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I hate touching cymbals with my bare hands

Tubwompus

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When I first saw this, I was going to make a joke and say I haven't handled many cymbals... ;)

Kidding aside, I've experienced a smell with old coins (which are copper) and other metal objects, usually when they're old and dirty, but haven't noticed it a lot with cymbals.

My personal cymbals are mostly vintage with either no coating, or the coating has long worn off, so I don't know if that has something to do with it.

During my years at Zildjian, I can't say I noticed it a lot, or at all. I would often handle cymbals with cloth gloves, but many times without them. Maybe a faint odor from the metal but nothing overwhelming.

@Nubs , you may well have some sort of allergy if you break out a bit. Or perhaps it's the chemicals in the coating.
Ageeed. However, my cymbals definitely had a strong metallic smell after using the Zildjian cymbal polish. (The blue/green stuff in the clearish plastic bottle. Dunno if that’s still around or not.) Came to love that smell, though coz it was the smell of shiny cymbals.
 

trashman

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When cymbals are properly new, I don't mind their inherent shine and sparkle, but I also look forward to that going away (naturally). I'm too lazy to have ever implemented any artificial patina process to speed it up, but I can't stand the way non-new cymbals look when they've been polished, especially when the ink logos are even remotely faded and the bronze looks unreasonably gleamy... Such an eyesore.
As for the smell of B-20 bronze on my hands, I neither love nor hate it, but I appreciate that it means that I've have my hands on something I love.
 

TomC727

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I absolutely agree. I put felt gloves on when I put my cymbals up.

Keeping them clean is easier than cleaning them.
 

ThomasL

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I try to touch my cymbals all over the place so that they form a uniform patina.
 

drumgadget

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Re-visiting this thread ..... after making light of it a couple of dozen posts ago.

The OP has a keen sense of smell ........ today I was going through my collection of 20" rides; I dragged 6 of them out of the bags where they have been languishing. No question about it ....... there is a definite, actually rather strong whiff to them. And ..... it gets on my hands, for sure. The cymbals themselves are clean (but not cleaned ..... !), but there is a nice patina (oxidation) forming on many of them.

I rather like it ........ !

Mike
 

Blue Zurich

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Stop the cymbal shaming, as the scientific video above stated, it's us not them!
 

Tony_H

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This can’t be true. You clean your cymbals weekly? Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just so much work.

What kind are they? I’d love to see what they look like now.
If we have a Friday and/or Saturday show I'll clean them. Since we all have regular day jobs, we don't necessarily have a show every weekend, but we try to at least have 2-3 weekends a month full. So it all depends. And believe it or not, regular cleaning actually speeds up the process because there isn't as much oxidation, sweat, blood, or whatever on them...lol

I also have an 11 y/o daughter who is an aspiring drummer who helps me. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's only three Sabian AAX crash cymbals now that get cleaned. I replaced my A Custom Hi-hats and Ride with some Sabian AAX Freq series, and haven't decided if they will get the treatment or not....lol.

I'll try to remember to take some from behind the kit next weekend after we get setup.

This was from last weekend, so most recent setup.
elchulo_gig1.jpg

This was from just before covid when I was still using the A Custom Ride and hi-hats.
20190420_200126.jpg
 

nickrobotron

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If we have a Friday and/or Saturday show I'll clean them. Since we all have regular day jobs, we don't necessarily have a show every weekend, but we try to at least have 2-3 weekends a month full. So it all depends. And believe it or not, regular cleaning actually speeds up the process because there isn't as much oxidation, sweat, blood, or whatever on them...lol

I also have an 11 y/o daughter who is an aspiring drummer who helps me. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's only three Sabian AAX crash cymbals now that get cleaned. I replaced my A Custom Hi-hats and Ride with some Sabian AAX Freq series, and haven't decided if they will get the treatment or not....lol.

I'll try to remember to take some from behind the kit next weekend after we get setup.

This was from last weekend, so most recent setup.
View attachment 582005
This was from just before covid when I was still using the A Custom Ride and hi-hats.
View attachment 582006
Playing fresh, shiny, reflective A Customs, would be really fun.
 

hawker

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Have to say I've learned a lot from this thread and video....after sixty years of playing drums and handling lots of cymbals.

My hands have always smelled after handling cymbals but I just assumed it was normal. Like the odor you get when handling change in your pocket. However, it has only started to bother me in the last couple of years and I have no idea why? All I have to do is pick up one cymbal (let alone handling three or four) and I now can't stand the smell of my hands and always go wash them immediately.

However, I am also the guy who's cymbals were always green around the edges where you most often touch them. And I mean GREEN. I always wondered why other guy's cymbals didn't look the same and have since learned that my sweat and body chemistry isn't necessarily like everyone else. When I clean my cymbals gently once every twenty years or so I end up with a messy green/black mess in the sink and the cymbals never really get clean.

Shoot...maybe I'm an alien and that's why my parents always told me I didn't "actually" have a birth date"? :) What about guitar players, do their strings give off an odor?
 

type85

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Have to say I've learned a lot from this thread and video....after sixty years of playing drums and handling lots of cymbals.

My hands have always smelled after handling cymbals but I just assumed it was normal. Like the odor you get when handling change in your pocket. However, it has only started to bother me in the last couple of years and I have no idea why? All I have to do is pick up one cymbal (let alone handling three or four) and I now can't stand the smell of my hands and always go wash them immediately.

However, I am also the guy who's cymbals were always green around the edges where you most often touch them. And I mean GREEN. I always wondered why other guy's cymbals didn't look the same and have since learned that my sweat and body chemistry isn't necessarily like everyone else. When I clean my cymbals gently once every twenty years or so I end up with a messy green/black mess in the sink and the cymbals never really get clean.

Shoot...maybe I'm an alien and that's why my parents always told me I didn't "actually" have a birth date"? :) What about guitar players, do their strings give off an odor?

Flitz tarnish remover spray will get rid of the green tarnish/oxidation in seconds so will "Barkeepers friend" paste to a lesser extent, the drawback is both will leave the alloy "bare/exposed" and ready to oxidize/tarnish immediately!
Because of all the copper, B8 cymbals tend to be very susceptible to this, they must be coated right away.

 

Tubwompus

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Have to say I've learned a lot from this thread and video....after sixty years of playing drums and handling lots of cymbals.

My hands have always smelled after handling cymbals but I just assumed it was normal. Like the odor you get when handling change in your pocket. However, it has only started to bother me in the last couple of years and I have no idea why? All I have to do is pick up one cymbal (let alone handling three or four) and I now can't stand the smell of my hands and always go wash them immediately.

However, I am also the guy who's cymbals were always green around the edges where you most often touch them. And I mean GREEN. I always wondered why other guy's cymbals didn't look the same and have since learned that my sweat and body chemistry isn't necessarily like everyone else. When I clean my cymbals gently once every twenty years or so I end up with a messy green/black mess in the sink and the cymbals never really get clean.

Shoot...maybe I'm an alien and that's why my parents always told me I didn't "actually" have a birth date"? :) What about guitar players, do their strings give off an odor?
As far as guitar strings, yep, smell like old pennies.
 

GMFrancis

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I look after them the same as my drums. Pack well and carry carefully to the gig. Set up and play them. Pack away and next day give them a wipe with a micro fibre cloth. So, understand they’re going to age but look after them at the same time.
 


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