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Cymbals

Cymbals are not just an essential component of any quality drum kit, they are also a musical instrument in their own right. They are large round instruments made of bronze, brass or silver with a dome centre.

Part of the percussion family, cymbals are used in many ensembles from orchestras to heavy metal bands. Since the 19th Century, cymbals have been transformed in shapes, techniques and hardware. 

Cymbals are now a more popular and versatile instrument than ever before.

Different types of cymbals

There are two main different types of cymbal:

  • Sheet cymbals - made by stamping sheets of metal. Cheaper than cast cymbals 
  • Cast cymbals - made from molten metal, which is poured into a mould and then rolled, hammered and lathed into the finished product. Cast cymbals have better sustain, loudness and are often have a more complex tone. They are also tougher than sheet cymbals, but can often be more expensive

Maintaining your cymbals

Good cymbals can last a lifetime providing that they are maintained on a regular basis.

  • Cleaning – Cymbals need to be cleaned regularly to prevent a build up of oil, which will eventually harm them. Metal polish or a specialised cymbal cleaner will prevent the oil from damaging the cymbals
  • Wing nuts on cymbal stands – It is important to ensure that the cymbals are attached to the drum kit using felt washers. These will absorb some of the vibrations that can damage the cymbals. The nuts should also be tightened to a “snug fit” to make sure that the dangerous vibrations are contained
  • Storage - Whether you are storing or transporting your cymbals, you should never leave them standing upright. This will put a lot of gravitational force on the bottom, which will cause warpage. Cymbals should always be stored lying down on a padded surface
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