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. For a guide on choosing the right cymbal for you, visit the Zildjian Sound Pallete.
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. 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.
HiHat Cymbal Stand Assembly
a: wing nut, b: felt washer, c: nylon or rubber sleeve, d: cymbal,
e: felt washer, f: metal washer,
g: tilter rod shaft (threaded), h: tilter
HiHat Clutch Assembly
a: exposed clutch shaft, b: thumbnut,
c: felt washer,
d: cymbal, e: felt washer,
f: non-slip cap, g: hihat rod
5. 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.