Advice on ride cymbal

EvanEvan

New member
I’m pretty new to drumming but really enjoy adding drum set to the instruments I can play coming originally from a guitar/bass background.

I’d like to have a set that is decent enough quality for a variety of drummers if I make my house a recording studio. I’ve got a pretty decent Ludwig 5 piece with Zildjian A-cymbal pack.

I like the brighter tone of the As for most rock drumming I do but am curious if it’s worth having at least a different ride cymbal for jazz or fusion drumming as I’m interested in learning a variety of styles.

at my stage in learning I’m guessing more gear won’t be necessary but I wondered if having a dry or dark ride could aid in hearing stick definition? Or other purposes?

Apologies if this is too noob of a question but with the pandemic I dont have a drum community I can see in person to hear how they do/view things. As I watch videos of brilliant drummers explaining their favorite ride cymbals to learn more, it seems like dry cymbals get descriptions like “more musical playing” and “better stick definition” from their aficionados.

if it’s good to have some cymbals with different characteristics, what diversity/variety do you go for? Do you put different ride/hh/crashes on for different sets or recording situations? What do you do/get if the ride seems too washy for certain songs?

thanks to anyone reading this and sharing your experiences!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I like the brighter tone of the As for most rock drumming I do but am curious if it’s worth having at least a different ride cymbal for jazz or fusion drumming as I’m interested in learning a variety of styles.
Don't become enslaved to the stereotype that rock demands bright, focused cymbals, whereas jazz and fusion call for darker, more diffused tones. Some rock drummers like dark cymbals, just as some jazz drummers favor bright ones. Cultivating your own sound makes more sense than acquiring a plethora of equipment to be switched out depending upon the genre you're playing. More important, given that you're "pretty new to drumming," your attention should be centered on technique, not on gear. Zildjian As are highly versatile and should easily cover all your bases for the time being. You have all the equipment you need. Put it to use with disciplined practice.
 
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Peedy

Guest
Don't become enslaved to the stereotype that rock demands bright, focused cymbals, whereas jazz and fusion call for darker, more diffused tones. Some rock drummers like dark cymbals, just as some jazz drummers favor bright ones. Cultivating your own sound makes more sense than acquiring a plethora of equipment to be switched out depending upon the genre you're playing. More important, given that you're "pretty new to drumming," your attention should be centered on technique, not on gear. Zildjian As are highly versatile and should easily cover all your bases for the time being. You have all the equipment you need. Put it to use with disciplined practice.
Credit where credit is due. From a guy who rarely deserves it. Just ask my wife.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
if it’s good to have some cymbals with different characteristics, what diversity/variety do you go for? Do you put different ride/hh/crashes on for different sets or recording situations? What do you do/get if the ride seems too washy for certain songs?
For studio work, it's good to have a set of A-ish cymbals (high pitch, high energy required to fully excite), and a set of K-ish cymbals (lower pitch, easy to fully excite).

Whether you go for A's/K's or AA's/HH, or a set of Big/Giant-Beats and a set of Meinl Sand.....

You're either going to play songs with dense instrumentation and arrangements and want A's to cut through, or you're going to play with sparse instrumentation/arrangements where you need K's to fill the empty space.

As CMJ points out above, there are no real rules, but the point is to be heard, not interfere with other instruments, make an artistic statement, and fill a meaningful role in the sonic spectrum.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
if it’s good to have some cymbals with different characteristics, what diversity/variety do you go for? Do you put different ride/hh/crashes on for different sets or recording situations? What do you do/get if the ride seems too washy for certain songs?
I'm a big fan of having multiple sets of cymbals, and/or pairings of hats/rides that work well together. And I'm a Sabian guy, for sure.

My main daily driver set ..... Sabian HH Vanguard series. Whole set. 14" hats, 16", 18", 20", 21", & 22" ride/crashes. Wonderful cymbals.

My loud hard rock set .... 22" Sabian AA ride. 14" & 16" HHX X-plosion and HHX X-Treme crashes. 12" David Garibaldi hats. (or 14" XSR Monarchs).

My "dark" rock set ..... 18" AA Sick Hats, (or 14" XSR Monarchs), 22" AA Apollo ride, 18" HH King Crash, 18" XSR Monarch crash. 16" EFX crash (custom).

My "electronic music" set ..... almost full set of VFX cymbals. 12" hats (regular, not distortion hats), 19" ride, 14" & 16" crashes, two 14" mini-rides, and the V-wave.

Also ready to use, 12" AA mini-hats. (really good recording hats). 13" EQ hats (also good recording hats), a 10" Alien Disc (Will Calhoun), a 10" Chopper (Jojo Mayer).

Oh .... my one Zildjian cymbal ..... a 22" Earth Ride .... for when you definitely want ping and no/little wash. Now, there can be a bit of cross pollination between these sets .... goes without saying.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
What @C.M. Jones said! I practically learned on pan lids compared to Zildjian As, but by developing my technique I managed to get decent sounds out of those cymbals before gradually moving on to cymbals I really loved. My drum teacher found me a beautifully diverse 20” Paiste rude 1000 ride/crash that I still own today. It’s not an expensive cymbal but I played/recorded rock, pop, cabaret, and metal for over 20 years with that cymbal!! It can literally do anything I need it to. If I was offered a jazz gig tomorrow I would dust it off in a heartbeat. Zildjian As are perfect for a studio and more than perfect for learning drums. Pro’s will bring their own cymbals anyway. Keep smashing it! (y) :D
 
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Auspicious

Well-known member
At the risk of annoying people with expensive stuff, I spent some time on Paiste's website listening to their cymbals the other day and I found these: Signature Dark Energy - Dark Energy Ride Mark I


Between 20" and 22" I think their sound is lovely and would be perfect for jazz.

Just saying.
 

53Rockets

Active member
I might be able to contribute as a fairly new drummer. I found a cymbal i love (22" Paiste Big Beat), and i make a point of changing it's position every 3 or 4 practice sessions. I found that slight adjustments, like height and angle, slightly off to the right, more centred, etc, change how i come at it, how i hit it and so on. And obviously all the nuances you can create from there are endless. Since i'm still new, it forces me to experiment and changes my relationship to how i use it. Also coming from a guitar backround, it's like forcing yourself to use nothing but one pentatonic box to play songs you're used to playing in another position. Same instrument, different parameters, different mental approach. Also significantly less expensive than buying another cymbal. That being said, you have to like the sound of your ride enough to want to squeeze every possible sound out of it.....
 
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Peedy

Guest
Zildjian A's are pretty versatile cymbals in general. I suppose it depends on what your actual cymbal models are right now, but I wouldn't overthink needing specific cymbals for specific genres.
+1. If you’re like most drummers, you’ll have opportunity to stumble upon cymbals you’re interested in. At this point the A’s should be fine.
 

EvanEvan

New member
Thanks Rockets, that does make sense (the guitar comparison you used). I'll have to experiment with the angles/approach of my ride for sure.

I might be able to contribute as a fairly new drummer. I found a cymbal i love (22" Paiste Big Beat), and i make a point of changing it's position every 3 or 4 practice sessions. I found that slight adjustments, like height and angle, slightly off to the right, more centred, etc, change how i come at it, how i hit it and so on. And obviously all the nuances you can create from there are endless. Since i'm still new, it forces me to experiment and changes my relationship to how i use it. Also coming from a guitar backround, it's like forcing yourself to use nothing but one pentatonic box to play songs you're used to playing in another position. Same instrument, different parameters, different mental approach. Also significantly less expensive than buying another cymbal. That being said, you have to like the sound of your ride enough to want to squeeze every possible sound out of it.....
 

EvanEvan

New member
Thanks to everyone for these helpful responses, I checked out some tutorials related to some of the suggestions and fell into a timewarp loop of watching different virtuoso drummers do their thing-- fun morning. I think I'll try the moongels since it's reusable and pretty cheap. Glad to know the A's are a versatile set of cymbals. Thank you for that reassurance. I definitely agree practice is the best way to sound better. I think in guitar world, someone asked BB King how he got that tone (suggesting it was the model of guitar or pickups or what have you) and he randomly picked up one of the cheapest guitars in the store and played it his style and said it's more in your fingers and technique than anything. The lust for more "gear" stuff is a cruel disease sometimes. I think some of the best drumming performances I've seen on the street are groups with 5-gallon buckets just hitting those things so I gotta remember that. Investing in time playing is worth more than the time scouting gear I think. Have a great holiday weekend everyone!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The lust for more "gear" stuff is a cruel disease sometimes. I think some of the best drumming performances I've seen on the street are groups with 5-gallon buckets just hitting those things so I gotta remember that. Investing in time playing is worth more than the time scouting gear I think.
Comply with the ideas you've outlined above, and your journey as a drummer will be a much more pleasant and rewarding one. How you play a drum or cymbal is infinitely more critical than the specs of that drum or cymbal. And you're absolutely right about the brass-tacks purity of street drumming. If you really want to see what a drummer is made of, just hand him a pair of sticks and a mop bucket and say, "Go to work, man." His reply will be quite revealing.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
Comply with the ideas you've outlined above, and your journey as a drummer will be a much more pleasant and rewarding one. How you play a drum or cymbal is infinitely more critical than the specs of that drum or cymbal. And you're absolutely right about the brass-tacks purity of street drumming. If you really want to see what a drummer is made of, just hand him a pair of sticks and a mop bucket and say, "Go to work, man." His reply will be quite revealing.
... and may God Bless America
 
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