Cymbal care

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Cymbal care


  • Avoid direct metal contact with the stands by ensuring that mounting rods are covered by plastic or rubber sleeves to avoid the key-hole effect caused by repeated metal contact. Felts should be inserted underneath and on top of the cymbal. They should have the proper size so that they protect the cymbal from metal washers, which can cause circular cuts underneath the bell.
  • It is a good idea to use a top mounting screw to prevent the cymbal from falling off the stand during heavy playing.
  • Do not over-tighten mounting screws and make sure that the cymbal can move freely as it will sound better and absorb the striking force well. This is especially true for crash and hi-hat top cymbals.
  • Consider avoiding extreme angles and height when mounting cymbals. Horizontal and high placement will cause you to hit crash cymbal at improper angles, and will weaken the edge of the cymbal (and chew up your drumstick). Near *vertical mounting in ride cymbals will not develop the ride cymbals full sound and is awkward to play
  • Angle the bottom cymbal of the hi-hat slightly to avoid air lock. There is usually a screw for this purpose underneath the bottom cymbal washer.

Playing Style

  • When striking the edge of the cymbal use glancing blows or pull back the stick. Do not hit directly at and “through” the cymbal. You will have less problems with breakage and achieve a more musical sound.
  • You should be especially careful when hitting the upturned edge of a china or swish cymbal.
  • Don’t play hard, play smart. If you find yourself playing hard, that is probably because your cymbals are too small.
  • Loosen up and relax. If you are stiff and rigid, you will transmit this inflexible force into your cymbals when playing. Remember, a cymbal can only sound as good as it is being played.

Setup & Transport

  • Handle cymbals by holding them between both hands at the edge. Always check for proper felts and nylon sleeves before setting up cymbals.
  • If at all possible, rest your cymbals flat and out of harm’s way. Avoid standing them on their edge on hard surfaces such as concrete floors. If cymbals will be stacked, try to avoid direct contact between them with plastic, cloth, a towel, or similar materials. The same is true for transportation in bags and cases.
  • Avoid extreme cold and extreme heat and allow cymbals to assume the surrounding temperature before playing them.
  • When transporting cymbals, always use a bag or case. Make sure cymbals cannot move around too much and are separated from each other with some soft material or plastic.
  • Always protect the edge of the cymbals. Nicks and dents invariably lead to breakage and void the warranty.
  • If you have a flight case with a center rod, make sure it is covered by plastic or rubber to avoid direct metal contact.


  • Every Paiste Cymbal is treated with a special protective coating, designed to resist fingerprints and light stick marks. It also prevents oxidization. The coating makes it very easy for maintenance. It allows fingerprints and light marks to come clean quite easily by wiping in the direction of the grooves with a soft cloth.
  • Play with clean hands. Dirty, sweaty hands are not good for your cymbals. Wipe your cymbals frequently with a soft, dry cloth, and after each practice session or performance. Remove dirt and spills immediately.
  • Clean your cymbals more often with just warm water and soap. If you have to use a cleaner, use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner. Obviously, we recommend Paiste Cymbal Cleaner & Protector.
  • Do not use mechanical buffing tools. They generate heat and this may alter the sound; they can be so strong that you may remove not only dirt but metal as well.

Cleaning with the Paiste Cymbal Cleaner & Protector

  • First lay the cymbal on a table covered with a smooth carpet or cloth surface. Next wet the cymbal with water and also wet a cotton cloth with water. Squirt a few drops of Paiste Cymbal Cleaner onto the cloth (not onto the cymbal directly) and make sure the cleaner is well watered-down.
  • With the cloth, gently wipe the cymbal in the direction of the lathing grooves until you see dirt being removed from the surface. Do not rub at all! As soon as you see dirt or grime on the rag, stop the cleaning process. Rinse off the cymbal with a different wet cloth until the cleaner is completely removed. You can also rinse the cymbal directly under running luke warm water instead. When the cleaner is completely removed, use a new dry cloth and gently wipe around the cymbal until it's completely dry. Again, never rub!
  • After completing the cleaning instructions, pour a small portion of Paiste Cymbal Protector on a clean dry cloth and gently wipe around the grooves of the cymbal. The protector serves as a temporary coating and prevents the bronze surface from oxidizing. Your newly cleaned and protected cymbals will be worth the effort!

Cleaning Color Coated Cymbals

  • For cymbals that feature that Paiste Colorsound Coating, the standard cleaning procedures are not applicable. Use only a dry or damp cloth, gently rubbing in the direction of the grooves. For hard to remove dirt or stick marks, warm water and mild soap can be used but again, no harsh cleaners. This coating is designed not to come off, unless metal to metal contact is made. Paiste Colorsound Coated cymbals should always be stored in their plastic sleeves or separated by cloth, towels, or other soft materials. Never allow them to rest against each other, or against other cymbals without some protection between them. These points will keep your color coated cymbals looking like new for years to come.

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