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Brushes that don’t turn the head black?

drumtimejohn

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I’ve been using Vic Firth jazz brushes for Americana. Love the sound, rubber ends for cymbal work, and portability. Don’t love the graphite look to my hands and heads after. The heal of my hand is turning black when playing a cross-stick song too. Its like working in a foundry! I typically play 7-10 mil coated heads. Remo attracts the most black while WM the least. Pretty sure it’s a brush problem anyway.

Please share your experience and tips regarding alternative brushes. Thanks!
 

DrumPhil

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How old are your brushes? Does it look like the wires are corroding? Are your brushes stored open, where they can collect dust? It could be that the wires have reacted over time to the oils from your skin and you just need a new pair.

Brushes I typically use are Regal Tip retractable models (trad or Jeff Hamilton) and the Vic Firth Legacy model with the wooden handle and retractable wires. I've never had problems with discoloration on my hands or heads. I always retract the wires when done playing so they don't get bent or collect dust/lint.
 

Rock Salad

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I got some Vater nylon brushes and trimmed them to a normal wire length and they work well enough. Much less residue
 

drumtimejohn

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How old are your brushes? Does it look like the wires are corroding? Are your brushes stored open, where they can collect dust? It could be that the wires have reacted over time to the oils from your skin and you just need a new pair.

Brushes I typically use are Regal Tip retractable models (trad or Jeff Hamilton) and the Vic Firth Legacy model with the wooden handle and retractable wires. I've never had problems with discoloration on my hands or heads. I always retract the wires when done playing so they don't get bent or collect dust/lint.
Thanks for your response. Brushes are newer and fresh. Use them a few hours a week and store by retracting. I live in a very low humidity environment and you have me thinking about potential implications. Will look into some of those products. Thanks!
 

cribbon

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Nylon/poly brushes for me. Last longer, sound louder when necessary, and no dirt on the snare batter head. Currently using a Regal Tip nonretractable pair. Don't care for their sticks, but I do like this brush.

2019-03-31-PiratesCove003.JPG
 

drumtimejohn

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Nylon/poly brushes for me. Last longer, sound louder when necessary, and no dirt on the snare batter head. Currently using a Regal Tip nonretractable pair. Don't care for their sticks, but I do like this brush.

View attachment 556603
I forgot I have that exact model! Came with a used set I bought and got filed away into the random box. I too use a combination of hot rod, stick, and brush each time. Thanks!
 

Soulfinger

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Nothing to do with corrosion or dust. That´s perfectly normal behaviour for new(ish) wire brushes. It gets less the more you play them. Until then, embrace the beausage. Or get nylon brushes, as already mentioned. :)
 

DB-66

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I can’t stand heads UNTIL they start to develop an oil spot!
 

cruddola

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I like metal brushes. Stained heads not a problem, never has been. The cost of doing business. When the brushes get difficult to push out for use, they simply take a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner with dishwashing detergent, then a quick spray with graphite lock lube. Wipe the heads with Windex, simple. Kinda like riding a Harley. Comes with a grease spot on the floor in time. Now how about then skid-marks on them skivvies...
 
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paul

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Nylon brushes just don't sound the same to me. Been using Regal Tip Clayton Cameron non-retractable for over a decade, and if the heads are getting stained I haven't noticed. They can be cleaned anyway.

I cut the plastic tube my brushes came in to a little longer than the pocket in my stick bag and store my brushes in the tube. One set has lasted over 10 years and I've only had to trip a couple of wires.
 

swarfrat

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I figured people would pay extra for leaving lots of black marks
 

drumtimejohn

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Thanks for the tips everyone. Seems like cleaning Vic Firth jazz brushes and the heads is somewhat accepted. Don’t so much mind the blackening of heads, cymbals, and sticks but my hands, clothes, face should I touch it, is just too much. Besides, I’d prefer not to dirty others sets when I use them. Never happened with my Regal Tip, just need a model w/o metal caps on the handle. I’ll try nylon for practice sake since I own some and explore some recommendations made here. Thanks again!
 

Rik_Everglade

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I always had this problem. I always thought that it was caused by a grease/oil that manufacturer’s usually put on bare metal so it does not rust. You can tell by the slippery feel. It’s not a bad thing, just creates that dirty black look that you continue to spread around your head every use, even after it wears off from the brushes. It never does it to clear heads, mylar is pretty resilient to everything. White coating, not so much. I suppose that a good detergent and vigorous wiping would remove it.
 

multijd

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I’ve been using Vic Firth jazz brushes for Americana. Love the sound, rubber ends for cymbal work, and portability. Don’t love the graphite look to my hands and heads after. The heal of my hand is turning black when playing a cross-stick song too. Its like working in a foundry! I typically play 7-10 mil coated heads. Remo attracts the most black while WM the least. Pretty sure it’s a brush problem anyway.

Please share your experience and tips regarding alternative brushes. Thanks!
People will know you’ve been working!
 


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