Tag Archives: Guitar

New yellow Guitar Hero cymbal

New yellow cymbal


This is the easiest way to get a working Guitar Hero cymbal – buy one!!!

My yellow cymbal was faulty and I tried to fix it, but couldn’t.  I’m not sure why – maybe I killed the sensor in the process.  So I did some searching and found an eBay stsore, Thumbmonkey, that sold various game bits and pieces – and they sold individual Guitar Hero cymbals too!

They’re based in the US so it took some time to get to Australia (ordered on the 16th Sep, arrived today 7th Oct).  Looking at the cymbal, it’s in great condition, the yellow ring a little bit dirty.  Does it work?  I’ll have to go home and see.   For me, the cymbal cost US$11.99 + US$17.64 shipping to Australia = US$29.63.  At today’s exchange rate, that’s $33.39 AUD.  Cheaper than buying a whole new drumkit (if that’s possible).

So, if you’re really stuck, cymbal doesn’t work, you’re out of warranty, and the methods that people have posted on the web don’t work, then just buy one…

Thumbmonkey Video Games – http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Thumbmonkey-Video-Games__W0QQ_armrsZ1

Guitar Hero Yellow Cymbal broken

Disassembling the yellow cymbal

That’s it..  My yellow cymbal is forever broken.

I noticed the other day that hits weren’t registering very well.  When playing, Miss 8 said, “Dad, I have to hit it REALLLLLY hard to get it to work!”

So I experimented and found that if I hit the cymbal in a particular direction (along the edge), then it would register as a hit more reliably.  Maybe 40% of the time.   But if I hit it straight on, then it didn’t register at all.

So, I plugged in the MIDI cable to my M-Audio Firewire 410, brought up the Drum Tuning kit and changed the sensitivity – but to no success.

I then unscrewed the cymbal, and did the sticky tape, and then the piece of cardboard trick.  No success.

I tried tapping on the piezo electric sensor itself.  No success.

I resoldered the wires.  No success.

I replaced the wires with new ones from Dick Smith and soldered them straight onto the jack connector thingy on the PCB board.   No success.

If I swap the good cymbal (the orange one) to the left hand side, it works – so I know it’s not the actual drum frame or jack at all.

So, I’m now really thinking that the actual piezo sensor is stuffed.  That’s the round thing that the wires are soldered onto.  From my research, it seems that it’s just some sensor that transmits a signal when it detects vibration (due to something inside it squashing up minutely with each vibration).  If I could buy a new one of those, then I think I could fix the cymbal.  But where do you get one?  I might try Jaycar in Perth, but I doubt you can buy single ones of the internet.  You probably have to buy in bulk.

I decided to turn to eBay.  Surprisingly, there are eBay sellers that sell single working cymbals for the Guitar Hero drumkit!  Problem solved!

I’m now just waiting for mine to turn up from the US which should take about 10 working days.

In the mean time, I’ve just swapped the orange with the yellow, and am playing Rockband instead, since it doesn’t need the 5th drum!

[Update 7/Oct/09]

My new yellow cymbal has arrived!   Read more here:  https://jasechong.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/new-yellow-guitar-hero-cymbal/

Installing a strap button

I’ve been using a shoestring strap on my Seagull S6+CW acoustic guitar for a while and it just isn’t working for me.   As the shoestring is tied around the headstock of the guitar, it changes the tuning of all the strings as the neck is pulled back and forth when I’m playing.  Not good when playing with fixed pitch instruments like a piano!

I decided that I need to change the type of strap.   But one problem – the Seagull doesn’t come with a strap button on the neck.  Why?!??!  At least Seagull have published some instructions on their site on where to install a strap button.   If you’re thinking of doing this yourself – you MUST read their notes or else you might end up drilling into a bolt.


And a quick Google shows a few walkthroughs on how to install a strap button onto a Seagull guitar.



I was definitely NOT looking forward to drilling a hole into the beautiful wooden body, but in the end, it worked out fine.   Here’s my adventure in pictures!

Marked the spot
Marked the spot
About to drill
About to drill
Just drilled the hole
Just drilled the hole
Screwing in the strap button
Screwing in the strap button
All done
All done

Hank Marvin at the Ellington

We were pretty tired on Friday last week…. and we so nearly didn’t make it to the Ellington.  The lure of sitting on the couch in home clothes with the girls, watching a DVD with the kids was overpowering!  But we had bought tickets, so we pulled ourselves there and what a wonderful night we had! 

At first, I was skeptical about whether Hank Marvin would be able to pull this off, but I think it worked in the end.  It’s a bit weird, but my parents and my Wifey’s parents were the generation to listen to The Shadows.  As with kids and their parent’s music tastes, Wifey had quite a bit of exposure to Hank’s early days.  Lately, Hank has been dabbling in the gypsy jazz style of guitar that Django Reinhardt is famous for.

From looking around at the average age on Friday night – I’m guessing that there were quite a few Hank Marvin fans there 🙂

So..  great atmosphere, nice wine and tapas, friendly service, and great table….  but the stars of the night for me though – Nunzio with his virtuosic accordion solos and Gary Taylor on rhythm guitar who had an amazingly infectious rhythm and was so solid, holding the whole thing together – well done!

The only thing missing from the night – a swing violinist.. hmm..  let’s see – I swing dance.. and play the violin..  although improvising is a whole new game.  I wish!  Anyways, it did inspire me to get out my Minor Swing again.

Guitar Hero with the kids

Rockin out on Guitar Hero

Rockin out on Guitar Hero

My dear wife had another evening rehearsal so I got to spend another evening with the kids.   It was sooo cold tonight that we abandoned our plan to go to Galleria.

But it didn’t stop us from having some gaming fun!  It’s great how the kids are at an age where I can game with them.   We sang SingStar songs at the top of voices and jumped around and rocked out on Guitar Hero 2!  We are nerds!!!