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Care, Playing, Selection

Choose the Correct Cymbal for your Playing Style

Thinner, smaller cymbals have less volume and are more fragile than thicker, larger cymbals.  If you attempt to hit a thin or small cymbal very hard in order to get a bigger sound, it won't work.  It’s important to hit the cymbal the way it was designed for.  If you are a rock player that hits hard and uses large drumsticks, you shouldn’t be choosing thin, small cymbals for your setup.  If you prefer the darker, warmer tones of traditional thinner cymbals you need to adjust your playing style or you are sure to experience breakage.  If you need a louder sound, use bigger and thicker cymbals.

Proper Cymbal Setup

Every cymbal stand must have-

1)     A nylon tube over the center rod to avoid metal to metal contact

2)     A metal support washer at the base of the center rod.

3)     Felt washers below and above the cymbal.

Proper Angle

Each cymbal should be angled slightly towards you.  If the cymbal is angled too steep, it won’t be able to move freely and will choke the sound.  If the cymbal is perfectly flat, you will be hitting into the edge of the cymbal (the most fragile part) and causing undue stress and fatigue which will significantly reduce the life of your cymbal.

Do not over-tighten the cymbal!

The cymbal should be free to vibrate on the stand which is how the sound is generated.  An over-tightened cymbal will be stressed and fatigued at a rapid rate which will reduce the life of your cymbal.

Proper Playing Technique

Play your cymbals with glancing blows.  Using a slight twist of your wrist, allow the drum stick to bounce off naturally, rather than forcing the stick down through the cymbal. This allows the cymbal to vibrate freely and reduces stress at the edge and at the center hole.  This also produces the most open, natural sound of the cymbal and avoids choking.

Proper Storage and Transport

Never stand a cymbal on its edge on a hard surface or lay it flat on the floor where it may get stepped on.  Avoid getting sweat on your cymbals and humid conditions which can lead to corrosion.  Wipe your cymbals down with a soft cloth in these situations.

Invest in a good quality hard case with center-post to keep your cymbals safe.  Keep protective dividers between each cymbal.  A cymbal bag is okay as a second choice, but remember, an accidental drop of a cymbal bag will do virtually nothing to save your cymbals from damage.  Spend a few extra dollars to protect your investment!

Cleaning/Polishing

Just wiping down your cymbals with a soft cloth will keep them in good condition.  You can use warm water with just a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap if you feel there is dirt that needs to be picked up.  Wipe in the direction of the lathed grooves and be sure to thoroughly dry them.  Use a cymbal polish and follow the directions on the label for a more polished look.  Avoid the logos when cleaning or polishing or you will likely clean/polish them away.