10 quick cymbal-protection tips

2nd Mar 2010 | 08:32

How to look after your drum cymbals

drum cymbal

Protect your cymbals... © Roy McMahon/Corbis

Drum cymbals are expensive bits of kit and can easily become irreversibly dirty or damaged. Courtesy of Rhythm Magazine, find out how to avoid this fate below…

10 cymbal protection tips

1. Handle with care

Handle cymbals by the edges using only your fingertips. This prevents your sweaty mitts getting all over the shiny surfaces.

2. Avoid hard floors, use a bag

Never stand a cymbal up on its edge on a hard floor, and make sure you have a good cymbal bag for transporting and storing.

3. Don't sweat it

Watch out! Sweat marks and hot'n'humid gigs can lead to cymbal corrosion - an unsavoury-looking greenish staining.

4. Protect

Cymbals often come with a thin protective coating film to guard against corrosion, but this does tend to wear off.

5. No abrasive cleaners

Never try to clean a cymbal with an abrasive metal cleaner or abrasive (brillo-style) pad-however tempting it may be.


Next: cleaning and polishing vs keeping dirrty!

Cymbal cleaner

6. Use washing up liquid

Instead, clean your cymbals with washing up liquid and warm water, using a soft non-abrasive cloth.

7. Follow the grooves

Scrub around the cymbal in the direction of the lathed grooves when you wash them and dry them thoroughly with a towel.

8. Polish

Polish your cymbals with the manufacturers own cymbal cleaner or polish. To some extent this will restore the protective coating.

9. Be manufacturer-specific

Remember that different cymbal makers have different protective coatings, so it's a good idea to use their specific cleaner/polish.

10. …unless you like it dirrty!

Cleaning cymbals is not a priority for everybody - some feel cleaning affects sound and prefer them dirty.


For the best monthly drumming tips, video lessons and reviews, check out Rhythm Magazine.

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