Cymbals providing a "low end" sound live?

I play in a ska band where we don't have a low brass instrument, so our sound as a band is very trebly. Aside from the bass guitar, we have no low instrument. I personally play small cymbals (14" and 16" A Custom Crashes). They sound splashy as you can imagine. Someone mentioned that perhaps using bigger cymbals which have a lower sound might help.

Does anyone think that using bigger or darker sounding cymbals could give the band a less trebly sound? Would it be significant?


Senior Member
Sounds like there might be two things here.

You may be using smaller cymbals than you need for your style of music - if you like high pitched cymbals there are many larger cymbals with high pitches that will have more body and tone to them and therefore sound 'bigger'. Stewart Copeland didn't use very small crashes with The Police and the sound fits reggae/ska fine.

However, if your whole band lacks bass, using bigger cymbals isn't going to solve the problem (unless you only use very large gongs with big fluffy mallets). Tuning your snare and bass drum down will have more impact, but as you say, your answer is to get a low brass instrument in the band, or look at your arrangements to cover the space you feel is missing.

Good luck


"Uncle Larry"
Souds like you're trying to influence an area that is out of the realm of the drum kit. The bass guitar or a trombone needs to fill that need, from what I can gather.