Hitting two cymbals at once

Obzen

Member
.... is something I never do, but see a lot of metal and rock drummers do.

I didn't think there was 'any point' in doing it when I was starting out learning drums (cymbals are pretty damn loud by themselves right?), so it never became part of my repitoire, and 9 years later I haven't given it much more thought.

From my observation it tends to be really hard hitters (smashers!!!) who mostly do this, and it seems to go hand in hand with huge swinging arm movements, shirtlessness and buckets of hairy sweat. Wheras I'm a very 'still' drummer (or 'energy efficient' if you will), big gestures don't come naturally.

Anyway. What do you think, is double cymbal hittage important in heavy music? do you do it?

P.S. The gig I was at last night that made me think of this was Russian Circles and Eagle Twin (Eagle Twin were the loudest live band I've ever heard and the hardest hitting drummer I've ever seen/heard, I've got a very interestingly broken stick from this dude, I'll take a photo of to show you guys when I get home).
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
.... is something I never do, but see a lot of metal and rock drummers do.

I didn't think there was 'any point' in doing it when I was starting out learning drums (cymbals are pretty damn loud by themselves right?), so it never became part of my repitoire, and 9 years later I haven't given it much more thought.

From my observation it tends to be really hard hitters (smashers!!!) who mostly do this, and it seems to go hand in hand with huge swinging arm movements, shirtlessness and buckets of hairy sweat. Wheras I'm a very 'still' drummer (or 'energy efficient' if you will), big gestures don't come naturally.

Anyway. What do you think, is double cymbal hittage important in heavy music? do you do it?

P.S. The gig I was at last night that made me think of this was Russian Circles and Eagle Twin (Eagle Twin were the loudest live band I've ever heard and the hardest hitting drummer I've ever seen/heard, I've got a very interestingly broken stick from this dude, I'll take a photo of to show you guys when I get home).
Can I take it you mean crashes, not hiting a crash while keeping time on the hihats or ride? I've also been known to hit 2 crashes at once occasionaly, when riding on one and using the second for an accent. I don't routinely use symultanious crashes, but I'm very partial to one following the other very closely, usually a 1/16th note apart....
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If a particular accent and the volume demands it, I do it.

Dynamics run from 0-100%. Sometimes you need 150% but can't get it from one cymbal. So...

Bermuda
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
I do it when I feel it fits the song and I'm not a metal drummer or a big arm swinger either. It adds a little more depth and color to the sound.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Q: When is it okay to hit two cymbals at once?
A: When you hit them both with glancing blows.

*rimshot*

Thank you! Thank you! I'm here all week! Try the veal!

(A little drummer humor. Very little.) :)
 

Obzen

Member
Can I take it you mean crashes, not hiting a crash while keeping time on the hihats or ride?
Yeah, crashes and splashes or chinas or an open hi-hat.



Hmmm, I might start thinking about trying to incorporate this into my drumming. I very much play by 'feeling' though (well I guess most people do too...) and I'm not sure if it would ever 'feel' like the right moment to do it, I just find it so counter intuitive. Will see what happens at practice tonight.
 

Obzen

Member
Q: When is it okay to hit two cymbals at once?
A: When you hit them both with glancing blows.

*rimshot*

Thank you! Thank you! I'm here all week! Try the veal!

(A little drummer humor. Very little.) :)
!!! I like it, even though I don't get it.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I do it all the time. It's possible I'm mis-reading your thoughts, but it seems as though you're artificially limiting your creativity with a weird bias towards "bashing".

If you give it some thought, though, you'll realize that there are all kinds of possibilities.

You can hit different combinations of cymbals for a new set of sounds. Crash the ride on the edge while hitting your left crash much softer. Consider that you're not doing this for extra volume or intensity, but for a different inflection and texture, the shimmer from the crash hit lightly goes well with a dry crashed ride for all kinds of accents and situations. Now try a different combo and notice how different the sound is from just hitting one crash. Let your left foot up a bit and give the hats a whack while also hitting a crash on your right...

Anyway, you see where I'm headed. Hitting two cymbals at once is something everyone should do when they need another sound to put to what's going on in the song. Don't forget, you have all the different parts of the cymbals, all the different ways to hit the cymbals, and all the different combinations of cymbals. Hell, maybe you just bash two crashes at once and simply cut one off after a beat while you let the other go?

I think I'm going to go hit some cymbals in unison!
 

Taye-Dyed

Senior Member
I do it when I feel it fits the song and I'm not a metal drummer or a big arm swinger either. It adds a little more depth and color to the sound.
Exactly same here. I could not be any farther than a shirtless metal smasher (not that I have anything against those guys!). I usually play fairly calmly with a small set up in an Americana band. Yet when I feel the music calls for it, I will hit two crashes or a crash and a splash. It just adds variety. It usually happens at the end of a song or during an intro that builds up - rarely in the middle of a song.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Sometimes a song will have a bunch of crash accents close together and with only two crashes, mixing the two together gives another sound. Like using both toms together in a 4 piece kit to do a fill that would normally be spread out over a 5 piece. Although I probably use the two successive hits thing on eights more often. And-one, or over the bar one-and.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I also do this now and again and I'm definitely not a smasher. In fact when I'm auditioning crash cymbals this is one of the criteria that must be met having the two sound great double crashed. Just because two cymbals might be designated as crash cymbals doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to sound good together.

Dennis
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I do this a lot. It especially helps if I'm in a section where I'm already riding a crash, and need an extra bit of oomph to mark a downbeat or accent.
 
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