Skylark’s Guide To Buying Cymbals

Lee from Skylark Music Studios walks you through how to approach buying cymbals at the Drummer’s Workshop in Mayford, UK. In this video, Lee considers which types of cymbal you want to be looking at for different genres and situations, and discusses the main things that you want to be listening and looking for in a cymbal. There’s also a quick demo on how to hit cymbals to achieve the best possible sound, and some tips for buying on a budget.

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Special thanks to John for the use of the workshop, you can find more at:


Tagu San says:

Am I the only one who drools every time I see a wall of gorgeous, shiny cymbals?

Beau Ferchaud says:

Has he been playing for 250 years?? 6:44

john smith says:

too many rules with this guy

Mike Dunham says:

This guy makes more sense than most of the folks I’ve talked to, or videos I’ve watched. I am not a Professional, But I’ve been playing off and on purely for fun for almost 40 years. An OK set of Drums with Great handpicked cymbals is always better than the reverse… I have always played Zildjian, But I am open to anything that sounds good. My only absolute is Zildjian 14″ New Beat Hi Hats are it. For Life… Good Day Folks…

MrJohnny56789 says:

This wouldve had more impact if he’d done a hit/silence test on each symbol in rapid succession before starting to talk. Then we’d hear differences, then get told what they might be to match up,.

Ambient Guitar says:

too many words

dcb1138 says:

“I’ve been playing for 250 years…and in that time I learned to hit the cymbal, with the stick”.   (thanks for that duce and half centurion tip).

Tough Tauros says:

Is that the drums and procession centre in Woking???? I bought a drum set from there???

The Retro Perspective says:

People who like thin cymbals are weird… =)

Collin Drafts says:

Hello. Thank you so much for making this video! I have a question for you or for any one reading this comment. I am not looking for anything that is out standing, but i am looking for something that dosn’t sound like crap either. Is it possible to get a decent set of cymbals from any where of 35-50 dollars? I am on a very strict budget.

Erik Fraunfelter says:

I think everyone has an idea in their head on what sound they are looking for out of cymbals. I’d say go to a store, check out each type of cymbal your looking for till you find one that suits the sound your looking for (or close to it). Find one as close as possible to the budget you have. I like Sabain and I go on their site as well as the Memphis Drum Shop to hear real examples of the cymbals to choose what works for me. And that process works great. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should get. It’s all personal preference + budget. I don’t even pick cymbals based on genre. I pick cymbals I like the sound of.

maciej balaweder says:

more playing less talking PLEASE

Nathan Glasgow says:

Heavy cymbals break faster if you hit them hard. Light ones flex with harder hits meaning the wont break as easily. All given you are hitting correctly

stefano ortiz says:

Simple solution….. Buy Paiste 2002

Batman Baker says:

can anyone tell me what the cymbal is that is used commonly in rock choruses? It sounds similar to a crash but i think its a different one.

MechaAkuma says:

*NEVER* buy from shops. Buy used.

Luke Rutter says:

Oh hey Lee! Nice to see the Drum workshop getting on Youtube 😀

Jack Airey says:

specific people’s recommendations as well as my own experimentation gave me my set up. And now anyone who asks my advice i’d tell them what I’ve personally found out and compare based on what they play. It’s all about doing your research and trying stuff out if you ask me

Nick Coku says:

Did he just say he’s been playing drums for about 250 years?

Mihai Drums says:

Istanbul Agop Xist cymbals are really cheap, but they sound 10 times better that Sabian B8 or Zildjian ZBT

stephen barker says:

i have zildjian z custom 14 inch hats 16 and 18 in medium crash and 20 inch ride

Skylark says:

Hi, me.

Kris Brandon says:

To much talking….

Conor Reed says:

Hey mate. You’re obviously very knowledgeable, so you must’ve just misspoke when you lumped Zildjian ZBT’s into the brass cymbals around the 3:45 ish mark, as well as later in the video. ZBT’s and ZXT’s are made with B8 Bronze

Glenn William says:

Awesome video! Thanks.

Mike Dunham says:

I did not even have to watch the whole video and I knew that this guy knows what he is talking about. His personal preference mirrors mine. Note to beginners : You can get away with OK (Fairly cheap) drums. With good heads and tuned correctly, used cheap drums are ok. Cymbals are where the money should go, as one cannot tune or “fake” a cymbal.The general rule of thumb is that  a good basic set of quality cymbals will cost at least as much as your drums and hardware combined.The best way to buy great cymbals is quite time consuming but you will get what you really want, that is shopping all around for used high end cymbals…

carapungo says:

you are right Tyler.


bla bla bla…

14th Perception Roseknight says:

already bought my cymbals…and only now i discovered this video haha
bought myself sets of Zildjian K Custom Hybrid cymbals…its a good thing all of it sounds very nice to my ears…thanks for the advice anyway. will use this guide in case i’m buying my next sets of cymbals 🙂


Good video. I’ve learned some valuable things from this!

Ash2i1 says:

Awesome video man (Y)

Lopaka Diego says:

dude should just shut up and hit them cymbals 

expressyourselfist says:

The worst approach was to talk 99% of the time.

Mike Dunham says:

Lee from Skylark: You did more for young drummers in this one video than any other ones I have seen. Good work! I believe that even beginners should have great cymbals even if the drums are somewhat questionable.Look, decent drum kits are a dime a dozen, and will come and go, but a hand picked set of high quality cymbals that sound out******* standing will be kept for life… Again, Great job! From Tempe, AZ USA

Colin Downey says:

250 years, nice

Jonathan Skirton says:

really helpful! 🙂

Jacob Boothroyd says:

Starts talking about cymbals then goes straight into the actual drums it’s self

James Bond says:

Holy crap. Talks for an hour and doesn’t play the damn things!

Matt Goodwin says:

Um Um Um Um

Senor Gamer says:

You could also break some cymbals

Sytse W says:

I clicked in this video hoping the image promised of sounds to be demonstrated. Instead, I got 14 minutes of talking about sounds… Helpful, but not the helpful I was looking for.

S Offense says:

i bought expensive awesome cymbals back in the day, and signature cymbals, they broke within months ALL almost, to this day i feel robbed and i think playing fresh new cymbals is a perk for the pros

Brian Marcum says:

need to speak up dude.or audios awful.

PowersOnDrums says:

If you are a beginner to novice… HANDS DOWN… WUHAN has ALL the lesser expensive cymbals BEAT!!

Big Kitten says:

That cymbal wall would look cool in an earthquake

The Union Beats says:

hit the cymbals skylark

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