorial, Tip

Natal Drums

From arenas to musicals, hip hop to ballet, TV to lectures, Paul has a huge range of drumming experience. He is a performer, recording artist, teacher and co-author of Drumset For Beginners (Alfred Publishing). He has lectured throughout the world, and also runs MLC Academies in Nottingham, UK and Marseilles, France as well as recording a series of online lessons. Paul’s had over 1 million downloads for his drumming podcasts. He is Head of Education at Natal drums and percussion, and works closely with Sabian, Evans, Roland and Vic Firth. He has set up A4M - Apps for Musicians and will be previewing it at the 2013 NAMM Show.

He made this video for us with Nottingham’s Curly Lead Studios, about some of the things to check when it comes to cymbals.

Here’s are Paul’s top tips on how to take care of your cymbals, and make sure they don’t break or crack.

First thing to look at is the cymbal stand. Take the cymbal off and look at where the wing nut screws down. Make sure your insulator is good and not worn out. If it wears then you can damage your cymbal as the two metals meet and can wear against each other. You get a keyhole effect on the cymbal which alters the note quality and is the beginning of the end of the cymbal which will break.

Put the insulator back on and the felts (some are plastic) - they help the quality of the note and the decay. Make sure the cymbal isn’t in contact with any other metals.

Put the cymbal on and when you add the wing nut make sure the cymbal is on in a secure fashion so that the wing nut doesn’t fly off and the cymbal flies off when you crash it.

Natal Drums

At the same time you don’t want it to be too tight as the cymbal needs to breathe so you can get a better quality note and nice shimmer. If it’s too tight, especially on a thin cymbal, and the way you play means you get stress on the back of the hole, the stress from the centre of the cymbal can mean you get a half moon crack around the bell. If it’s a new cymbal your warranty will be void as it’s not been played how it was designed to be played.

Play across the cymbal so the energy goes around the lathe markings - the note shimmers, the cymbal shimmers and you get a better quality note. You can hear the note, the sustain and decay.

When you’re buying a cymbal, there’s a nice test that the guys at Sabian gave me to make sure the cymbal is good quality and there are no hairline cracks. You should be able play the cymbal in three areas - the bell, the ride area and the crash area on the edge - and be able to play three notes and get the same note at three different octaves.

If you get different notes the chances are that there’s a hairline crack somewhere or that the metal is brittle or damaged in some way and likely as not will break.

  • For more from Paul, including podcasts, video lessons and his book, click here.

Paul’s Apps For Musicians, A4M, made with Apple developer Austin Rathe, will launch with education and entertainment apps for the likes of Natal Drums (Marshall Amplification), Alfred Music Publishing and drumming community guru, Mike Dolbear.

Paul’s kit list:

Cymbals - Sabian exclusively

14” HHX Evolution Hi-hats
14” HHX Groove Hi-hats
13” HHX Evolution Hi-hats
17” HHX Legacy Crash
18” HHX Studio Crash
16” HHX Evolution
15” AAX Studio Crash
20” HHX Evolution Ride
22” Artisan Medium Ride
21” Fierce Ride
22” Legacy Heavy Ride
14” AAX Mini Chinese
7” HHX Evolution Splash

Drums - Natal Drums exclusively

Black Sparkle Birch

10 x 5.5” maple stave snare
12 x 5.5” bubinga stave snare
14 x 5.5” dark bronze snare
10 x 8” tom
12 x 9” tom
14 x 14” tom
16 x 16” tom
18 x 16” bass
20 x 18” bass

Natal Drums

Heads - Evans Exclusively

G1 coated
G2 coated
EQ3 bass

Sticks, brushes and mallets - Vic Firth exclusively

A variety of sticks, brushes and mallets used
Preferred stick - Jojo Mayer signature

Cases - Protection Racket exclusively