Sharp and Dull Crashes


Gold Member
A while back I noticed something when playing a passage with a bunch of crashes. The point on the stick that meets with the edge of the cymbal correlates to a particular response you get from the instrument. So far I think it has to do with how the stick moves and vibrates relative to the cymbal, not to mention how much weight and give there is behind the stroke. Playing a little above the shoulder, which is where people traditionally play a crash cymbal, will get you a very open and bright crash with the expected attack, whereas you can dull and mellow that attack and crash by playing down the shaft below the shoulder. The closer you get to your hand, the duller the response. I found that this is extremely helpful in situations where I need a crash, but something much less intrusive.

Has anyone else observed this or used it before? It makes me wonder what else you could do with this concept on other cymbals and other surfaces.


"Uncle Larry"
I usually always crash near the middle of the stick. The cymbal attack is mellowed, almost eliminated, and the swell of the cymbal grows after the initial hit. I personally love that sound. I hardly ever crash near the tip, too immediate of a sound for my liking. It's always further down past the shoulder onto the shaft.

One of the things I judge other drummers on is how they touch their cymbals. I see too many guys who are very rude when crashing. They don't blend their crashes, in fact there's no sense of blend at all. It's all over the top.


Senior Member
Of course! :) In a lot of jazz playing you use your stick to get different sounds out of the cymbal.
If you "flat bed" your stick across the cymbal (I don't know what to call it lol), which means you bury the entire stick on the upper side of the cymbal (like when you're washriding) you get a really bright, cutting crash sound.
Funny to experiment with. All the best.