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Cymbal Care


Gary's Top Ten Tips

It may not have come as a surprise to most of you that I am an avid user of Zildjian Cymbals. For the care and cleaning of cymbals a few common tips apply. These tips apply to all cymbal brands not just my preference. The following ten simple points should help you to select and care for your cymbals. This is very important, not only because they are expensive, but also because they are part of a drummer's individual sound.

When selecting cymbals seek advice from as many people as possible, i.e. your teacher, other players, shops, etc. This is often an area overlooked and can result in the wrong purchases.

  1. NEVER! Test cymbals for more than 15 minutes at a time, as your ears will become tired and confused and you might make the wrong choice.
  2. NEVER! Put cymbals on to stands without a plastic/rubber protector and a felt to isolate the metal of the cymbal from the metal of the holder.
  3. NEVER! Tighten the holder too much - usually a wing nut - as the cymbal must be able to move freely.
  4. Metal to metal contact and clamping down a cymbal too tightly are the most common causes of cymbal breakages.
  5. Clean your cymbals as part of a routine in caring for your kit. Don't leave it until they are very dirty from excess use. Wash cymbals in warm soapy water to remove the surface dirt, then use an old tooth brush to scrub out the dirt from the tonal grooves. Excessive cleaning could spoil your cymbals.
  6. Then take a cymbal cleaner (I recommend ZILDJIAN cymbal cleaner). Directions for use are found on the container.
  7. NEVER! Clean cymbals with METAL POLISH, HOUSEHOLD SCOURERS or CHROME CLEANERS, as they will ruin your cymbals very quickly.
  8. Keep your cymbals in a proper cymbal case to protect your investment!
  9. Always check the nylon sleeve that protects the cymbal whilst on the cymbal stand. This should be done on a regular basis. Replace any split sleeves immediately.
  10. You must hear the cymbals at a distance as well as up close in order to gain a proper idea of the sound characteristics.


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