Jazz “ Left Side” cymbals

Rolltide

Well-known member
Thoughts and suggest for this left side jazz cymbals - Specific cymbals and or theory about how it fits with the main ride -
 

TK-421

Senior Member
What's your main ride? It's hard to recommend a left-side ride without knowing what it will be paired with.

Lately, I've been using a 19" K Dark Thin Crash as my left-side ride, with a Meinl Magnetic Cymbal Tuner placed near the bell to minimize its "crashiness" and enhance its ride qualities. It actually works pretty well! I use two more rides in my jazz setup, both on the right side: a 22" Diril AD Ride (handmade cymbal from Turkey) and a 22" Avedis Crash/Ride.
 

Rolltide

Well-known member
trying to figure out this puzzle, under standing the role of left side will help me in selecting right side , which is a tall order
 

TK-421

Senior Member
trying to figure out this puzzle, under standing the role of left side will help me in selecting right side , which is a tall order
I would pick your main ride first. Then find a left-side ride that complements your main ride.

Since so much of jazz drumming is played on the ride cymbal, having a left-side ride gives you something to switch to when the song goes into a new section, such as the head or a solo section. Otherwise it can feel/sound very repetitive playing the same ride throughout the entire song.

For me, I want a left-side ride that contrasts with my main ride, but still complements it in a way. I also want something that's very crashable for when the need arises. In the past I usually used only 20" rides for the left side, but now I'm enjoying my 19" crash as a "ride" in that spot.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
trying to figure out this puzzle, under standing the role of left side will help me in selecting right side , which is a tall order
I'm not a jazz player, but if you're looking for a second ride option, I highly recommend the Zildjian A Avedis series, which @TK-421 mentions. Every cymbal in the family, with the exception of hats, is a crash ride. I designate two 19"s as crashes and a 21" as a ride. All have balanced tone, woody stick definition, and great crash qualities. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I agree with TK-421...The left side should be a contrast to the right side...I'd say generally the left side is going to be the lighter, crashier, one though.

Back when I was regularly playing jazz I did pretty much everything with A. Zildjians... a 22" medium ride, a 15" paper thin crash, and an 18" medium thin crash. I really wasn't into the notion of a left side ride, but the 18" crash was used that way a couple times.

More than any other part of the kit cymbals, especially with jazz cymbals, are just one long list of it depends... Everything depends on what kind of sounds you're looking for, what flavor of jazz you are playing, size of the group, type of venue... It might be nice if you could think your way into the perfect set up, but it almost always comes down to a little trial and error as you end up feeling your way into the gear you want.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have 3 cymbals I ride on, 2 rights and a left. The left ride is a complete contrast to the two rights. On the right is a 20" El Rajah (fantastic old thing of unknown origin that sounds dark and dry) and an 18" Turkish K. I crash both of these also.

The left ride is a 20" Sabian Pro. It's extremely pingy and bright. It doesnt crash, only ping.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
my 'left side" cymbal for jazz is an early 2000's Zildjian 17" K Custom Dark Crash... it gets a GREAT ride sound for brushes and also very light stick work.

That makes my jazz cymbal set up:
left side - 2000's Zildjian 17" K Custom Dark Crash
middle - 50's era Zildjian 18" crash with rivets; also used as a ride
right side - 50's era Zildjian 22" Ride cymbal
hi hats - 50's era Zildjian 14" hi hats

the main ride is soooooper dark and washy, adn the K Custom is a lighter, higher pitched sound, so that is where ended up. I totally found the K Custom on accident b/c it was set there to be a crash only, but at one of our first practices, I was just not happy with the brushes on the big ride, and went over to that one, and was like HOLY CRAP... that is the brush ride cymbal sound I have been looking for!!

the cymbal with rivets is right in the middle pitch wise, and is a perfect connector for both
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
The first thing is: Whatever you can get away with is 100% fine.

How I do it: I'm always thinking of contrast but not conflict. A pretty standard jazz setup for me would be:
  1. 22" Main ride on the right. This one will be in the Medium/Medium Light range (say, 2550 to 2800g). This one has the clarity and insistence for driving the band. Must still be crashable, but the crash can be short.
  2. 20" Crash/Ride or lighter ride on the left. This one will be under 1800g, most likely. If the main ride is about holding tension, the left is about releasing tension. Should be crashable, should have a less pronounced (but still very clear) stick sound, and should ideally have some separation between the stick and wash sound. That cymbal will probably get the rivets or a Stack Ring Sizzle Stick, which in my opinion is far and away the best rivet simulator on the market. This spread of weights and sizes between the two main cymbals typically produces a good difference in pitch as well.
  3. Far right can be any of the following: a swish, a small-is crash, a third contrasting ride, or a flat. Whatever third sound will work for the musicians and the room.
  4. 14" hats that match the vibe of the rest of the cymbals.
So, these days I do
  1. 22" Paiste Masters Dark Ride (or, depending on the gig, 21" Masters Dark Dry or 21" Dark Energy Mark 1)
  2. 20" Paiste Masters Dark Crash Ride
  3. 22" Paiste Masters Swish, 16" Dark Crash, or 20" 602 Medium Flatride
  4. 14" Paiste Masters Hi Hats
In the past I've used Zildjian K Cons (22" Overhammered Bounce, 19" Crash/Ride, 14" Hats OR 22" Medium, 20" Medium Thin Low, 14" hats OR EVEN 23" A Sweet, 20" A Thin Crash, 15" New Beat hats) or Bosphorus (22" Traditional Light, 19" Traditional Crash/Ride, 14" Traditional hats). You get the idea.
 
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RickP

Gold Member
My current favourite left side ride cymbal is a 19” Sabian Artisan Crash . It has a very nice large bell for Latin beats and it has a nice stick definition as a light ride behind piano or Bass solo sections . It is a beautiful crash that has nice sustain . I pair it with a 22” Sabian Artisan Light Ride or 20” Artisan Light ride .
 

Rolltide

Well-known member
The first thing is: Whatever you can get away with is 100% fine.

How I do it: I'm always thinking of contrast but not conflict. A pretty standard jazz setup for me would be:
  1. 22" Main ride on the right. This one will be in the Medium/Medium Light range (say, 2550 to 2800g). This one has the clarity and insistence for driving the band. Must still be crashable, but the crash can be short.
  2. 20" Crash/Ride or lighter ride on the left. This one will be under 1800g, most likely. If the main ride is about holding tension, the left is about releasing tension. Should be crashable, should have a less pronounced (but still very clear) stick sound, and should ideally have some separation between the stick and wash sound. That cymbal will probably get the rivets or a Stack Ring Sizzle Stick, which in my opinion is far and away the best rivet simulator on the market.
  3. Far right can be any of the following: a swish, a small-is crash, a third contrasting ride, or a flat. Whatever third sound will work for the musicians and the room.
  4. 14" hats that match the vibe of the rest of the cymbals.
So, these days I do
  1. 22" Paiste Masters Dark Ride (or, depending on the gig, 21" Masters Dark Dry or 21" Dark Energy Mark 1)
  2. 20" Paiste Masters Dark Crash Ride
  3. 22" Paiste Masters Swish, 16" Dark Crash, or 20" 602 Medium Flatride
  4. 14" Paiste Masters Hi Hats
In the past I've used Zildjian K Cons (22" Overhammered Bounce, 19" Crash/Ride, 14" Hats OR 22" Medium, 20" Medium Thin Low, 14" hats OR EVEN 23" A Sweet, 20" A Thin Crash, 15" New Beat hats) or Bosphorus (22" Traditional Light, 19" Traditional Crash/Ride, 14" Traditional hats). You get the idea.
That is outstanding information, thank you very much
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
That is outstanding information, thank you very much

You're welcome. I should underscore that this is my concept of how to choose cymbals. I think it's somewhat common, but it's definitely not universal. Many people-- including a lot of people who play a lot better than I do!-- do it quite differently. But it might be a good starting point for you to get your noggin' joggin'.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
If I was playing something on the more experimental side, I liked to have as much contrast as possible. I had a AAX china as my main right-ride, a trash brass no name with some percussive effects of whatever choosing on far right...these were the nasty, distortion side. On the left, I would put a flat ride K custom for a light feel and clarity (though I crash pretty hard), all 20s. Then far right, I'd put a crash/ride with a rivet of some kind for left hand lead stuff.

For trad stuff or big band, I like a 20 crash of doom which I want to rivet soon or the flat ride. I've tried a 22 ride on left, but may not work for me...sounds too much the same as my other 22 even though a good interval. For me, I'm just looking for contrast and a different sound source (otherwise, what's the point) but if the music is less experimental or traditional, than I won't make it too crazy either.
 
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bongoman

Junior Member
We’re always trying to find the “perfect” ride; each one is too dry, too pingy, too washy, good stick but poor bell, good bell but poor crash, yadda yadda. To pair them, I look for ones that have complimentary strengths. Maybe one is more sticky and the other more washy, one dry one wet, one with a nice bell one flat, etc. I also like them to be harmonious, where the primary pitches are a fourth or fifth apart.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Well my left ride is a 19“ crash specifically a 19“ Bosphorus New Orleans crash. Makes a great controlled left ride for subtler delivery, when main 22 ride is sonic overload and 15 hats are too precise. Not a basher cymbal, really blends into the background with just enough presence to ensure I remain at the reigns of rhythmic accent and time. Also crashes like any crash…..crashhhhhh
 
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