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Flips 2, Set to Hip Rest

A fundamental flip to work on is the flip from set to hip rest. This flip works on isolating the wrist turn without almost no arm motion, forcing you to concentrate on the rotation in a short pathway.

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


This flip isolates the wrist rotation between the two 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 hip rest 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 minimizing the arm motion. Stay relaxed with the wrists and fingers.

Pull the fingers off the pads & cymbals, rotate the wrists and allow the momentum & weight of the cymbals to assist in the rotation.

Continue the rotation with the hands and allow the cymbals to fall back into the hands.

End the flip in the perfect hip rest position, bells at hip level, cymbals following in line with the hips at a 40 degree angle. 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, rotating smoothly and evenly, ending in hip rest on count 3.

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

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


After you’ve developed a consistent, relaxed three count flip, move to a TWO count exercise. Initiate on count one, arrive at hip rest on count two, hold on counts 3 & 4. Back down in two counts, hold on counts 3 & 4.

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

When you’re comfortable, repeat with a one count flip.

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