Help! My ride cymbal is not the 'full monty'!

lowdowner

Senior Member
I'm just learning to play drums (just a few months in) and am tackling some Trinity Grade 1 music and I've come across a piece that needs me to play on the ride's bell.

Sounds ok, but when I look up from the music I find that my ride doesn't *have* a bell!

My TRX DRK ride is almost completely flat. Sounds great, but am I missing out on something here? Do I need to get a second ride with a bell (like a Sabian super-sweet 21" ride as an example) or can I just play it near the centre and hope for the best?

I feel like I'm missing out on the Full Monty! :(
 

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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
That's a cool ride, but you're not really likely to get a bell sound without a bell...

You can however buy a cymbal "bell" by itself. The "zil-bell" is the one I see most on kits.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Odery kit too? Nice.

It is a bit of an issue. You're not 'missing' anything - flat rides (rides without bells) have been around for decades, they're just quite uncommon. I'm not sure what you can really do except practice hitting where the bell would be. That's difficult in itself because you would usually hit the bell with the shoulder of the stick, which you can't emulate easily without the bell strike.

I'm not sure what to recommend. Striking a bell accurately requires some practice on a real bell. Do you have a teacher? Maybe you can practice it at lessons specifically or perhaps seek out another ride cymbal that you can buy with a bell.
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
Odery kit too? Nice.

It is a bit of an issue. You're not 'missing' anything - flat rides (rides without bells) have been around for decades, they're just quite uncommon. I'm not sure what you can really do except practice hitting where the bell would be. That's difficult in itself because you would usually hit the bell with the shoulder of the stick, which you can't emulate easily without the bell strike.

I'm not sure what to recommend. Striking a bell accurately requires some practice on a real bell. Do you have a teacher? Maybe you can practice it at lessons specifically or perhaps seek out another ride cymbal that you can buy with a bell.
My teacher got to the bit in the music and said 'oh, err..., oh... you don't have a bell!' He looked slightly crestfallen :(

That serves me right for buying cymbals that were advertised as 'dark, sensuous, hand beaten rolling oceans of tone - suitable for jazz/folk and subtle musical experience'... As a newbie I was completely taken in by this...

OK, maybe I need to start looking for a ride with a bell to add to my kit!

Great - what an excuse to play loads of rides! *beam* :) :)
 

longgun

Gold Member
That's a cool ride, but you're not really likely to get a bell sound without a bell...

You can however buy a cymbal "bell" by itself. The "zil-bell" is the one I see most on kits.
+1............I have the smaller "Zil-bel" mounted above my flat ride and it works great.

I was just reading Arky's thread on DIY cymbal mods...............that would definitely cheaper and may even sound better.

His thread is here: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92087
 

Otto

Platinum Member
If $ restricted...

Try putting some masking tape(tape used by painters to mask moulding) around where you envision the bell to be. Can trim the tape back so its as accurate as possible.

You then have a target AND a sound difference when struck there.

I like masking tape as any of the gummy sticky side residue comes off easily with a little isopropyl alchohol.(will work with duct tape as well...but its more effort to clean up.)

Dont leave the tape on for more than a couple months...as the sticky residue begins to harden.

I dont suggest this unless you are OK with cleaning the cymbal...an odd statement...but some "unfinished" type cymbals rely on the manufacturing residues to create the sound they provide.


Your practice should show a wear pattern on the tape indicating your accuracy.

Have fun!!...and keep us posted re: your progress!!!


(Beautiful Cymbal by the way!....try cleaning a small spot with Isopropyl Alchohol before trying the above to see if it cleans off residues you do not want cleaned off - if you dont want to use tape you can just inset a thick paper disc that extends as far as you envision the bell - wont wear well but will give the target and the sound difference as well as evidence of accuracy)
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
If $ restricted...

Try putting some masking tape(tape used by painters to mask moulding) around where you envision the bell to be. Can trim the tape back so its as accurate as possible.

You then have a target AND a sound difference when struck there.

I like masking tape as any of the gummy sticky side residue comes off easily with a little isopropyl alchohol.(will work with duct tape as well...but its more effort to clean up.)

Dont leave the tape on for more than a couple months...as the sticky residue begins to harden.

I dont suggest this unless you are OK with cleaning the cymbal...an odd statement...but some "unfinished" type cymbals rely on the manufacturing residues to create the sound they provide.


Your practice should show a wear pattern on the tape indicating your accuracy.

Have fun!!...and keep us posted re: your progress!!!


(Beautiful Cymbal by the way!....try cleaning a small spot with Isopropyl Alchohol before trying the above to see if it cleans off residues you do not want cleaned off)
Great idea - i might just try this... :)
 

longgun

Gold Member
I'm just learning to play drums (just a few months in) and am tackling some Trinity Grade 1 music and I've come across a piece that needs me to play on the ride's bell.

Sounds ok, but when I look up from the music I find that my ride doesn't *have* a bell!

My TRX DRK ride is almost completely flat. Sounds great, but am I missing out on something here? Do I need to get a second ride with a bell (like a Sabian super-sweet 21" ride as an example) or can I just play it near the centre and hope for the best?

I feel like I'm missing out on the Full Monty! :(
That is a gorgeous cymbal lowdowner
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
That is a gorgeous cymbal lowdowner
I love the sound of it, but I don't have enough experience to compare it to anything else really. I have listened to a super-sweet Sabian ride on Youtube and it sounded very bright and 'zingy' which I liked as well. Maybe my life will only be complete if I have the both of them? ;)
 

porter

Platinum Member
Out of curiosity, how did you get to buying a flat ride cymbal without realizing it? TRX have regular rides in the DRK series. Rides with bells are much more common than those without.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Subtle, dark cymbals are my bag so I really like the look of the set you have - definitely a potential to be to my taste. Flat rides are great too, just esoteric!
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
It doesn't really sound like $$ is an issue for you so I'd just go buy another one, with a bell. Flat rides are generally considered specialty --not general purpose-- rides. It'd be good to have a "normal" ride.

The tape trick would kinda work, but could gum-up that beautiful cymbal, and if your stick goes through the tape it could end up gumming-up the rest of your kit too (I have a weird OCD-like aversion to adhesive).

Plus, the tape trick would only give another area of the cymbal to hit, hitting a real bell can cause the stick to fly off at weird angles (if you don't alter the angle of attack when moving between bell and bow) which you need to learn to control.

It's nice to have a valid reason to buy yourself new toys :)
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
Out of curiosity, how did you get to buying a flat ride cymbal without realizing it? TRX have regular rides in the DRK series. Rides with bells are much more common than those without.
Erm.. they came as a set! hi-hats, crash and ride... no idea what a flat ride was... Don't get me wrong, I think they sound great, just missing my bell!
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
It doesn't really sound like $$ is an issue for you so I'd just go buy another one, with a bell. Flat rides are generally considered specialty --not general purpose-- rides. It'd be good to have a "normal" ride.
...
It's nice to have a valid reason to buy yourself new toys :)
well, it's more the case of 'all the gear and no idea' - i'd much rather be able to play than be able to afford all the gear but as long as the 'missus' doesn't find out, I can probably find room for a second ride! :)
 

groove1

Silver Member
Good lookin' flat ride all right! Flats are popular in quiet acoustic type settings because they
can be played so quietly...also a big plus is they don't have obnoxious overtones, warbles etc that are SOMETIMES found in cymbals with bells. The downside is flat rides don't have a bell and don't crash well.
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
Good lookin' flat ride all right! Flats are popular in quiet acoustic type settings because they
can be played so quietly...also a big plus is they don't have obnoxious overtones, warbles etc that are SOMETIMES found in cymbals with bells. The downside is flat rides don't have a bell and don't crash well.
Music to my ears - i like the sound of 'quiet acoustic type settings' - just my bag! :)
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I never liked those flat rides as to me they were at best one or two trick ponys.Get yourself something with a bell and so that you know....there is NO full monty witn ANY ride/crash or specialty cymbal.

That's why many of us have small to large collections.Our own Bermuda has over 500 if i'm not mistaken.

The search goes on and the excuse to buy more cymbals is always never ending.

Steve B
 

Otto

Platinum Member
...
Plus, the tape trick would only give another area of the cymbal to hit, hitting a real bell can cause the stick to fly off at weird angles (if you don't alter the angle of attack when moving between bell and bow) which you need to learn to control.

Gotta +1 that!......
 

porter

Platinum Member
That's strange that they came as a set. Flat rides really tend to be more of a specialty sound.
 
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