How To Adjust Cymbal Height on a Drum Set

As a drummer your comfort is very important. Maintaining a good cymbal height is paramount for your comfort and performance.

We will first focus on the hi-hat. Sitting at your drum set, facing the bass drum, pull the hi-hat towards you, so that it is a comfortable distance from you, you do not want to have to reach for this cymbal.  Now it is time to adjust the height. Follow the hi-hat down along the stand, halfway between the top of the hi-hat and the floor you will see a wing screw: a screw that is adjustable with the fingers, loosen this screw, well holding the upper portion of the cymbal stand, pull upwards and tighten the wing screw. Repeat this process until you can strike the crash-zone of the cymbal without straining. You will know when it is right for you. A good test for correct cymbal height and distance is if you can go between the cymbal and snare without accidentally hitting the cymbal.

Another way to adjust height in the hi-hat is to check the clutch. The clutch is the screw that maintains the distance between the two cymbals (China Cup and Turkish Cymbal), which compose the hi-hat. Press down the foot pedal on the hi-hat and tighten the screw, this will increase the gap between these two cymbals.

Now that you have adjusted your hi-hat it is time to focus on your crash, ride, or any effect cymbals you may have. The stand for these type of cymbals are composed of a vertical bar and an angular bar, when adjusting these type of cymbals make sure not to over adjust the angular bar, or the cymbal will come crashing down on you. Keep the angular bar at a good angle. Pull the cymbals toward you and use the wing screw on the vertical bar to adjust for height. The process is similar for all cymbals, grasp the upper portion of the vertical bar firmly and pull upwards, tighten the wing screw and check for comfort Again, a good height is one that keeps you from straining, you do not want to have to reach up or out to strike the crash-zone of a cymbal.

When adjusting cymbals for height there are a few things to keep in mind. You never want the bell or central hub of the cymbal to overlap other cymbals or drum heads, this will cause cymbals to hit each other, or you will not be able to access your drum heads. It is also important to keep your cymbals far enough above any drum head that you can access your drums with ease, however, you do not want the cymbals so high that you cannot reach them with ease.


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