Some of you have probably noticed my prices fluctuating as I try to figure out where to pitch my cymbals in the marketplace and attach value to my work and time.
Challenges of Pricing
As an independent cymbal maker and reluctant businessman, this is something with which I've struggled since the beginning. I often say I never intended to make a cymbal business, rather I'm an obsessive tinkerer who, faced with a learning curve, will dive headfirst into the quest for knowledge, understanding and mastery. It became apparent fairly quickly that cymbal making is a craft with no bounds. I predict and hope that I'll be learning and unpicking the details until my last hammer stroke.
I love this about being a cymbalsmith.
Pricing and business, however, is not something I love. I don't hate it by any stretch, but I'm happiest sat to the anvil swinging a hammer into bronze sculpting a cymbal blank into something on which I'd be glad to lay my drumsticks.
Working alone and being a sensitive person means that my psychology necessarily enters into my working life, that's unavoidable, and something I try to teach my cymbalsmithing students.
Looking around at social media noise - the clamour for attention and options for income are tiring. These days I genuinely feel confident that my cymbals are of a high quality. I'm not going for mass appeal, I'm going for unique & dynamic. The right instrument for the right player. I also genuinely feel that I like paying rent and feeding myself and my children. I complain about inflated prices and the peacocking world of one-upmanship, and words like "marketplace" and "competition", which, if I'm honest, taste a little bitter.
A Fair Pricing Solution
With all that said, I've decided to bring my prices to a level which I feel is fair to the customer, and fair to me as the maker. Yes, I've spent 10 years of my life teaching myself this crazy craft, but with that comes efficiency and speed. I can make fine cymbals quickly, so the deal is I make them affordable and allow them an easy journey to someone else's drumkit where they'll be played and understood, and I can keep working & learning.
On top of that, each month I will be making a few "special release" cymbals, which will be a culmination and application of my learning to date, marking a transition to the next level of my journey as a cymbal maker. More details on that soon.