Cymbal dilemmas

Stevedot2

Well-known member
Every so often I go through a period of wanting to change up my cymbal at up. This feature consumes me and becomes an obsession. I spend hours drilling over all sorts of cymbal demo videos. Eventually I either buy something new or just forget about it. But there are a range of thoughts that occur during these "crises" 😁

1. I blame Matt Garstka for this. His cymbals are always so beautiful and colourful. I would love to have a cool gritty looking ride that has a pretty dry, almost unconventional sound, but it just wouldn't cut with the heavy music I play. This bothers me greatly.

2. Always being torn between having a really nice, perfect cymbal set up or just having a bunch of old users cymbals and making do with them. I've had stuff stolen in the past and that makes me question about having "nice" things, but I like having nice things.

3. The elusive perfect ride cymbal with enough definition and cut but also great crashability.

I'm going to stop there because I really should be going to sleep and am fully aware these are totally 1st World problems! Not even after any advice really, just need to express my woes!

Peace ✌
 

gish

Senior Member
First thoughts that popped into my skull-

- Remember what you’re bearing on YouTube is most likely not what you’d hear in the room during the recording
- it’s ok to not like your sound; it can take time to find your ideal sound that helps you define your identity as a player
- I’ve gone through this myself over the years; at the tender age of 47 with 35 years of drumming time under my belt I finally found the cymbals that I had been longing for, and they were NOT what I was expecting. Like any other hobby, you’ll lose some money along the way until you find what you really want.
 
First thoughts that popped into my skull-

- Remember what you’re bearing on YouTube is most likely not what you’d hear in the room during the recording
- it’s ok to not like your sound; it can take time to find your ideal sound that helps you define your identity as a player
- I’ve gone through this myself over the years; at the tender age of 47 with 35 years of drumming time under my belt I finally found the cymbals that I had been longing for, and they were NOT what I was expecting. Like any other hobby, you’ll lose some money along the way until you find what you really want.
What did you end up with?
 

gish

Senior Member
What did you end up with?
Zildjian K crashes. Was never happy with my crash sounds over the years; I’m a rock/pop drummer that spent too much time reading Modern Drummer and feeding into manufacturer’s hyperbole. Cut my drumming teeth with the thought that K’s were jazz cymbals. Feel so silly for not figuring this stuff out years ago. I’m sure there are a lot of big brand/small brand hand hammered cymbals I would like besides K’s, so I will be checking those out as opportunities present themselves.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
1. I blame Matt Garstka for this. His cymbals are always so beautiful and colourful. I would love to have a cool gritty looking ride that has a pretty dry, almost unconventional sound, but it just wouldn't cut with the heavy music I play. This bothers me greatly.

2. Always being torn between having a really nice, perfect cymbal set up or just having a bunch of old users cymbals and making do with them. I've had stuff stolen in the past and that makes me question about having "nice" things, but I like having nice things.

3. The elusive perfect ride cymbal with enough definition and cut but also great crashability.

I'm going to stop there because I really should be going to sleep and am fully aware these are totally 1st World problems! Not even after any advice really, just need to express my woes!

Peace ✌
Out of curiousity, regarding #1, is it that you think a dry gritty ride won't cut it with the music you play, or is it because you think the others wont think it fits, even if you do? I'm just suggesting that perhaps the unconventional sound would work and why not give it a try before assuming it wouldn't.

#2: Classic dilemma. Listen to your gut for your situation.

#3 Istanbul Agop rides, and Istanbul Xist rides (for a more Zildjian-ey sound), check all those boxes for me. Killer bells and crashes. If you like the ride sound, chances are the bell and crash won't disappoint.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Every so often I go through a period of wanting to change up my cymbal at up. This feature consumes me and becomes an obsession. I spend hours drilling over all sorts of cymbal demo videos. Eventually I either buy something new or just forget about it. But there are a range of thoughts that occur during these "crises" 😁
Stevedot2, your preceding paragraph persuades me that you should resist the compulsion to engage in cyclical cymbal setup changes. The Internet can fuel boredom to the point of madness. The myriad options at our disposal encourage cavalier spending. And that you never seem fulfilled by your cymbal choices suggests that you're more committed to the repeated process of exploring and obsessing than you are to discovering a particular sound. Play what you own and be content with it. Shun YouTube and other frivolous sources of advertising for a time. Drum more and think about equipment less. Your playing will flourish, and your bank account will thank you.
 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
Sounds like a Son Quixote complex. An endless search for perfection that just doesn't exist. I'm not familiar with Matt Garstka, but you can't blame him for your infatuation with his or anyone else's cymbals, drums, house, car, wife, or ability to brush his teeth without drooling down his chin. As C.M. Jones mentioned, stay away from You Tube and the auction sites and spend more time playing the equipment you have. You might just end up liking it.
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
Cheers for the replies, everyone.

Funny thing is I actually ended up with a cymbal setup that I was/am really happy with. However I have this ideal alternative sound in my head, something a lot darker, trashier and, I guess, unconventional (at least for the music I play).

The issue with dry rides is they generally don't physically cut through louder music.

The point about YouTube is a very good one and I need to keep reminding myself of this! It's just so easy to get sucked in, especially now I can't actually go and try out cymbals on person, although UK lockdown is easing so perhaps I will be able to soon.

Ultimately I just need more self restraint, I'll try to work on it! 😵
 

Pootle

Well-known member
I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time listening to drums and cymbals on You Tube at the moment which, given the current circumstances, is to be expected. I love cymbals and still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I don’t see it as a big deal, my tastes change over the years and anything I buy can be sold on to somebody who will enjoy them for generally minimal loss. My only advice would be to avoid buying anything until you can get down to a trade show and then hit everything you want to in one afternoon. There’s a couple coming up later in the year the UK which will hopefully still be on. If you can’t decide after all that, then yes you have a buying compulsion!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Why not buy just buy a "dream" set of cymbals ..... just for you. Keep your loud "rock" cymbals ..... and build a second set of "alternative" cymbals.

I've got 4 basically complete "sets" of cymbals ..... including a set of really loud rock cymbals.
 

iCe

Senior Member
I always lurk on YouTube and on sites for cymbals. I have a nice set of cymbals and i do notice that my taste has changed to thinner, darker and/or dryer models. But still everytime i play my own set i just love the sound of my cymbals and that is the only reason why i haven't changed the models for the last 5 years or so. The only cymbal that i replaced recently (early last year) is the right side china (was a Zildjian 18" A China Low and now a Paiste 20" 2002 Novo China) because i started to dislike some overtones in it.

It could be that i might start replacing the ride and main hihat someday, but i've been saying that for years now without any change haha. I really like the Meinl 22" Sand Ride or the Paiste 22" Traditional Light Ride, but since i play progressive rock/metal i need a ride that cuts through (and my 21" A Sweet Ride is perfect for that, although i would love it to be a tad thinner with a drop a trashiness). The crashes are perfect and don't want to replace those, chinas are perfect, might replace the mini china i have in a stack and maybe the splashes for thinner models.

But then again like the OP... i have great stuff, replacing costs a money and that's just not worth it :)
 
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Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Nothing wrong with seeking out a different sound. Tastes change over time.

I have a few different types of crashes and rides for this reason, some 'normal' and some more dry & trashy etc. I keep a mix on my kit, and change them depending on mood and the music of the band I'm playing with.

Finding the ride that does it for you can be a long process of trial and error. I have bought & sold many rides over the years.

I do find that changing only one or two at a time works for me, as I often learn something along the way (for example when I like the sound of the cymbal but it doesn't quite work with the band, or something like that). So over time you learn about how to choose well for your own tastes.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
1. I blame Matt Garstka for this. His cymbals are always so beautiful and colourful. I would love to have a cool gritty looking ride that has a pretty dry, almost unconventional sound, but it just wouldn't cut with the heavy music I play. This bothers me greatly.
You do realize that Matt Gartska plays for Animals As Leaders, right? They're a REALLY heavy band, so if his Byzance ride/cymbals work with AAL, I can't imagine that it wouldn't work for you.

BTW, I've always played Ks and thinner cymbals for all genres, including rock/hard rock. And I've NEVER had a problem being heard. In fact, I think cymbals sound best when they blend with the music rather than cut through it—even with hard rock. And nearly everyone I've played with have commented on how good my drums and cymbals sound.

Right now my two rides are a 22 K Light Ride and a 22 A Avedis ride (not the Zildjian A but the vintage-inspired Avedis series). Both are very crashable, and the Avedis is easily heard in any setting (my K Light can be a little too light for some rooms, but it sounds amazing in my studio). All my crashes and hats are Ks and K Customs, plus I have an A Custom EFX crash.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
In fact, while I'm here, any advice on using tape to dry out the songs of a cymbal? I believe that's a thing.
It totally works and you get clearer stick too. It makes a pretty big difference where you put the tape. You just have to try it and experiment.
The bell rings, the edge sizzles and crashes, and the middle roars and klangs, generally.
It's super easy to try, and completely reversible. Why not?
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
You do realize that Matt Gartska plays for Animals As Leaders, right? They're a REALLY heavy band, so if his Byzance ride/cymbals work with AAL, I can't imagine that it wouldn't work for you.
Yeah I actually am quite confused as to how he gets them to work! It's like it shouldn't but somehow it does.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Yeah I actually am quite confused as to how he gets them to work! It's like it shouldn't but somehow it does.
It’s because you don’t need bright, piercing cymbals, even with heavy music. You really don’t. But cymbal marketing departments want you to think that you do. It’s easier for them to sell more cymbals that way. Bright = rock. Dark = jazz. Play both? Buy both! That’s not to say that every dark cymbal will work for heavy music. For rides, I’d look for something with a bit of stick definition, even if the overall sound is dark and mysterious. But for crashes, I think literally any crash will work.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
Yeah I actually am quite confused as to how he gets them to work! It's like it shouldn't but somehow it does.
It's sound reinforcement, that levels the playing field. Probably wouldn't work at all, if he was un-mic'd, and had to then compete with a wall of sound. But seeing some live video's ..... I think there's also a conscious decision that he wants his cymbals more "in the mix" rather than "on top of the mix". His crashes go "piissshhhhh" instead of "PISSSHHHH!!!!"
 
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