I've heard it said hundreds of times that hitting a crash cymbal with a "glancing blow", rather than straight on, will extend its life and help prevent it from cracking.

Has anyone actually tested this, though? It's pretty easy to explain why glancing blows might help, and it's intuitive that it should help, but have any controlled tests been done to compare the lifespan of cymbals when either of these two techniques is used?

  • 3
    I want this to be a Mythbusters episode… Oct 12 '21 at 1:29
  • I've found that playing in reasonably volumed bands means they last forever...
    – Tim
    Oct 12 '21 at 6:21
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    Hiding them away in their cases & never using them prolongs their life too. More seriously, I've known drummers who can break anything inside 5 minutes & others who have gear that lasts a lifetime. Some people just 'happen' to things. My own cymbals are 30 years old now [ride is much, much older] & look like when I bought them.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 12 '21 at 6:28
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    I was taught to use this technique to make the cymbal sound better, which it definitely does. If it also lasts longer then I’d say this is definitely the way to play. Smashing straight through the cymbal produces a one-dimensional sound in my experience. Oct 12 '21 at 11:33
  • As far as "happening" to things. When I started drumming, I broke cymbals all the time. After the first 5 years, I haven't broken one cymbal. Almost 40 years later, still no cracks. And I've never glanced my hits. Oct 12 '21 at 11:42

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