How to put rivets in cymbals

Written by chris brower
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How to put rivets in cymbals
Rivets add a sizzle sound to a cymbal. (cymbal macro image by Lytse from

Rivets are used to give a cymbal a "sizzle" sound. After the cymbal is hit with a stick, the rivets move up and down to help create a sizzle effect that usually lasts several seconds, depending on the type of cymbal, where you placed the rivets and how many rivets you put in the cymbal. While many cymbal companies sell cymbals that already have rivets in them, you can do it yourself in just a few minutes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Marker
  • Center punch
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • 5/32-inch drill bit
  • Rivets

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  1. 1

    Mark on the underside of the cymbal where you want your rivets. Have the rivets be at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the cymbal. Space them at least 1 inch apart.

  2. 2

    Place the cymbal upside down on a work surface, parallel to the surface. It might help to have someone hold the cymbal steady for you.

  3. 3

    Punch the drill bit position by striking a centre punch with a hammer in the spots you marked.

  4. 4

    Drill through the cymbal using a 5/32-inch drill bit. Be careful, as drilling can make the cymbal jump or move. Have someone hold the cymbal or use some other method to keep the cymbal from moving.

  5. 5

    Place your rivets into each hole.

Tips and warnings

  • Too many rivets can weigh down your cymbal and dull the sound.
  • For the best results, make each mark and drill each rivet one at a time. This will help you achieve the sound you want. You can always add more rivets, but you can't undo the holes you've drilled.

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