too many cymbals?

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I can space save on a gig and go with a 22” Light Ride and 17” hi hats. But like Bermuda - I’ll use whatever I need to make it happen. I can have several crashes and another ride as well. But I don’t want to look like I know what I’m doing 😉
 

Mark_from_Mich

Junior Member
Old thread, but I was thinking about this topic earlier today randomly and ran across it.
I have a lot of cymbals, but I only like to use two rides and hi-hats when I play (most of the time, but especially in small jazz groups).

I feel like soloing with more than this cymbal set up makes me feel like I need to hit them all and takes away from trying to be creative.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
My ideal set up is a pair of hats, a ride, two crashes, a splash and a china. That's all I need. My current set up is just missing a second crash. I have a 20" Zildjian mini cup ride, a Zildjian 16" medium crash, a pair of 14" Manny's (yes, THE Manny's from 46th Street made by Zildjian for Manny's) hi hats, a Zildjian 17" china and a 10" Paiste splash. I'm looking for either a 16" dark crash or a 17" or 18" medium crash. I'm a simple guy.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Hats, ride, splash, 2 crashes, 2 chinas- a 12" I use to mimic a heavily-reverbed handclap effect, like in the middle of "American Girl", the other is a 16" (or 18"...?) for "regular" china crashes. I admit I'd like to have at least another splash for some of that tasty Copeland/Beauford stuff, but none of the music I play calls for it. :( I'd like to add another crash, and I think that would be enough for me.

I have an 8" splash that I bought specifically to stack inside the small china, so I can mimic more staccato handclap sounds like "Let's Go" and "Ladies' Night", but being that it's a Wuhan, the cup is too tall, and even with a thin felt underneath, I can't find a cymbal holder with a tall enough post that I can get the wingnut to thread on.
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
I have always found the following set-up to cover all my bases, whether in a cover band, or in my original band days......it's the most versatile and gives me more than enough colour and excitement in terms of sounds.

1 x hihats

1 x splash

1 x China

1 x Ride

2 x Crashes

These 6 are the golden number of cymbals at a gig or recording for me. A good, solid work-horse number of cymbals.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I can't see using a whole row of splashes, four chinas, etc. I like having as few of everything as possible (drums too), but need several effects cymbals for my style.
1 ride
1hh
1 aux hh
2 crash
2 splash (multiple splashes in a fill are nice)
1 china
1 ozone
1 stack
 

MrTheOne

Member
Just to save space and time I’ve been doing it “Ringo-style” lately, two crash/rides and hats. I know he’s got more in his set-up lately, I’m talking about his Beatles kit. Sure if the circumstances were right I’d have more but I’m actually really enjoying the minimal approach. Makes me wonder if I can pare down to ONE cymbal and still make it work. Maybe someday.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Makes me wonder if I can pare down to ONE cymbal and still make it work.
Absolutely, but you must choose the cymbal wisely. Something stamped as a "crash-ride" may not really sound like one or the other, and therefore may not be suitable for either sound. You need to find a good-sounding ride that's crashable, or a good-sounding crash that's ride-able. I know that sounds like so much rhetoric, but after you try enough cymbals, you'll start to hear what they're meant to do, and what they also can do.

My favorite "one cymbal" cymbal is an 18" Sabian AA Medium crash that maybe should have been a ride, but it's very crashable. I actually prefer it as a ride with a companion 15 or 16" crash, but am also very happy to use it alone where I don't need obvious pitch differences between my cymbals. That's not to say that another 18" AA Crash will suit your needs, you have to try cymbals until you find the right one. In general, I'd say stick with 18-20".

Bermuda
 

MrTheOne

Member
Absolutely, but you must choose the cymbal wisely. Something stamped as a "crash-ride" may not really sound like one or the other, and therefore may not be suitable for either sound. You need to find a good-sounding ride that's crashable, or a good-sounding crash that's ride-able. I know that sounds like so much rhetoric, but after you try enough cymbals, you'll start to hear what they're meant to do, and what they also can do.

My favorite "one cymbal" cymbal is an 18" Sabian AA Medium crash that maybe should have been a ride, but it's very crashable. I actually prefer it as a ride with a companion 15 or 16" crash, but am also very happy to use it alone where I don't need obvious pitch differences between my cymbals. That's not to say that another 18" AA Crash will suit your needs, you have to try cymbals until you find the right one. In general, I'd say stick with 18-20".

Bermuda
Doesn’t sound like rhetoric at all, sounds like credible advice to me! Sigh, well for the rest of the year I’m on a new gear freeze so we can focus on my wife’s gear needs (she’s the band leader). But who knows, we might do well enough that I could fit it in. Doesn’t mean I can’t look! 🤣 Thanks Bermuda, I always find your posts imformative!
 

JaysonJeanChannel

Active member
Hats
Ride
2 Crashes
1 Splash
1 Effect Cymbal

~ For the most part, I can do without the splash or effect cymbal, or even replace it with another crash cymbal. But that's my max.
 

iCe

Senior Member
For the most part i used 3 crashes (even 4 at one point), but over the years i stared using less. Got into a rock band and 2 crashes was enough. Eventually i adopted that into my progrockmetal-project and also started to use my 21" A Sweet Ride as a crash source (which it's also famous for). When i recently expanded my setup with the 2nd bass drum and 8" tom again (also another rocket tom) i wanted to incorporate a 3rd crash again, but it was too much of a hassle to put it in a nice spot and i just left it out after 15 mins haha. 2 crashes is enough for me.

On the other side, the number of chinas in my setup are growing because of TerryBozzioritus
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Almost goes without saying that the fusion stuff I like play at home I don't get to do at a gig unless it's my own gig, which I haven't done in years.

I remember posting my big kit from a church gig some years ago, a historic event as it's the only time ever I've used the whole thing when hired. Not a fusion, prog or metal gig, but with a gospel choir that did an anniversary show, hence a lot of styles over a long period in time with their favourites from all their theme based shows.

At that same time I actually used only a 4-piece at home with only hats, 1 crash and one ride usually adding another crashon the right for gigs.

Now, the same big kit is up in the shed again. 3 splashes, 3 crashes, ride hats and china.

To answer the question, though. There's only what's right for the gig and for you. It's common to not bring more than what you need though and people tend to get more serious with concept with age or experience. It's part laziness and part understanding what's important. Sme gigs require a lot of stuff, some don't. Some gigs it would like you were showing off and taking too much space and in other gigs that's wanted.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
with my smaller rig, i play 2 crashes, ride and hats, for my bigger rig, i add a 2nd pair of hats to my right and a china cymbal way up in the middle of my setup.

and for my racked rig, i add two FX cymbals (one splash and a mini china), and an extra 2 crashes, one left, one right.

as pictured: :) :14976818_10154627015646768_2275069119720954010_o.jpg
 
How to have too many cybmals:
1. Realize that used cymbals are way cheaper
2. Spend some years on ebay until you recognize cymbals by the lathing in a thumbnail picture
3. Mix and match cymbals from different companies
4. Find the perfect cymbals and get a complete set
5. Realize that your Zilco Ride or dinged up Zanchi Hats only fetch 50 bucks on ebay and keep them for chaotic jam sessions and such
6. Scatter unused cymbals across three different rehearsal places, so that you don't need to bring your cymbals every week
7. Have a music project end, take everything home and discover that you only have three cymbal stands
8. Wonder if used cymbals are really way cheaper if you don't sell them
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I own about 34 different cymbals

my normal set up for rock/metal/etc is:

all Zildjian:
15" Quick Beat hsts
14" New Beat hats as an "X" hat
18" Thin Crash
16" Rock Crash
19" K Dark Medium Thin Crash
20" Rock Ride
6" Splash
8" Splash

jazz/and cow-punk band set up is

all Zildjian;
14" 1955 Hi Hats
17" K Dark Custom Crash
18" 1955 Sizzle Crash
22" 1955 Ride for jazz; 22" K Ride for cow-punk
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
If you have more cymbals than drums on your kit you are a cymbler not a drummer !

I recently rectified my addiction to Turkish bronze as compared to Japanese maple ply by adding a second 10“ tom to make my set-up a balanced 5 drums 5 cymbals. This allows me all the expressive voicing but remains small enough to gig with. Maybe I am weak but 15 hats, two crashes 18 20 a ride 22 and a pang 20 are all i can fit into a hard shell cymbal case and comfortably carry any distance.
 
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Darth Vater

Senior Member
Over the last few years I've tried some of the more modern setups with splashes, china cymbals etc. I seem to always come back to 1 ride, 2 crashes, and a pair of hats. Just seems comfortable to me.
 

lsits

Gold Member
I always used hats, ride and two crashes. For the last month or so I lost the right side crash and i am using the ride as a crash/ride.
 
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