Assuming one higher pitched crash cymbal and one lower pitched crash cymbal

georgeusa

Member
Assuming

one higher pitched crash cymbal (on the left side of the drumkit)

and one lower pitched crash cymbal (on the right side of the drumkit)


did you notice any particular method on where drummers choose to strike the higher pitched and where the lower pitched crash cymbal....


for example on the very first bar of a song...would most play the lower pitched one to enter the song or the higher one?


i'm just trying to understand where each one is used more often.....any particular things to keep in mind?


thanks
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Assuming

one higher pitched crash cymbal (on the left side of the drumkit)

and one lower pitched crash cymbal (on the right side of the drumkit)


did you notice any particular method on where drummers choose to strike the higher pitched and where the lower pitched crash cymbal....


for example on the very first bar of a song...would most play the lower pitched one to enter the song or the higher one?


i'm just trying to understand where each one is used more often.....any particular things to keep in mind?


thanks

There's really no rules....I mean - I guess you could say if you were going into a higher energy part of the song you could do the lower crash first then into the higher crash second to help sonically build UP to something.....or conversely if you were coming out of a higher energy part into a lower part you could pitch down and go from the higher crash to the lower.

Honestly though I'm not entirely sure there's a rule of thumb that applies.

Just make it easy on yourself and always hit both ;-)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have a 14" crash and an 18" crash. If I need something quick and immediate, I use the 14. If I need something big or saturating, I use the 18. If I use them in sequence, it is usually determined by whether the part being accented goes from low to high or high to low.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I try to loosely match the pitches of the cymbals with what's going on in the song. Essentially, I use the bigger cymbals to accent lower notes and vice versa. For example - take the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony. I'd play that L-L-L-R on the cymbals if something like that appeared in a track I was playing and so on and so forth.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
You can also curb this complication by using crashes of similar diameters. I now have only two crashes in my setup: 18" and 19". The 19", owing to its greater diameter, has a slightly lower tonal presence than the 18", but they're really quite close. Few listeners would know which one I'm striking, especially in a mix with other instruments. If, on the other hand, you're playing a 15" and a 19", the tonal differences will be vast, as will the decay. All things being equal, the 15" will be higher and more focused, while the 19" will be lower and broader but will sustain longer.

It's not out of the question for drummers to use identical crashes -- two 18"s, for instance. With just one sound, the tonal dilemma disperses.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Any time I ever use two crashes-- which is very rarely-- I put the smaller one on the far right. Which one I hit has to do with where I am on the drum set when I want to hit a crash cymbal. I'll also play the crash on the right in conjunction with the ride cymbal. I don't think about the pitch at all, beyond selecting things with nice intervals when I'm deciding what to take to the gig.
 

Supergrobi

Well-known member
If I'm playing a combination of BD/crash or SN/crash I normally play the 18" together with the bass drum and the 16" together with the snare. If two strokes on crash in a row I normally play the 18" first, followed by the 16". But that's not carved into stone.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
One thing I try to do if I’m crashing over a vocal is to match the crash to the vowel of the word being sung. If the word uses A,E, or I, I might use the higher crash. For O and U, I might use the lower crash. As others have said, nothing is written in stone. It depends on what is going on musically with the rest of the song.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I also generally match the pitch movements of the other instruments when accenting with crashes. I generally only use two and also crash some on the ride, though, so, I have three pitches to choose from. For instance, if the intro to a song has 5 notes/chords moving downward- I'll typically strike the high crash twice, the low one twice, and the ride once. It's not a hard rule.
 

madjack956

Well-known member
I've got 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19" crashes. Because of their different pitches I use them in certain parts of a song. I use the 18 and 19 for major crashes and the others where I see fit. I am partial to my 16'' though, its got such a sweet sound to it. It fits in in a lot of places. Other than that, I will crash whatever is in front of me depending what side of the kit I'm playing on for convenience sake.
If I was playing in a band I'm sure all that might change as not to clash with other instruments and vocals.
I think once you get used to the sounds of your cymbals you will know what to do.
 

strikefast

New member
Interesting thread. I've actually been struggling with alternating between different cymbals. When I watch videos of myself playing, I get a bit confused and break consistency.

I try to assume whichever cymbal matches the sound of the current guitar chord. I'm currently testing the waters with three cymbals. I have a regular crash cymbal to my left, a splash cymbal right above both toms, and a china cymbal to my right (behind the ride cymbal). Once I get more comfortable, I'll add another crash cymbal (lower pitch)

My usual preference is to hit the crash cymbal when I get to the next bar (or when the song gets dramatic), whereas the china cymbal can be used back and forth (or even hit with the snare drum) and/or used as a crash ride cymbal.

If anyone has some helpful tips for what I've described, do let me know. I've been playing for over a decade, yet this very aspect of drumming still perplexes me. I don't know if it's just my OCD...
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
I wish some guys would hit them a lot less than they do. I call it the "flapping cymbals syndrome." It seems to mostly affect guys coming from harder rock backgrounds taking gigs in sports bar bands playing more vocal oriented pop music. Crash cymbals here, there and everywhere.

Anyway, I think playing them less is a good way to figure out where the pitches better belong.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Just make it easy on yourself and always hit both ;-)
Exactly. Problem solved.
I don’t use crashes often, but like @toddbishop, I keep the smaller one on the right. I don’t want the crash sounding too similar to the ride next to it, and the wash emanating from it. Aside from that, I find I don’t need to give it much thought.
 

wraub

Well-known member
Currently have one crash, one splash, one ride, and one "effects" cymbal in my setup, and am liking it very much.
I could see having and using more, but I'm good with exploring, doing more with less.
I tend to use the splash as an accent, in mid verse for example ala Copeland, and use the crash for choruses and downbeats, but, no real rules for me.
Just try to place them where they sound good. ;)
 

strikefast

New member
Speaking of cutting down on hitting cymbals frequently, the hi-hat can be utilized even further to add flavor to the music. Hitting an open hi-hat instead of a crash cymbal would make things a lot more fluid, especially when reserving said crash cymbal for the next bar.

There's a downside to this if you're playing double bass, but you can always install a proper clutch or add an identical pair of them that's locked (to be played while in double bass mode, and then you can simulate the release sound by immediately striking the open one).
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Since this is sliding into a "No crash cymbals" discussion.


One of my favorite drum tracks that inspired my favorite drum purchase features zero crash cymbals at all. Pretty cool in a rock tune.



Also - if you (meaning the general "you" no OP haha) ever do a drum cover of this and have a ton of cymbal crashes on it (like many I've seen) you are officially fired.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
You can also curb this complication by using crashes of similar diameters. I now have only two crashes in my setup: 18" and 19". The 19", owing to its greater diameter, has a slightly lower tonal presence than the 18", but they're really quite close. Few listeners would know which one I'm striking, especially in a mix with other instruments. If, on the other hand, you're playing a 15" and a 19", the tonal differences will be vast, as will the decay. All things being equal, the 15" will be higher and more focused, while the 19" will be lower and broader but will sustain longer.

It's not out of the question for drummers to use identical crashes -- two 18"s, for instance. With just one sound, the tonal dilemma disperses.
I have a similar philosophy and often bring just two crashes to gigs and practice - one 18" and one 19" Zildjian K Sweet. Dynamite combo. (y)
 
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