with music city mystique:
Flips 1, Set to Gumption

The flip from Set to Gumption is the most fundamental. In this lesson, you’ll learn the pathways and checkpoints to create an effective flip that looks great and is consistent from player to player.

Music City Mystique Cymbal Instructor Zach Blessing details the flip pathway between set and gumption positions:


Like all flips, you should take the most direct pathway between the positions. Keep the upper body as relaxed and still as possible. The final motion of the flip will be as close to instantaneous as possible – starting a split second before 1 and ending in a solid gumption position on count 1.

Here is a breakdown of the flip motion:

Start at a good set position. Initiate the flip by moving forward with the arms, pressing slightly with the thumbs. 

The cymbals will cover the thighs. Notice the arm shape to the set position: nice elongated curve.

Continue the rotation with the hands while the arms move upward. Stay relaxed with the wrists and fingers.

The first checkpoint is called the “flash point” – bells facing the audience with a 2 inch distance between the cymbals. Don’t over extend the elbows outward.

Continue the rotation with the hands as the forearms move into the gumption position. Keep the 2″ gap consistent as you rotate, elbows relaxed and close to the body.

End the flip in the perfect gumption position with the seatbeat angle and cymbals 2″ apart. Check the blade position – all edges aligned with only the blades showing to the audience.

When learning this flip, start slow, hitting all the checkpoints in the motion. As you begin to morph it into one smooth motion, try to keep the upperbody, arms and hands relaxed.


Work on the flip with a THREE count exercise. Initiate the motion on count one, checking the flash point on count 2, ending in gumption on count 3.

Hold on count four, checking the gumption position, then lower your hands down on counts 1-3 of the following measure.

|:   Up,  2,  3  ..   |  Down,  2,  3  ..   😐


After you’ve developed a consistent, relaxed three count flip, move to a TWO count exercise.

Initiate on count one, flash point on the “and” of one, arrive at gumption on count two, hold on counts 3 & 4. Back down in two counts, hold on counts 3 & 4.

|:   Up &  2,  ..  ..  |  Down  2,  ..  ..   😐

The final performance flip will be as fast as possible. Think of starting on one and ending on one (you’ll actually need to move SLIGHTLY before count one so that you hit the arrival point at gumption exactly together on the downbeat).

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