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  #1  
Old 10-17-2018, 06:20 PM
Ikebongo Ikebongo is offline
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Default How do you know when to crash?

I have no problem keeping the beat... I just never know when Iím supposed to crash... itís weird, itís like sometimes I really feel the beat and Iím like oh the drummer will def crash there but he doesnít and itís just like a bd note ... and heís keeping the beat and other times Iím like grooving keeping the beat and I hear a cymbal crash I donít get it. Iím like thinking the opposite basically if when to crash and not to crash.
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2018, 06:33 PM
Craig J Craig J is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

study music theory.

listen to music you like.

practice, and record yourself practicing. readjust to what sounds good to you.

create your own style based on all the above.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2018, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Cover tunes....crash on the crashes (at least the 'important' ones).

Originals....crash where you feel like saying "hey!"...."un!"..."um!"..."ahhh!"

Etc.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:02 PM
Maverick10 Maverick10 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

This is a fun question. Because to me the answer is simply, yet complex.

You can put a crash anywhere you want, that's the simply part. The complex part is what kind of crash, does the crash support the song, melody, vocals and lyrics, does it even have to be a crash. Or could it be a hihat bark, a hit on the bell of the ride, or just a nice solid floor tom hit.

If Kick and snare is the meat and potatoes of the groove, then for me the cymbals and crash placement are the spices used to enhance the meat and potatoes. (PS- its about lunch time when i'm typing this, hence the food analogy. haha)

Sometimes using a crash at the end of fill is called for, maybe doing one in the middle ala Moon, heck try starting a fill with a crash.
Do the crash's change in pitch as needed?

it's really about feeling the music and adding to it and not taking away from it just to hit a crash. Sometimes the best things played are the things NOT played. Check out Steve Gadd on that one, haha.


Good Luck
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2018, 07:06 PM
ottog1979 ottog1979 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

When you feel it!

(Which is great because sometimes you can feel it in unique places!)
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2018, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

As others have pointed out, you just need to listen closely to music with definite intent to study that aspect. When you hear the drummer crashing, ask yourself why he/she might have made that choice.

Some common places -

-A significant "1" (the first beat of a new part, crash serves as an opening note and signal that the new part has started)
-A significant "4"; quite often at the end of a fill right before the 1.
-Wherever you want to highlight something that another player is doing, a nice crash can be a good opener for them to play a solo while you quiet down, for example.
-A place in the music where you want to create a little "space", sometimes you can leave off on a crash and let it decay by itself for nice effect.
-Really emphasizing a whole part with lots of crashing... Sometimes called "crash riding" very popular in lots of music and used heavily in modern "pop/punk" styles.

What you absolutely want to avoid though is making it a formula or rule based decision. I've come across a lot of players who "automatically" crash on almost every 1, or at every "usual" place where one might appear. It gets tiring to the ear after a while and has the effect of taking away space from the other musicians. It's important to remember the sonic space that cymbals take in the room/mix is generally higher and more likely to wash out guitar work for example. Just like you wouldn't crash all over a vocal part, think about the other parts the same way and try to stay out of their way.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2018, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

When you get real sleepy. Go crash. If you crash too much you get too much sleep-if you don't crash enough then you don't get enough. Same principal applies.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2018, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Some good answers here.

It depends on the music. I can tell you one thing, most of the time in live band settings I hear drummers use too many crashes.
Listen to your favorite popular recording artist. You will hear very few crashes.


.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

I'm going to chime in here and offer my perspective on crashes as a non-drumming musician. My main instrument is trumpet, so sometimes I have a perspective about how drumming relates that's a bit different than someone who only drums.

Crashing is about punctuation in phrasing. Sometimes it's intuitive, such as crashing the "1" every 4 or 8 bars - typically to punctuate or delineate a shift point in the music, i.e., opening verse to mid-verse, beginning of the chorus, beginning of the bridge, etc, depending on song structure of course - sometimes a re-intro into a song will be 10 measures, but the concept is the same - a crash on beat "1" of the verse is the line of demarcation between the sections of the song.

Then there are hits, punches, or whatever other term you want to use, where the crash is adding punctuation to a musical point within a phrase. Often we use smaller faster crashes or splash cymbals for these.

Start thinking like a singer, guitar player or horn player, and start digging into the phrases of the music you are listening to, and see if you can find patters for the how/why a player crashes. Some drummers crash all over the place, some are a bit more minimalist in their approach, but usually the hits, punches and crashes make sense from a phrasing perspective, and they will help you in your own efforts at crafting drum parts that make sense musically.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2018, 12:25 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Some good answers here.

It depends on the music. I can tell you one thing, most of the time in live band settings I hear drummers use too many crashes.
Listen to your favorite popular recording artist. You will hear very few crashes.


.

I think it may be the biggest complaint of songwriters/performers. If a beginning drummer played crashes where he wants, it would likely be everywhere :)

My suggestion would be, listen to the music you want to play and observe where the crashes are.
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2018, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Usually on the first beat of the first bar when making a transition from say, verse to chorus, or whatever.
Also - whenever you feel like it and it seems appropriate for emphasis..
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2018, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

At end of a fill is very common.
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2018, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Crash marks a transition. Could be a verse to chorus transition. Or it could highlight a word in the lyrics.
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2018, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

I use it for transition. I crash going into bridge, solo, etc.
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2018, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

When the cocaine and whiskey wear off.
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2018, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

You're asking the equivalent of, how do I know when to eat?

When you need to. Don't spend a thought on it, it will alert you when it's time.

When don't you crash is a more answerable question.

In my world, the less, the better.

Your world may vary :)
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  #17  
Old 10-18-2018, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Some good answers here.

It depends on the music. I can tell you one thing, most of the time in live band settings I hear drummers use too many crashes.
Listen to your favorite popular recording artist. You will hear very few crashes.


.
Hollywood Jim that is so true. But I'd ask for "live situations" when sometimes you feel you want to excite the crowd going crazy on a cowbell or something can sometimes do the trick. Here is my brother exciting the crowd on cowbell. Now see the apple just don't fall far from the tree-and you all thought I was crazy-no it's just genetic. LOL-he's an idiot too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQKp...ature=youtu.be
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2018, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

If you have reserve then use it to accentuate, make it ur own.
If your in a punk band, after every measure sometimes twice during, and after every fill.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2018, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Even if you listened to all the music you could, there's no definitive answer for this. All you can do is be familiar with the music you're playing and eventually the when will become more apparent (maybe).

I think your question is too rooted in drumming nuts and bolts than it is in making music (which is your main by-product of being the drummer). The music you play will dictate certain sounds, and even then, if you choose not to execute, it may still sound cool. You should listen to some early Peter Gabriel music where Jerry Marotta purposefully didn't play any cymbals - although he did have one dead-sounding cymbal he played very sparsely. That will give you an idea of what music sounds like without cymbals. On the other end of the spectrum, listen to Buddy Rich or Billy Cobham to hear music with alot of cymbals.

I think once you get a grip on the music you're playing, what instruments you choose to play for it will develop over time.
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2018, 06:10 AM
jornthedrummer jornthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Listen to records and notice what the proís do. Otherwise as others have already said;
1. Usually on 1.
2. When the song changes section
3. Often not appropriate when the singer is singing.
4. Build up the song. Donít go bananas from the beginning. For instance skip the crash on the first 1 or 2 section changes. This builds up tension. Open hihat on Ď4 andĒ is a good replacement sometimes.
5. Use sparingly.
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  #21  
Old 10-18-2018, 06:34 AM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Way Jose View Post
Crash marks a transition. Could be a verse to chorus transition. Or it could highlight a word in the lyrics.
True, but also used for accents anywhere in a bar of music. The answer to the OP's question is quite complex.
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  #22  
Old 10-18-2018, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

And crashes on 2 and 4 give a really fun, circus music punch to a phrase
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  #23  
Old 10-18-2018, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

To make an expression or statement. That's the short answer for when i do it haha. I'll also take splashes and china's into this question. Sometimes i feel like the lyrics or a part in a song requires an more powerful expression, so then i crash/splash/china to exclamate that part. For example; we play a song where the guitar part has a sudden break (rest) and then comes in again:

1 e 2 e 3 e 4 e

The break/rest is on the 'e' after the 1, so i crash on the 2 to accent the guitar. Works really well when i play 2 16th notes on the 1 on the hihat, play the regular 8th note on the 'e' after the 1 (hihat) and then accent the 2 on the crash together with the snare. (hope that makes sense)

But like stated before, it feels natural for me to crash after an x amount of beats when leading into a different part of the song, after a fill, maybe the fill is using crashes. I 'learned' to crash just by listening to songs and remembering when the drummer crashes.

Something that pops into mind now: Todd Sucherman explains on Methods and Mechanics 2 on using the crash (or lack of) in a song. The song is Melody by Taylor Mills where he crashes only once and explains that he got that idea from Steward Copeland (forgot the Police song he refers to). Really powerful statement when he does crashes it near the end of the song, go check it out :)
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  #24  
Old 10-18-2018, 11:40 AM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Donít crash.
Iíve cut right back on crashing after seeing too much of the same old same old. Crashing at the end of a fill often comes across (to me) as a lazy option or a way of masking the gap between the drummer ending the fill and getting their hands back across the kit to the hi hat and snare. I consciously try to get myself from the fill back to the beat without crashing, no one probably cares but it makes me feeel good about myself.
Thereís a band local to me that I canít bear to listen too because their drummer hits a crash on the ď4Ē every time. EVERY TIME!!!! As a result even seeing a player hit a crash on every other 4 or every fourth 4 is noticeable to me.

Perhaps a bit of practical help is to position your favourite crash cymbal within easy reach of your right hand (assuming youíre right handed) close to or over the hi hat or first tom or positioned between the two. That way they physical act of reaching for the crash isnít difficult in itself so you can flick at your cymbal with the minimum of disruption to your playing.
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  #25  
Old 10-18-2018, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCe View Post
To make an expression or statement. That's the short answer for when i do it haha. I'll also take splashes and china's into this question. Sometimes i feel like the lyrics or a part in a song requires an more powerful expression, so then i crash/splash/china to exclamate that part. For example; we play a song where the guitar part has a sudden break (rest) and then comes in again:

1 e 2 e 3 e 4 e

The break/rest is on the 'e' after the 1, so i crash on the 2 to accent the guitar. Works really well when i play 2 16th notes on the 1 on the hihat, play the regular 8th note on the 'e' after the 1 (hihat) and then accent the 2 on the crash together with the snare. (hope that makes sense)
Do you mean the e, or the &? Beats, broken down into 16ths, are typically counted:

1 e & a - 2 e & a - 3 e & a - 4 e & a

A standard divided beat (halves, with the down-beat, and the up-beat) is typically counted

1 & - 2 & - 3 & - 4 &

Just curious.
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  #26  
Old 10-18-2018, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

The better question is why do you crash. There should be an actual reason.
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  #27  
Old 10-18-2018, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

rule of thumb

when in doubt ... don't

the most overused aspect of drumming and most of the time it is completely unnecessary
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  #28  
Old 10-18-2018, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Crashing can easily become a cliche or an autopilot thing that we do without having a good musical reason. I find I crash less and less the longer I do this. It used to sound right to me, but it increasingly sounds wrong.
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  #29  
Old 10-18-2018, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Crashing can easily become a cliche or an autopilot thing that we do without having a good musical reason. I find I crash less and less the longer I do this. It used to sound right to me, but it increasingly sounds wrong.
Same here. Lately I have been substituting hi hat barks, flams with a pause, and other simplicity's for crashing. It adds something a crash doesn't without being typical or boring.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
rule of thumb

when in doubt ... don't

the most overused aspect of drumming and most of the time it is completely unnecessary
This may be good advice for a drummer just in general. Typically if I'm having doubts about if something will work or sound good, I tend to just trust whatever instinct is telling me no. Nobody has ever complained that I didn't do something, only when I try and it doesn't sound good.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
This may be good advice for a drummer just in general. Typically if I'm having doubts about if something will work or sound good, I tend to just trust whatever instinct is telling me no. Nobody has ever complained that I didn't do something, only when I try and it doesn't sound good.
when I was first getting into doing a lot of session work in the mid to late 90s I would always heavily prepare as I still do ...

but I would always get into the studio and every take I would be removing things from the drum part that I had prepared ... not because it sounded horrible or was out of time or anything but because it felt unnecessary in context

and when the final product was finished I always ended up loving this really bare bones drum take that just felt really good ... duh

but it definitely was a learning process for me

I was new to the game and making a name ... I wanted people to call me because they wanted what I offered

it took me a little time to realize that there was no point in offerfing unnecessary notes... or crashes... or accents ... or whatever ...

I mean ... it's not like I was blowing out musically inappropriate fills all over a song ... these were tiny unnecessary things ... like crashes for example since we are on that topic

it was a wonderful learning process because once you learn that you save a ton of time ... and back then you saved tape

I like to use this song as a reference with my students who are interested in becoming what I call "song drummers" ... it's sad that I even have to even decipher between that and something else ... but as we all know there is that "something else"

but I always reference this song because I think it is the perfect example of song drumming ...

subtle ... feels great... plays basically one fill over and over in the entire tune and no one has ever cared for one second... also ... NOT ONE CRASH in the entire song ... again ... no one has ever cared

you really get a sense that he is playing the song and not playing a drum beat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOFCTFXn6xE
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  #32  
Old 10-18-2018, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Crash 10% of what you want to do. Perfect.
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  #33  
Old 10-19-2018, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

I just watched a bunch of videos from Vinnie and his take on it is "Always". And it is always tasteful! What a drummer.

I humbly sport 2 crashable rides and an extra dry china out of sight on my right, so I may accent a bit with the shoulder of the stick on the bow of a ride or hats to accent some musical figures, crash on the end/beginning of sections or chinese the end of a rare fill when called for.

Then again, when I did cover bands, I'd provide an exit strategy by crashing a bright 18 with a muscular kick whenever I felt another member ventured into the wilderness without a compass.
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  #34  
Old 10-19-2018, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Personally I resist the crash. I mean, I'll do it coming off of a transitional fill (verse to chorus, chorus to verse) that kind of thing. But outside of that I'm rather selective about when and where I place them. Many times in a chorus it's tempting to crash on every or at least every other beat 1. I tend to let the song sections breathe a bit longer.
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  #35  
Old 10-19-2018, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

1. Ask yourself what makes you want to crash.

2. Listen & feel.

3. If it sounds itís been put in the wrong place, number 1 is usually not applied.
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  #36  
Old 10-19-2018, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransan View Post
If your in a punk band, after every measure sometimes twice during, and after every fill.
Well of course! Perfect. That's why I said it depends on the music your playing.


.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

...and then there's how to crash.

There are songs which my band plays (classic rock stuff), where sometimes I will play a crash so that it lies beneath the surface of the music, rather than breaking all over the top of it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Ideally, when crashes happen they are more of a buzz than an irritant.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trickg View Post
Do you mean the e, or the &? Beats, broken down into 16ths, are typically counted:

1 e & a - 2 e & a - 3 e & a - 4 e & a

A standard divided beat (halves, with the down-beat, and the up-beat) is typically counted

1 & - 2 & - 3 & - 4 &

Just curious.
I count/write always the 'e' regardless of 8th or 16th notes, but when writing down i do it that way like you mentioned above. In my example i was referring to 8th notes.

EDIT:
Small pun for everyone; go check out the Dream Theater song 'About to Crash'. Seems fitting for this topic hahaha
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: How do you know when to crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
...and then there's how to crash.

There are songs which my band plays (classic rock stuff), where sometimes I will play a crash so that it lies beneath the surface of the music, rather than breaking all over the top of it.
That's a wonderful way of describing that. Most of my crashes are of this variety. That way, people don't get put off by the bronze.

I definitely hear drummers (IMO) overuse the crash cymbal. To the point where they depend on it in an unmusical way.

Crashes are like taking your kid to the amusement park. If you do it to much, the effect wears off.
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