Steve Smith: Practice on a splash cymbal for touch

Adcc

Junior Member
Hello, i watched some videos of Steve Smith saying that he practices on a splash cymbal to develop his touch. Any idea what how he practices on a splash? I mean is he using a splash instead of a ride cymbal, a crash cymbal or he does rolls and rudiments on it?
 

JS_91

Member
lolwut?

Not sure what he means by “develop his touch”. A splash has a fairly niche feel and response so I wouldn’t really recommend using it as a baseline for developing technique on other parts of the kit but hey... it may work great for whatever he’s talking about.

Weird.
 
Not near drums right now to test, but I think that makes sense and might be a good idea (Especially if he’s saying it).

Small, lightweight splash cymbals don’t have as much rebound as the normal drum and ride cymbal surfaces that we give most of our attention to. When we practice on something with less rebound, it forces our technique to maximize any rebound we can get. And in case you don’t know rebound is crucial for how we get drumsticks in place for the next stroke (as opposed to picking them back up after a stroke.)

Splash cymbals don’t have the tension of a drum head, and with a smaller surface area and lighter mass they will be less susceptible to air resistance and inertia, which both help drumsticks bounce off of big heavy ride cymbals.

This is similar to how if you are able to develop double stroke rolls off of a pillow, then you’re going to be able to nail them around the drum set.

In answer to your question, my guess is that he is not just using a splash cymbal to replace the patterns he would otherwise be playing on ride and other cymbals, but that as you suggest he might be spending time simply practicing rudiments and anything else that you might typically practice on a snare drum or practice pad.
 
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ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I haven't watched the video but I'll throw my 2 cents in like a true internet commenter. There was a lot of timekeeping on a splash or small cymbal in early dixieland and traditional jazz. Similar to how you would play the hats with your right hand and manipulate them with your left hand. Muting, barks, etc.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Yeah, back then, they were just cymbals of varying sizes. No names yet. And they trended smaller. What we know of 'rides' today were only like 16-18" at max.
 

nolibos

Well-known member
Yes, i like the idea of keeping time on a splash. The splash will force you to keep it piano and light. I wonder how this will translate to a bigger ride cymbal? I am trying this for sure.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Gotta give him credit. He decided to become a drummer after being fired from one of the greatest rock bands of all time. LOL
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I imagine that he means practicing ride technique, so you are not always playing through the cymbal or relying on the weight of the cymbal for rebound.

I can't be sure, though. I haven't asked him what he meant. ;)
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Not near drums right now to test, but I think that makes sense and might be a good idea (Especially if he’s saying it).

Small, lightweight splash cymbals don’t have as much rebound as the normal drum and ride cymbal surfaces that we give most of our attention to. When we practice on something with less rebound, it forces our technique to maximize any rebound we can get. And in case you don’t know rebound is crucial for how we get drumsticks in place for the next stroke (as opposed to picking them back up after a stroke.)

Splash cymbals don’t have the tension of a drum head, and with a smaller surface area and lighter mass they will be less susceptible to air resistance and inertia, which both help drumsticks bounce off of big heavy ride cymbals.

This is similar to how if you are able to develop double stroke rolls off of a pillow, then you’re going to be able to nail them around the drum set.

In answer to your question, my guess is that he is not just using a splash cymbal to replace the patterns he would otherwise be playing on ride and other cymbals, but that as you suggest he might be spending time simply practicing rudiments and anything else that you might typically practice on a snare drum or practice pad.
A splash is going to jump around like a hooked trout every time you hit it. How can you practice a rudiment on that?
 

J-W

Well-known member
Is there a link to the video of him mentioning the splash cymbal? It's a weird idea, but I'd like to hear more about it to know what he's talking about.
They are just cymbals that are smaller than crash cymbals. It does seem like a weird idea based on the name, but they don't really "splash" like a liquid would. It's really more of an onomatopoeia since they have a short sustain. The most popular are 6" - 10" in diameter, but they can be larger.

It's not a video, but this might help:
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I imagine that he means practicing ride technique, so you are not always playing through the cymbal or relying on the weight of the cymbal for rebound.
Sounds like-- I guess you could develop a really delicate touch if you could ride on a splash cymbal without it just splashing on you. I don't own one, or I'd try it out.
 
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