Ride Cymbal Approach

SeanMc

Junior Member
Hi, I have had two drum Teachers who have totally different ideas about how to strike the ride cymbal. One Teacher said to play off the ride cymbal. The other Teacher (more of a Jazz guy) says to play through the ride cymbal.
Anybody want to comment? Please do.
Thanks,
Sean
 

bongoman

Junior Member
The truth is you need to spend time with your specific ride trying every possible angle of attack and type of hand motion/position in order to draw the best selection of sounds for the style/flavors you want.

Any teacher that tells you there’s just one proper way is a dummy. Unless eg the jazz guy says like “this is what I recommend for jazz swing ride”, there’s nothing wrong with that, in context. But it will be different for other genres, and not every ride is going to respond the same to that technique.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
It's a function of individual style and the sound/dynamic you're trying to achieve. If I comprehend what you mean by "play through" and "play off," I'm more likely to play through the ride during a backbeat that calls for forte but to play off the ride during a subtle section that requires a pianissimo vibe. The composition generally prescribes the methodology, but each player has his or her own conventions.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I can't imagine playing through the ride. I rely on the rebound, it takes about 50% of the work away.

Playing "through" the ride cymbal...I never heard that before. Playing "through" the toms I have heard of before, but not ride cymbals.

My initial thought about playing "through" anything...it runs counter to how I play, so I don't want any part of it.

I'm still trying to figure out how a jazz guy plays the jazz ride pattern while playing "through" the cymbal.

The skip beat part of the jazz ride pattern isn't usually stroked out at high tempos
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I can't imagine playing through the ride. I rely on the rebound, it takes about 50% of the work away.
Yeah, if the OP's concept of "playing through" means barbarically slugging away without utilizing rebound, I can't relate to that mode of operation at all. The terminology is unclear at this point.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
What I'm really surprised at...is that it was the jazz guy who was the one that suggested playing "through" the ride.

It does not compute to me.

I'm assuming that if you play "through" the ride, the drummer has to pick up every stroke instead of getting an almost free rebound.

It doesn't sound right on paper at all. Why do they do that again?

I'm mentally running away in horror!
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Whenever I've given the advice to play through it's usually in response to seeing a stroke that isn't making solid contact. I've seen some players that tend to pull back on the stick a bit, like they're trying to anticipate the rebound before it actually happens.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I approach the ride cymbal in the same way I approach bouncing the stick on any surface. I figure out what I want the surface to do, then I operate the stick accordingly using one of many different stick manipulations depending on what I need. I'm not thinking about how I'm playing the ride, I'm just playing it.

The stick will tell you what to do if you listen to it. You will know if you are using too much bounce for that particular cymbal, of if you need to toss the stick more into it.

Every cymbal feels a little different. The more you play it (your ride) the more you will understand how it (your ride) works. I know it sounds stupid but its true.
 

ToneT

Well-known member
And, don't forget "Dead Sticking" technique; another can of worms in and of itself.
My universal rule to all of this is, The stick will rebound if you let it.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I'd start by assuming they both know what they're doing and not recommending bashing thru the ride.

My teacher taught me a ride technique where you have it bouncing of course, but still all fingers making contact, which causes a very woody and clearly defined tick. It drastically changes the sound of the ride, a la Bill Stewart. Maybe that's what he means by "through".


You might be able to generalize that since jazz lives and dies by the ride cymbal, your jazz teacher's advice may come from a place of a higher relationship with the ride.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'd start by assuming they both know what they're doing and not recommending bashing thru the ride.

My teacher taught me a ride technique where you have it bouncing of course, but still all fingers making contact, which causes a very woody and clearly defined tick. It drastically changes the sound of the ride, a la Bill Stewart. Maybe that's what he means by "through".


You might be able to generalize that since jazz lives and dies by the ride cymbal, your jazz teacher's advice may come from a place of a higher relationship with the ride.
I'd bet you're right about that.

It's the term that is throwing me off
 
I've heard "playing through a cymbal or drum" before as well. It was not used to mean burying the stick or bashing but it was a mental image: don't stop your stroke yourself at the surface you hit. Instead, let the motion follow through. If you hold to stick loosely, you'll get a full sound and rebound. Maybe that one teacher also meant something along those lines??
 
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