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  #1  
Old 02-07-2011, 01:28 AM
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Default How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Never seen this before. Any ideas?

EDIT: It's at 5.10, I thought the link would take you right there but it hasn't.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

You get that from dragging the tip (or butt end I suppose) across the cymbal. In my experience, it really doesn't work right unless the stick is perpendicular to the cymbal. Experiment with applying the right amount of pressure and you will get that spooky cymbal sound. I've had the best luck dragging the stick towards the bell.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Never seen that one before - sounds fantastic. Thanks for raising it, Ben.

This link should take you right there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft4RdG36Qug#t=5m9s
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Thanks Polly, I expected that to be the link that I copied (from a comment) but for some reason it wasn't.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

It has a lot to do with the unique texture of his signature ride (Meinl Byzance Sand Ride). It has an almost sandblasted finish to it, which lends itself very nicely to that type of screeching noise.

You might get a similar effect with an unlathed cymbal, but I'm guessing you'll have big difficulties achieving it on a lathed and/or polished cymbal. Of course, it also helps to be a freak of nature like Benny Greb (and I mean that in the most positive of ways). The man is definitely a unique drumming talent, and I can't even imagine the number of hours that have gone into making him that good.

Here's a picture of his sand ride; you can sort of make out that it has a sandy texture to it:
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

I've tried it on a bunch of rides, and I think as long as its a professional quality cymbal, its quite possible and rather easy.

All you gotta do is put the tip of the stick pretty much perpendicular to the cymbal face and put a surprisingly LIGHT amount of pressure on the cymbal while you slowly move your stick ALONG THE CIRCULAR GROOVES of the cymbal. If you move your stick up and down the cymbal, it won't work. It has to be pretty much along the circular grooves, but it doesn't have to be exact.

It's a cool effect with a large amount of applications in the right style of music. Tell me if you get it, i can be bad at explaining things
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

You can do it on any cymbal, hi-hat or whatever. You take the stick and hold it vertical, so that the tip of the stick is on the cymbal. The trick is to not press to hard, just slide it around the cymbal or hi-hat, and you will get this sound. Like a rusted gate.
Maybe I should make a tutorial of it.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

I stand corrected. I guess I probably pressed down too hard, because I haven't been able to do it on my lathed ride. Haven't tried it on my unlathed one though.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Okay, thoroughly impressed. That was really, really cool!
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

This is a neat trick. I'm going to make some samples of this on various cymbals, and upload them to a filesharing site for people to use in their compositions. I know that I'll have some immediate uses for this effect!
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Hey, I had a go earlier on my Paiste 400 ride, and it worked! Not hard to do at all, bit like when you run your finger round the rim of a wine glass.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Aha, I can't stop doing this now...I can't see as I'll ever have a use for it but there's something pleasingly amusing about doing it.

Fantastic!

Kev
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Originally Posted by K.Howden View Post
Aha, I can't stop doing this now...I can't see as I'll ever have a use for it but there's something pleasingly amusing about doing it.

Fantastic!

Kev
Exactly. I had read about this trick somewhere a long time ago. It's something pretty cool to mess around with...and really freak people out.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Aha, I can't stop doing this now...I can't see as I'll ever have a use for it but there's something pleasingly amusing about doing it.
Can't wait to try this before the band turns up tomorrow :)

I had a similar obsession after JimmyK told me about this trick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFvgCtomkqE#t=0m47s
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Aha I stumbled upon that one for myself earlier in the year; Wah-bell!

Kev

Edit: I was talking about the first trick, just watched the rest of the vid haha. That's gonna keep me amused for some time!

Edit II: I love Wynton's facial expression at 1:55
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Can't wait to try this before the band turns up tomorrow :)

I had a similar obsession after JimmyK told me about this trick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFvgCtomkqE#t=0m47s
WOW that was some performance, eh?
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Part two of the Herlin video is well worth a watch too, love Herlin's style :)

Kev
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Yep, that Herlin Riley solo is super special.

Anyway, I tried Benny's trick last night. I kept the stick perpendicular, didn't press hard and followed the grooves, but I only got a couple a crappy sounds, nothing like Benny's :(
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

not to brag, i can get the same sound he does on any cymbal. Ive found its about finding the pressure and angle where the stick moves with the most resistance. So forcing down hard at a 90 deg angle wont work, you have to be light and since different sticks have different tips you have to experiment with angle.

Ive found its a light touch and then add pressure from there, and you will feel the stick grip and make a screetching sound. Took me a while to get it like Benny
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Reminds me of the old 'classical' technique:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzvSIlpvoD8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQiXsMY4S20
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  #21  
Old 02-12-2011, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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WOW that second one has some really wicked undertones! sounds like ghosts or something. awesome!
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  #22  
Old 02-12-2011, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Ive found its a light touch and then add pressure from there, and you will feel the stick grip and make a screetching sound. Took me a while to get it like Benny
Thanks. Maybe I was starting light and kept it too light instead of looking for that moment of drag.

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Agree with Skwerly - very cool. It makes me wonder what other objects or techniques can be used to get cymbals to sing in different ways. We have an atmospheric song in our set where that bowed cymbal sound would work ... but I don't have a bow or bowing technique.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

I found a cool way to make a continuos screeching sound. Take a medium to small crash and do the stick drag. While the stick is there, spin the cymbal instead. When you spin, it will make a continuos screech sound as long as you spin it.
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  #24  
Old 02-12-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

It would be interesting to see the contents of this chap's ashtray...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3un22sg94M

Last edited by Longfuse; 02-12-2011 at 11:08 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Thaard, I'd imagine it would be hard to sustain the screech since it's not easy to spin cymbals without any wobble.


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It would be interesting to see the contents of this chap's ashtray...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3un22sg94M
Nah, probably just the usual roaches n stuff :-P ... John Cage eat yer heart out!

I'm going to invest in a cheap bow.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Last year I composed a five minute piece that used nothing but separate cymbals being bowed. One of these days, I might post it up.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Last year I composed a five minute piece that used nothing but separate cymbals being bowed. One of these days, I might post it up.
Not trying to rush you, but how about today or tomorrow? :)

I imagine cymbals would be hard on bow strings. How well did yours last?
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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It would be interesting to see the contents of this chap's ashtray...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3un22sg94M
Um...wow. And that goes on for 4 minutes?
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Thaard, I'd imagine it would be hard to sustain the screech since it's not easy to spin cymbals without any wobble.
Just spin it like a record and it will be more or less constant. I'll make a tutorial vid of it this monday.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Just bought a bow this morning and didn't get much sound. Can't believe the snooty woman in the shop didn't tell me it needed rosin. Does anyone know much about rosins and which of these might be best? (damned if I'm going to give more sales to that shop)

http://www.whitehorsemusic.com.au/c/...ola-rosin.html
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Originally Posted by TheGroceryman View Post
I've tried it on a bunch of rides, and I think as long as its a professional quality cymbal, its quite possible and rather easy.

All you gotta do is put the tip of the stick pretty much perpendicular to the cymbal face and put a surprisingly LIGHT amount of pressure on the cymbal while you slowly move your stick ALONG THE CIRCULAR GROOVES of the cymbal. If you move your stick up and down the cymbal, it won't work. It has to be pretty much along the circular grooves, but it doesn't have to be exact.

It's a cool effect with a large amount of applications in the right style of music. Tell me if you get it, i can be bad at explaining things
This guy is absolutely right, it took me all of a minute to work this out on all of my cymbals, lathed, un-lathed, natural, brilliant, all of them work. I will say though, wood tips definitely work better, and thicker cymbals work better because their mass gives them a greater resistance to tip around. You do need to keep a consistent angle with your sticks so more stable cymbals work better. also, i noticed that cymbals with a little patina work great and the slight inconsistencies as you move around the cymbal create a little modulation in the screech.

actually, screech is a bit of a harsh term, more like ethereal whistle or atmospheric hiss, or something poetic like that

sounds like the headcrab zombies are about to show up in Half life 2, pretty awesome ;)
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Just bought a bow this morning and didn't get much sound. Can't believe the snooty woman in the shop didn't tell me it needed rosin. Does anyone know much about rosins and which of these might be best? (damned if I'm going to give more sales to that shop)

http://www.whitehorsemusic.com.au/c/...ola-rosin.html
I'm reminded of the first time I took a violin bow to my guitar and got a thin hiss and nothing else. No idea which rosin to pick, but you definitely need the stuff, it seems.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Nice... and it is pretty easy to do..however I noticed it left a pretty heavy mark on my cymbal...not a scratch though but I could see if there was a little grit on the tip of your stick it may happen....needless to say while band was drop tuning at a gig last night I whipped this baby out...reaction was some raised eyebrows..couple chuckles and at least one wow thats cool..always looking for stuff like this..thanks!!!
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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Not trying to rush you, but how about today or tomorrow? :)

I imagine cymbals would be hard on bow strings. How well did yours last?
My bows are just fine, I use standard rosin. A double bass or cello bow would work equally well and use slightly coarser rosin. I bought two cheap violin bows for my cymbal playing and I have another bow for my violin too. I'll convert it to Mp3 and attach it to this post.

Rosin just provides friction. If you're going to rosin your bow, make a score down the middle of it and rub the bow over it for a while. It tends to take about twenty minutes until enough is applied for the first time on a new bow. It helps to take the top layer off the rosin with a knife or some sandpaper. Then you swish the bow to get rid of excess. It will take a while before you have enough on your bow, there is also a technique to bowing cymbals and it takes a little practice.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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My bows are just fine, I use standard rosin. A double bass or cello bow would work equally well and use slightly coarser rosin. I bought two cheap violin bows for my cymbal playing and I have another bow for my violin too. I'll convert it to Mp3 and attach it to this post.

Rosin just provides friction. If you're going to rosin your bow, make a score down the middle of it and rub the bow over it for a while. It tends to take about twenty minutes until enough is applied for the first time on a new bow. It helps to take the top layer off the rosin with a knife or some sandpaper. Then you swish the bow to get rid of excess. It will take a while before you have enough on your bow, there is also a technique to bowing cymbals and it takes a little practice.
Thanks for the info and MP3, Duncan. You extracted a lot of different sounds out of the pies - I imagine that would take some subtle control. It sounded like you used about 8 or 9 cymbals ... are one or two of them gongs?

I'm especially interested in the bell-like sound you got at 2:53 -2:58. That could work in a song I'd like to dub with bowed cymbal late next month; I suspect it's a tight timeline to extract the sounds and control them.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Four or five I think? 8" Splash, an Istanbul ride, Paiste ride, Sabian crash and a Sabian Hi-Hat bottom if I recall correctly.

The sound you're mentioning is either a 16" AAX Crash or the HH Hi-Hat bottom. I can't quite remember which was which if I'm honest, this really was a while ago! The trick was to record a LOT of different samples and just go through them and find the best ones.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

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The trick was to record a LOT of different samples and just go through them and find the best ones.
That makes sense, especially since I have a limited time to get my bowing together. I'll be limited with takes too or we'll never get out of the studio (maybe not the worst fate :)

Only five cymbals or so? Must have been the different approaches to bowing. Definitely heard a splash there.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

The splash has actually got a chunk missing (cracked and then cut out) which made it particularly interesting. There is a knack to bowing, but it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to get down. It's a great sound.

Bowing angle, intensity, the actual bow you use. It all goes into it. Most interesting is the angle that you use, that makes a big difference. The pressure that you use is hard to get right to begin with - you'll start by either pressing far too hard or far too soft. It's a difficult balance to get right. Sadly I don't have any means of recording an instructional video for you right now, but if you still want to learn in a few weeks I might be able to give you a hand.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Thanks Duncan - I'm pretty sure I'll take you up on that offer. I hope it's easier than the Benny Greb thing :)

Good to make use of old, clapped out cymbals. You never know when there'll be an application for it.

Does the rosin make a mess on the cymbals? If so, might be best off using my old Meinl, though my guess is the sound I want will most likely come from the main pies I'm using. I read this on a site: "if you are a digger or someone who really saws at your violin then a light rosin would be best. if your touch tends to be light, a dark rosin is better". I plan to buy online tomorrow and based on that comment it seems like I should get a light rosin since I'm not about to be the next Paganini ...
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: How do you do this? Benny Greb cymbal thing

Maybe go for something in the middle and see how you get on with it...light rosin will lead to hard bowing, and darker will lead to lighter bowing.
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