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All drummers know that feeling when you first sit behind the kit. There’s an empowering energy that you’re in control now, in position to play your heart out, whether that means brushing out jazzy rhythms, busting out a solo for the crowd, or thrashing until the downstairs neighbors complain. Building your kit and making it your own can be a years-long, customizable evolution in itself, as your playing (and gear) continue to get better and better. But whether you’re just starting out or have already found your groove, when it comes to what holds up your crash, splash, ride, and beyond, it’s best to keep your cymbal stands simple.
What You Need to Know About Cymbal Stands
Drumming is about self-expression, letting loose, and most importantly having fun. And nothing stops the beat like a wobbly, unbalanced cymbal stand. You want to be able to play freely, without worrying about your cymbals toppling over in the middle of a song or jam session. A crash that literally crashes into your kit every time it’s hit isn’t just annoying, it’ll take you right out of the moment and even throw off your bandmates too.
“When you buy a cymbal stand, you want to look at three factors: sturdiness, positioning flexibility, and weight, says Arafat Kazi, Boston-based drummer for The Attempted Band, who just played to 50,000 fans at Bangladesh’s Joy Bangla festival. “It’s always a balance of the three.”
According to Kazi, “Vintage style stands are usually lighter, but you can’t just put your cymbals anywhere you want. Heavy duty ones are durable and maneuverable, but tend to be inconvenient to carry around. And there are extra features [to consider] like memory locks, cymbal locks, and so on.”
To find the right cymbal stand for you, it’s important to first know how you’ll primarily be using it. Ask yourself a few questions, such as:
Are you a hobby drummer just jamming out at home occasionally with friends? Or will you be working your way up to playing professionally?
Will you be recording on other peoples’ (or your own) tracks?
Do you plan to keep your kit mostly at home, or move it around to various studios, gigs, and bandmates’ houses?
Just like finding the right rhythm to a new song, your cymbal stand should feel like a natural and comfortable part of your setup and playing style. We’ve selected a few top picks to get you started below.
Learning the drums is a lifelong journey. Take a look and see which cymbal stands are up for the ride.
1. Griffin Cymbal Boom Stand & Straight Cymbal Stand Combo
Every drum kit needs reliable cymbal stands, and these Griffins are ready to go right out of the box. They’re easy to set up and take down, which makes them ideal for practicing at home, as well as transporting them to a rehearsal space or shows. Plus, convenient memory locks mean you’ll never have to search around for your ideal personal settings every time.
The stands adjust from 29 inches to 48 inches without boom; 29 inches to 67 inches with boom. A steel washer, wing nut, vinyl tubing and felt pad ensure that your cymbals slot in securely, and that they won’t slip.
PROS: Strong, sturdy and durable, with braced legs and rubber-tipped feet that keep the stands firmly planted. Comes with two stands.
CONS: Many users report having to adjust the tension on the cables, along with tightening or lubricating the screws to enhance the ease of performance and increase the product’s longevity. You might have to mess around making some adjustments to really get the sound and position you’re happy with.
2. PDP By DW 800 Series Boom Cymbal Stand
Standing solid on its double-braced legs and oversized rubber feet, this medium-weight stand is designed for all general-purpose playing situations.
The Pacific 800 series is a more heavy-duty product – durable, flexible, and can stand up to harder hits as well as the constant teardowns and setups of life on the road. It’s also adjustable to be used straight or as a boom stand too.
PROS: With multiple positioning abilities (for your leg placement and cymbal placement), you’ll always find the perfect fit for your kit and your playing style.
CONS: If you play professionally, or extra hard, go for the even more durable 900 series.
3. MAPEX Cymbal Stand
Lightweight as well as easily movable and adjustable, MAPEX’s cymbal stand is generally designed for smaller-sized cymbals such as a 10-inch splash. Some drummers report using up to a 21-inch ride when positioned low and balanced correctly, however.
Double-braced legs add stability, while the mirror chrome finish adds a little bit of rock star edge.
PROS: For the price, this stand is ideal for practicing at home, or for drummers who are just starting out.
CONS: Professionals might want to seek out a higher-end model for frequent performances and touring. The range of the boom arm is shorter than other models on our list.