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Simple Tips for Taking Care of Your Cymbals - Drum Solo Artist

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KenSanders
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KenSanders

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« on: March 27, 2008, 04:03:51 PM »

Just some simple advice about protecting your cymbals from damage!


http://www.drumsoloartist.com/live/blog/view/id_121/title_taking-care-of-your-cymbals/
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Ken Sanders
IBJAMN in Nashvile, TN
Johnathan
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 06:34:59 PM »

Ken, Great blog.  What is your take on Groove Juice?
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 07:48:02 PM »

KEN, I re=read your blog because I recalled you saying to not use Brasso on your cymbals.  Just to clarify...I take it you are referring to brass metal scouring pad, because I have always used a cream type cleaner named "Brasso" that does a great job of cleaning the metal without scratching it at all.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 11:21:51 PM »



Hey Johnathan and Tomm,  I always great to hear from you guys!

I have to include some explanatory information to answer your questions in a way that I hope makes sense to you.

What I do.
I can usually just wipe my Paiste cymbals off with an old tee shirt and some ammonia free Windex.  That easily takes care of fingerprints and stick marks.  In addition to the unique sounds….it’s one of the cosmetic features I like with Paiste cymbals.  With just a end-of-the-gig “wipe down” they stay bright and shiny….and they continue to sound like the cymbals did when I bought them.  I don’t want mine to morph into a different sound…..but that’s just me.  Like I said in my blog….some drummers really prefer the sound of dirty cymbals.


Johnathan
Yes..I have tired Groove Juice, as well as, several other well advertised cymbal cleaners.  Realize that I don't ever let my cymbals (Paiste) get real dirty in the first place.  So I very rarely have do a deep cleaning. Cymbals with a regular finish, such as on several Sabian and Zildjian models, are more apt to become dulled from years of dirt and grime.  Those are typically the kind of cymbals that need a deep cleaning.

Now, I have cleaned very dirty cymbals over the years and, by far, I prefer and recommend a product called called KicknBrass "Grunge" Cymbal Cleaner.  www.kicknbrass.com.  I think it’s the best product out there right now.

Tomm
It is true that  I never use Brasso (the liquid) on cymbals because it does (although you might not see it the first time you use it) have an abrasive effect.  It actually does take away a tiny bit of metal every time you use it.  I learned that in the U.S. Army where I used many, many cans of the stuff on my uniform items.

What it does to cymbals with repeated use.
My Army Band section leader showed us a old pair of marching cymbals that had been constantly polished with Brasso.  What had once been a pair of 16” heavy weight marching cymbals was now a pair of paper thin cymbals no longer suitable for marching band performances.  Now, to this day, I do not know how long it takes to polish a pair of heavy weight cymbals down to paper thin.   To tell you the truth….I don’t want to do that to anything I own.  But, it was proof to me that Brasso has an abrasive effect on soft metal, such as brass.  I can tell you that I did have to replace my uniform collar brass and belt buckles every so often before Brasso ate into them also. 


I have found that a much safer way to clean brass. I recommend a product called "Bar Keepers Friend".  It is non-abrasive and it works with plain old water, not a bunch of harsh chemicals.  There is also a similar product called “Zud”, although in my opinion, Bar Keepers Friend seems to do a slightly better job.
 
I love my cymbals just the way they were when I bought them.
Our cymbals are usually a result of many years of searching to assemble a set-up that reflects our musical personalities and playing styles.  They become an important part of our sound and we expect them to respond to our touch without any concerns that their desired sound will change.

It is a balance of the cymbal’s size, its’ design profile, the hammering and the WEIGHT that produces the cymbal sounds that we pick out for our own cymbal sets.  I, therefore, want to maintain them and keep my cymbals sounding “that way.” 

If we gradually thin them down with abrasive cleaners, then the sound will change.  If we gradually allow dirt and grime to accumulate in the groves, then the sound will change. 

So, there you have my opinions on this topic.  I know there are drummers who have different opinions, and that’s cool with me.  I just don’t want them to touch any of my cymbals.  Grin



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Ken Sanders
IBJAMN in Nashvile, TN
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