That old cymbal

I know I am blogging like crazy, but I have a passion for the subject of music and it’s hard for me to not talk about it. So, for the ones following me, thank you!

Now! Let’s get to the subject indicated on the title: Old cymbal.

No one has yet to sing about old cymbals. And it is too bad! They are to be revered and honored. I’ll throw a few “for instance” to illustrate the point.

Steve Gadd has been endorsing Zildjian for ever, but he is known to have cymbals from other brands that he carries around for his different performances.

A friend of mine, a collector of all things drum, makes a point of going to garage sales and thrift store to get weird cymbals (I was ready to say “crappy cymbals”) that he plays when he records (He does play every single one of them).

One of my student took lessons with Chico Hamilton, a legend of Jazz drumming. My student (Let’s call him Bob), noticed how old and run down his cymbals looked. He even tried to play them, but they sounded a bit doll to him. That is until Chico told him to hit that ride right there, just at the sweet spot, yes, that little spot a little carved down now, you hear it? listen to that! And, to Bob’s surprise, the cymbal came to life, the sound blossoming into something truly remarkable that he knew all too well. He had heard it on the many record Chico Hamilton had recorded.

Even cracked cymbals can still have a very original tone. You hit it and it goes all strange and buzzy and strange (I know, I wrote “strange” twice, but it’s because, wow!).  And you hear that on a record and you run to your local drum store to get the exact same one, with that exact same bizarre sound, but! But no! Because no two cymbals are alike. Unfortunately.

That is why one needs to have respect for the old cymbals that seem washed up of all their sound. They are unique, you see, and they still contain magic in them. You just have to find the sweet spot.