Rhythm Top Ten Tips: Keeping your cymbals in top-notch condition

Cymbals are expensive bits of kit and can easily become irreversibly dirty or damaged. Find out how to avoid this fate below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the last in the series of tips from Rhythm. We're now opening it up to the floor! If you have any tips for your fellow drums on anything from tuning, to choosing the right kit to the best methods for maintaining a grip on your sticks, let us know by emailing us at rhythmag@futurenet.co.uk or by leaving a comment at www.twitter.com/RhythmMagazine.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.