Cymbals Care & Tips
Here's some very useful tips from Zildjian, for drummers who want to make sure their cymbals have a long life...
How do I care for my Zildjian cymbals?
Zildjian cymbals are precision crafted. Their life expectancy depends largely on usage. One played with care and good technique will last longer than one played rigorously with poor technique. Proper care helps maintain the musical integrity of the instrument. Abusive treatment, neglect, and incorrect playing habits all contribute to metal fatigue which can diminish tonal quality or even cause cymbal fractures.
Follow these 4 easy guidelines to ensure a long life for your Zildjian cymbals:
1. Play It Right
Avoid striking cymbals directly on their edge. Crash cymbals, especially, should be hit with a glancing blow, a little off center. Striking with a slight twist of the wrist also helps avoid breakage and allows crash cymbals to “open up.”
2. Choose the Right Cymbal
The sound quality of a Zildjian cymbal is determined by its alloy content, size, shape, hammering and lathing pattern. Trying to force a cymbal to produce volume beyond its range can cause breakage. There are Zildjian cymbals for every style of music. Match your cymbal to your specific needs.
3. Protect Your Investment
- Always carry your cymbals in a padded cymbal bag or a protective cymbal case.
- Store your cymbals immediately whenever you break down your drumset.
- When cymbals are not in use for prolonged periods of time, wrap cymbals separately with a piece of cloth to protect their edges and surfaces; be especially careful of the bottom edge.
- Keep your cymbals away from extreme cold or heat.
4. Set-Up Basics
Avoid Metal-to-Metal Contact
Place a sturdy nylon or rubber sleeve around the cymbal tilter rod when mounting your cymbals to prevent center hole deformation and cracking. Always use top and bottom felts.
|Cymbal Stand Asembly
||Hihat Clutch Assembly
Keep It Loose
Do not over-tighten the wing nut. This can cause cracks around the center hole. Also, a clamped cymbal will not vibrate freely and often sounds choked. For HiHats, keep the clutch medium-tight so that the top cymbal moves freely.
How Do I Choose My Next Cymbal?
Decide exactly what kind of playing your cymbal will be used for. For example, if you are looking for a crash, will it be used for loud explosive crashes, softer, more exotic crashes, fast “choke” effects, special effects, or a combination of these?
What type of music to be played: Latin, Funk, Jazz, Heavy Metal, Country, Big Band, or Rock.
What type of band are you in, and what is the instrumentation of the band. The Zildjian Sound Palette will help you decide after taking these factors into consideration.
Going to the Store - “THE GOLDEN RULES”
Always bring your own personal drumsticks with you to pick out any new cymbal, as you will feel more comfortable with them and react more naturally when playing. Relying on whatever sticks happen to be at the store can give you a totally misleading picture of the cymbal.
Bring another drummer or musician whose ears you trust to stand back at varying distances from the cymbal while you play it to hear how it sounds and projects “out front”. Also, have them play the cymbal while you stand out front. Sometimes a cymbal heard up close can sound nothing like you imagined it would from a distance.
Bring other cymbals from your set-up to play with the new cymbal. You will be able to hear how well the new cymbal either contrasts with or compliments the other cymbal sounds. Trust your own ears! After all, you are developing YOUR sound.