The online magazine for people who's business is music
In Short: Choose your cymbals wisely. Then, take care of them. How? Read on.
Photo by; So You Photography (http://www.soyouphotography.com)
You go to your local music store and look at cymbals. WOW !!! To outfit your kit with the cymbals of your choice, the store wants a king's ransom. Now, if you choose the high end Zildjian cymbals, the price seems like an arm, a leg and your first born male child. Man, those puppies are expensive. As a drummer myself, who still has his Zildjians from the mid 1960's the price today really knocks my socks off. Of course, back in the 1960, the cymbals weren't cheap either. The may have cost less, but adjusting for inflation, the price was still out of this world.
Regardless of what cymbals you choose, the best way to get the most bang for your buck is to choose your cymbals wisely. Then, take care of your investment. If you are reading this, most likely you are a professional drummer and your cymbals are really an investment. An investment into your sound and livelihood.
There are some things you can do to save $$$. If you crack a cymbal, drill a hole just past the crack on both ends. That may help, for a while. But, if you continue to play as you have, the cymbals will eventually fail completely.
In the old days, I was taught; Never use polish on cymbals. The polish clogs the cymbal grooves and the microscopic pores, made while the cymbals are being machined. NOW, cymbal polishes are sold. Even Zildjian has their own cymbal cleaning polish. The choice is yours. Old school or new school.
Zildjian has some things to say about the care of your cymbals. Here's the Reader's Digest version of what they have to say:
1) Play it right. How and where you strike the cymbal matters.
2) Choose the right cymbal for what and how you play.
3) Protect your investment.
4) Avoid metal to metal contact
5) Keep it loose. Don't clamp your cymbals with wing nuts, etc.
How to Choose your cymbals:
1) Bring your own sticks to the store.
2) Bring another drummer so you can stand back and listen.
3) Bring your cymbals with you to the store to match sounds.
4) Trust your own ears. You are creating YOUR SOUND.
Here a link to Zildjian's "Product Care & Tips" page. Even if you are an old pro, chances are, you will learn a thing or two.
Here's a link to Zildjian's US, English, Home page;
I personally like old school high end Zildjians. I didn't like "Pang" cymbals when they first came out, and my opinion hasn't changed in decades. I also don't like a lot of the other specialty cymbals. Opinions vary. It's your money, your sound and your choice. Choose wisely.
By Jungle Jim