China as a main crash

Anon La Ply

I view a China as something like a dissonant chord; it makes a nice contrast and a good way to break up the flow when used sparingly, but when overused they just become grating and pointless.
I agree with all of this, although I think that being "gratingness" absolutely has its place in music. Some people use grating music as a kind of shock therapy - like ice baths, running marathons and bungee jumping.

Also, Chinas can make a lovely, exotic sound played gently. Great for spacey passages. I had an old, bent green sizzle cymbal that I converted to a pretend-China. I used it sparingly but I loved playing it in those moments! Wish I didn't get rid of it now :(


Platinum Member
Everyone's got their own thing. I own 3 China's, but right now, none of them are set up. They have their place, sure. I think they're more of a "specialty" or "effects" cymbal. Certainly, I wouldn't want one for a main crash.​
I used it sparingly but I loved playing it in those moments!
And indeed, sparingly. Not my style to use a China on more than a few songs, in a two/three hour show. But that's just me.​


Senior Member
Listen to the Cure's hit "Just Like Heaven". It is all china cymbal crashes through the whole song. I like that idea. I myself have a 16" Zildjian oriental I love, but don't use for anything other than rock. They add great drama when you hit them reasonably soft. Almost like a gong kind of noise.
I also have a 12" Wuhan Lion mini china that came free with a 12" splash. That one I don't use as much. You have to hit it just right and it has only one high pitched sound. But for the right song that sound may be great.
I think you could use a china as a crash for some variety, but I can't see anyone doing it all the time on every song.