Good cymbals can be very expensive so it is really important to give them the care they need to last a long time. Here are 5 tips to help you look after your cymbals.
- Get a bag or preferably a hard shell case. Most instruments that get damaged do so while being transported. Having a bag or hard case will increase the life of your cymbals greatly. Don’t just wrap them in a blanket or towel and shove them in your car. Even a cheap bag can help to prevent minor nicks and scratches.
- Buy a cheap set for practice. I recently purchased a full set of cheap cymbals for less than the price of one good one. This allows me to use the cheap ones for practice and rehearsal while leaving my good set for performing. Simply using your good cymbals less will improve their life enormously.
- Keep your cymbals clean. Handle cymbals by the edge only as the oil in your fingers can mark them. To remove marks use a proper cymbal cleaner and NEVER use a polishing agent. Many modern cymbals have a coating on them to preserve their finish and polishing will remove this coating. Polishing also removes metal in order to achieve a shiny finish. Doing this over a period of time will alter the tone and sound of your cymbals.
- Use felts and plastic sleeves on your stands. Cymbals can be very easily damaged around the centre hole when you have metal to metal contact. Make sure that your stands have the appropriate plastic sleeves and felts attached. They only cost a few dollars so get some extras and keep them in your stick bag as they are easily lost when packing up.
- Stack them smallest to largest. When you pack your cymbals away, put the smallest ones on the bottom of the stack and add the larger ones progressively. Putting the small ones on top of the large ones can change the profile (shape) of the cymbal which will change its sound.
These are just a few tips to help you get the best value out of what can be very expensive items. If you have any other tips to add then I’d love to hear them in the comments.