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  #1  
Old 01-24-2018, 07:36 AM
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Default Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

So previous to this, I've never had occasion to want or need another ride cymbal in my life; my trusty 20" K Custom has served me for any old thing I could possibly want to do. But this next gig will be a very low-volume piano-bass-drums jazz trio backing a female singer in a somewhat small room. And in my rehearsals, the K Custom just sounds impossibly high and bright suddenly. I'm very worried about it having too much cut and not enough cushion. I won't be doing a bunch of these gigs, but I would like to do more than one.

As I see it my options are -

1) I go as is. I put a strip of tape on the underside to dry it up just a hair, play it as light as can be, and no crashing. (I have no problem playing lightly, but even with the softest touch this thing is sounding SO LOUD right now.)

2) I switch to a rod or Blastick in the right hand to keep things on the down low.

3) I take my old 19" A medium-thin crash and use that as a ride instead - less ping, more wash, and definitely not as cutting. Never mind a second crash, I won't need it.

4) I go plunk some dough I don't have on a new cymbal I will likely not play more than a half-dozen times a year (not my preferred option).

Thoughts?
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
So previous to this, I've never had occasion to want or need another ride cymbal in my life; my trusty 20" K Custom has served me for any old thing I could possibly want to do. But this next gig will be a very low-volume piano-bass-drums jazz trio backing a female singer in a somewhat small room. And in my rehearsals, the K Custom just sounds impossibly high and bright suddenly. I'm very worried about it having too much cut and not enough cushion. I won't be doing a bunch of these gigs, but I would like to do more than one.

As I see it my options are -

1) I go as is. I put a strip of tape on the underside to dry it up just a hair, play it as light as can be, and no crashing. (I have no problem playing lightly, but even with the softest touch this thing is sounding SO LOUD right now.)

2) I switch to a rod or Blastick in the right hand to keep things on the down low.

3) I take my old 19" A medium-thin crash and use that as a ride instead - less ping, more wash, and definitely not as cutting. Never mind a second crash, I won't need it.

4) I go plunk some dough I don't have on a new cymbal I will likely not play more than a half-dozen times a year (not my preferred option).

Thoughts?
I'm surprised you only have the one cymbal. True, I would say "make it work" with your technique, but sometimes Buddy Rich playing his regular kit, as brilliant as he was, sounds out of place if it were an intimate jazz setting. It may be time for you to invest in a K Light ride or something thinner. Thin will be lower pitched, and go more "tah" as opposed to "ting". If you can find a used Sabian 20" Manhattan ride (an HH), those do that K Light Ride thing too. Or maybe just a Zildjian K labeled "Ride" (no other adjectives), those spread out well and give you more "tah".

I know you're looking at it that you're only doing so many gigs, but having the two cymbals will allow you to be more available for situations just like this one.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

I vote for trying the 19" A medium crash.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I'm surprised you only have the one cymbal. True, I would say "make it work" with your technique, but sometimes Buddy Rich playing his regular kit, as brilliant as he was, sounds out of place if it were an intimate jazz setting. It may be time for you to invest in a K Light ride or something thinner. Thin will be lower pitched, and go more "tah" as opposed to "ting". If you can find a used Sabian 20" Manhattan ride (an HH), those do that K Light Ride thing too. Or maybe just a Zildjian K labeled "Ride" (no other adjectives), those spread out well and give you more "tah".

I know you're looking at it that you're only doing so many gigs, but having the two cymbals will allow you to be more available for situations just like this one.
Well, I have the two cymbals now, but I doubt the A & Cie brilliant ride I just picked up will be more suitable - if anything, probably slightly more out of place.

The only cymbal in town that I could buy right now that fits the bill is a 20" Artisan. Beautiful thing, but I can't justify $400 for it. Anything else is a day's drive away and back, or an internet purchase. Option 4 really isn't much of an option, even though I mentioned it.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Well, I have the two cymbals now, but I doubt the A & Cie brilliant ride I just picked up will be more suitable - if anything, probably slightly more out of place.

The only cymbal in town that I could buy right now that fits the bill is a 20" Artisan. Beautiful thing, but I can't justify $400 for it. Anything else is a day's drive away and back, or an internet purchase. Option 4 really isn't much of an option, even though I mentioned it.
Well, as Harry said, go for the 19" and play it a little differently and maybe nobody will really notice. Heck, you're probably the only who notices anyway.

Or play brushes the whole time. I've done entire 4-hour jazz gigs on brushes. I love it!
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Well, as Harry said, go for the 19" and play it a little differently and maybe nobody will really notice. Heck, you're probably the only who notices anyway.

Or play brushes the whole time. I've done entire 4-hour jazz gigs on brushes. I love it!
That's where I'm headed. Or I'll see if any of my local buddies has been squirreling away an old Istanbul K they want to lend me...
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Another option is to try some lighter jazz sticks. For most things I use a 5A or equivalent, but for light jazz work I switch to Vater BeBop 525s. I'm able to get a much lighter note out of my ride using these sticks, plus I'm able to play very controlled and consistent at lower volumes. If you don't already have a pair of light jazz sticks, I'd recommend these.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2018, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Smaller drumstick (7A perhaps)
Maple drumstick - Less bright sounding
Smaller tip drumstick - Less volume

Any or all of the options above

Mick
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Another vote for the 19 crash as a ride. Play that with some light sticks and you're on to a winner.

If it's not a regular gig then it's pointless wasting money on another ride that you might not use again.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Well....just so that the tape crowd is represented....I vote for a little tape....

Now, hear me out....

1. Absolutely the cheapest option you have.
2. Non-permanent solution.
3. You may be surprised how many of the greats have used tape in he past.
4. You may be more surprised at just how close a taped K Custom sounds to one of the "Direct from Turkey Super Jazz Series Dry Ride" cymbals.
5. Most improtantly, if it doesn't work you haven't lost anything and are free to use that 19" crash, or to spend money you don't have on a new ride. You could bring the K Custom and tape, and the 19" crash to your next rehearsal and have your answer in a matter if seconds....

(NOTE: GAFFERS TAPE)

I recently did the tape thing on a late 80s 20" A med ride.... Funny how that $130 A instantly sounds like some pie from Istanbul (to my ears anyway).... Nice "tah"....dry...quiet enough for my work.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Well....just so that the tape crowd is represented....I vote for a little tape....

Now, hear me out....

1. Absolutely the cheapest option you have.
2. Non-permanent solution.
3. You may be surprised how many of the greats have used tape in he past.
4. You may be more surprised at just how close a taped K Custom sounds to one of the "Direct from Turkey Super Jazz Series Dry Ride" cymbals.
5. Most improtantly, if it doesn't work you haven't lost anything and are free to use that 19" crash, or to spend money you don't have on a new ride. You could bring the K Custom and tape, and the 19" crash to your next rehearsal and have your answer in a matter if seconds....

(NOTE: GAFFERS TAPE)

I recently did the tape thing on a late 80s 20" A med ride.... Funny how that $130 A instantly sounds like some pie from Istanbul (to my ears anyway).... Nice "tah"....dry...quiet enough for my work.
Actually this aint a bad idea at all. I'll add a bit of tape on a K Custom will be easier to remove as well as it's lathed differently to an A.

Don't do what one of the previous owners of my 22 A medium did and gaffer tape the side you're hitting.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Can't you just try options 1, 2 and 3 during a rehearsal and see which one works best? Shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Tape and a pair of those long taper jazz sticks with the tiny tips should do it.
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2018, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

I'd buy a new cymbal as a last resort. Unlike a lot of people on here, I HATE spending money; I like to work with what I have. Spending is a last resort for me. For every thing I buy, I try to sell something. If I'm not using it, it goes.

Here are my other suggestions:

Try a set of Vic Firth AJ5's. They are smaller than a 7A. I use them all of the time with the band I'm playing in now. I even use them at outdoor gigs because even though it's outside, we play on smaller stages. My litmus test is that if I can't hear the lead vocals, I'm too loud. I do my best to play to the room.

If that doesn't work, try brushes or rods...or even the tape idea.

Another thing...it may be a crummy room you are playing/practicing in too. The practice room I have at my house is nice but the it sounds horrible. Don't let one room fool you too badly.

As a side note, it's really cool that you are sensitive to what's going on around you and that you want it to sound the best you can. Not a lot of drummers would do that.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Bit of gaffe tape on the underside of the 19 crash. Taping a thin cymbal works well. It will bring out the stick attack, calm the crash sound, and 19 is big enough for a ride.

Taping a thicker, bright ride won't do much to change the brightness, or its volume. If anything, it'll make the crash sound more "clangy".

That said, man, you're a cheapskate! :) Buy a proper jazz cymbal already! Used, if you want to save cash.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Istanbul-Ag...sAAOSwicpaXsQo

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bosphorus-M...oAAOSwFMdaU--i

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BOSPHORUS-2...MAAOSwPdRZlaPf

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Zildjian-20...gAAOSwxzdaS7rE

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SOUNDFILE-S...MAAOSwM91aY3wm
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2018, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

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Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Another vote for the 19 crash as a ride. Play that with some light sticks and you're on to a winner. If it's not a regular gig then it's pointless wasting money on another ride that you might not use again.
Which is my thought exactly. At this point, unless I get a BUNCH of these gigs for the rest of the year, it doesn't yet justify even the cheapest cymbal in Brent's list (although you did pick some winners... thank you!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Actually this aint a bad idea at all. I'll add a bit of tape on a K Custom will be easier to remove as well as it's lathed differently to an A. Don't do what one of the previous owners of my 22 A medium did and gaffer tape the side you're hitting.
Ha, no! I have gaffe taped the bottom of the K Custom and it sounds even a little clankier than before... I think if the 19 is too much a little tape there might be helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fac View Post
Can't you just try options 1, 2 and 3 during a rehearsal and see which one works best? Shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.
Probably what I'll end up doing this weekend's rehearsal. My current room is probably about as reflective as the actual venue, just smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Try a set of Vic Firth AJ5's. They are smaller than a 7A. I use them all of the time with the band I'm playing in now. I even use them at outdoor gigs because even though it's outside, we play on smaller stages. My litmus test is that if I can't hear the lead vocals, I'm too loud. I do my best to play to the room.
These are in fact the exact sticks I'm using. Great minds...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
If that doesn't work, try brushes or rods...or even the tape idea. ...Another thing...it may be a crummy room you are playing/practicing in too. The practice room I have at my house is nice but the it sounds horrible. Don't let one room fool you too badly. ...As a side note, it's really cool that you are sensitive to what's going on around you and that you want it to sound the best you can. Not a lot of drummers would do that.
Also all on the table. My practice room at home is a converted garage and sounds terrible no matter what. We're rehearsing in someone's living room (because that's where the piano is). The venue is a converted storefront with wood floors, high ceilings, and plaster walls - so my garage is probably closer in acoustics to how that will sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
That said, man, you're a cheapskate! :) Buy a proper jazz cymbal already! Used, if you want to save cash.
At this point, yeah, I am - again, if I get a bunch more of these gigs, I'll be looking a lot more seriously at a new cymbal, but right now even $220 is a bit much to ask of the ol' budget. But again, I appreciate you looking these up for me.

Thanks to all of you guys, very helpful.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

I suggest that if you are going to try tape, don't use gaffer tape.
Not necessary - the adhesive is too damaging to the cymbal.

Get painter's tape, the 2" wide stuff. Trust me, it works wonders and just as good as gaffer tape - when you want to remove it, no sticky mess left behind.

Even better - go to your nearest Rockler and get a couple (or more) small (1/2") rare earth magnets. They are like small disks. Put one on either side of the cymbal. Same idea as the Meinl cymbal tuners : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uxpb4XQdXI

IMHO, tape and magnets are really only effective to control wash. They won't help much to make a bright cymbal sound darker. Some of the other suggestions about using different sticks perhaps...

Or try a used 20" Kerope!
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

What's going on, is the singer going to be unmiked or something? Any reason you can't just play with brushes all night? Not that it's necessarily much quieter, but it reassures everyone else that you're trying to be quiet.

Failing that, I would try to scrounge up an 18" or 19" Bosphorus ride-- a Turk or something else dry. Or a lightish 18" flat. Then you'll also have a quiet cymbal for rehearsals in people's living rooms where everything sounds too loud.

But also: people don't want you to be as quiet as they think they do. If you're so quiet that someone serving a drink or coughing momentarily drowns you out, the audience gets distracted and eventually loses interest. The bold choice is just to use your regular cymbal and play as quietly as you can, and it will work out fine because people will be able to hear you and there will be enough sound that the other players won't be afraid to touch their instruments because everyone's so ridiculously quiet. Maybe someone will panic because they can hear the music; most likely the sound will just fill out a little bit and people will relax and enjoy playing and listening.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

A Dream Bliss ride might be perfect for this kind of gig, and a used one should be cheap enough to justify even if it only gets used at a half-dozen gigs a year.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
What's going on, is the singer going to be unmiked or something? Any reason you can't just play with brushes all night? Not that it's necessarily much quieter, but it reassures everyone else that you're trying to be quiet.

Failing that, I would try to scrounge up an 18" or 19" Bosphorus ride-- a Turk or something else dry. Or a lightish 18" flat. Then you'll also have a quiet cymbal for rehearsals in people's living rooms where everything sounds too loud.

But also: people don't want you to be as quiet as they think they do. If you're so quiet that someone serving a drink or coughing momentarily drowns you out, the audience gets distracted and eventually loses interest. The bold choice is just to use your regular cymbal and play as quietly as you can, and it will work out fine because people will be able to hear you and there will be enough sound that the other players won't be afraid to touch their instruments because everyone's so ridiculously quiet. Maybe someone will panic because they can hear the music; most likely the sound will just fill out a little bit and people will relax and enjoy playing and listening.
All good points, Todd. I just found out that the space has been reconfigured recently to open up more space, so I am quickly getting over my fear of whether or not I should play my normal cymbal. I think with the extra-light sticks, the larger room, and using brushes and/or rods will totally work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
A Dream Bliss ride might be perfect for this kind of gig, and a used one should be cheap enough to justify even if it only gets used at a half-dozen gigs a year.
I like how you're thinking. Thanks for the suggestion.

I also just found a used Sabian Monarch 22" in Spokane for $139 that might get the nod if I do decide to go that route - it's pretty much as perfect a sound as I've heard for this gig.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

So the tone is hard to change, but in my experience, even with really big and heavy raucous ride cymbals, the volume I want can almost without exception be created simply by watching my touch on the cymbal. Simply stated, just play very lightly with your normal stick. No need to downsize or anything, again, rather than dictate volume, I find that the stick and stick-tip type has more influence over the tones produced than the volumes. It all comes down to control.

Never been a fan of the tape or moongel options. They make cymbals sound sort of funny in my opinion, and typically things dry out too much so they sound a bit trashy. Exception I'll make is the crappy b8 stamped pies. Take em if it make those sound better.

By the way, in no manner am I attempting to talk down to anyone or bash the OP's skill level. This is just what I've found. A few years ago my thrashy band at the time took on a series of wine country quiet gigs. I started out mostly with brushes, and towards the end I was using the regular 5b and a very light touch.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Disclosure: When I signed up to DW it was to learn more about cymbal stuff, as I was a n00b...so I do understand wanting to buy new stuff!

But Al, you've been around the block once or twice, and you know a thing or two, so I will say only this:
For all the obsessing that drummers do about getting the right dry, not too washy, glassy with a touch of ping, buttery with a hint of smoke cymbal tone, to audience members, cymbals go ting or pish! and drums go doomp.

Get out there and run what ya brung and make it work for you. You'll be fine.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

I too only have one ride cymbal a 22" A Custom. With one of the Erskine sticks it works just fine, as would the 20"heavy K I have here at work.

A litle bit of dampening on a cymbal can work well, but don't overdo it. A little goes a long way.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Lighter sticks. Moongel or sticky tack.
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

Maple sticks with tiny round tips.
These sound completely different on my K Custom ride compared to my regular kickoff or oak sticks.

*hickory

Last edited by Morrisman; 01-26-2018 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

You're obviously an experienced player, so maybe I shouldn't even be asking this question, but here goes: Are you sure it's not just the acoustics of the rehearsal space you're in? I have found many times that my fears about volume are very room-specific.

That said, if the cymbal sounds wrong to you, it's probably wrong. You can make do with anything, sure, but that ride cymbal IS your sound when you're playing that type of music. It's worth the investment to get what sounds good to you, imo.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Concerned about my ride cymbal for a quiet jazz gig

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Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Maple sticks with tiny round tips.
These sound completely different on my K Custom ride compared to my regular kickoff or oak sticks.
I do have the option of picking up some SD5 Echos which used to be my go-to quiet stick -- because if you played too hard they disintegrated! Or possibly some SD2 Boleros, which despite their diameter have a marvelously tiny tip that goes 'tahhh' very nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
You're obviously an experienced player, so maybe I shouldn't even be asking this question, but here goes: Are you sure it's not just the acoustics of the rehearsal space you're in? I have found many times that my fears about volume are very room-specific.

That said, if the cymbal sounds wrong to you, it's probably wrong. You can make do with anything, sure, but that ride cymbal IS your sound when you're playing that type of music. It's worth the investment to get what sounds good to you, imo.
As I stated in a more recent post, 8, the room is wood floors and plaster walls, but it's been reconfigured so that the stage faces a much larger volume of the room. That should help. We have apparently also sold out the show, so the crush of warm bodies ought to assist with the acoustics. And lastly, yeah, my practice room has terrible acoustics and it's virtually impossible to make anything sound very good in there. I usually practice (and perform) miked up with in-ear monitors and stuff sounds much better that way, of course - so I might just be overreacting to hearing it with the naked ear, too.
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