Using just one crash cymbal

Fishnmusicn

Senior Member
Maybe it's been asked before, but does anyone use just one crash cymbal effectively? One drummer that comes to mind is Doug Clifford with CCR in the original band. I've got my drums set up in my mobile home now in the corner of my bedroom, and I'm looking at space considerations and also economics but also whether this could work in a playing situation. I've noticed that most drummers with the one crash cymbal thing usually have a 4 piece kit, and since I prefer a 5 piece which I have, it might be odd. Right now I've got a little Tama Stagestar kit which I'm getting going with again, and it's actually pretty decent for what it is. Anyway, back to the original question, can it work and if so, what size crash, 18" or 20"?

Fishnmusicn
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I think it depends on what kind of music you'll be playing when you play out live. I would tend to go with the 18"; if unmiked it won't overpower the rest of the kit or the band; if miked you can set volumes on it to make up for the smaller size. In many cases I see guys playing a slightly thinner ride that can be crashed as well, and choosing a crash that has versatile characteristics and can be ridden on. Good luck.
 
S

SickRick

Guest
I am not famous (if you were looking for famous guys :) ) but I use only one crash cymbal in here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BglZpEh66d8

As you can see, it's possible to play like that and make a band sound good. I use this setup for all rehearsals (less to carry, less space taken). Live I use a bigger cymbal setup, with three crashes, china, two splashes and a bell (and a ride cymbal of course). I only use this setup though when I think the venue and stage is big enough. Otherwise I just go with two crashes and ride.

I don't like to carry things.

BTW: That crash is a 16" Sabian HH extra thin. I wouldn't go with anything bigger than that because if you use that one cymbal for consecutive crashes, you'll probably get too much wash. On the other hand: 14" cannot really be used for riding on it and just doesn't have enough "balls" for bigger accents. I think 16 or 17 inch is the way to go in this case.

EXCEPT you don't even want to use a ride cymbal. In that case my choice would be 18" or 20" crash-ride.

Hope this helped.
 

king fail

Senior Member
Of course it all boils down to what you're playing and how you want to play it. I use no crashes, but 2 rides.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I was invited to a drum circle party and there were several acoustic guitar players coming so my friend said I could bring a small kit.

I brought a kick, snare, hi hat and one crash. An 18" A Medium. Just thick enough to ride on and of course has a full crash sound.

On a very minimalist level, you can definitely get it all done with one crash/ride. I had a blast playing just the four instruments.
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Try a cymbal that's fairly versatile, vs. a "single purpose" kind of cymbal. When funds were tight, I used an 18" Sabian AA medium crash.... and it was just too much crash, which is all that it was really good for.

Later on, I used to have tons of fun just using hats and a really recent 20" A. Zildjian Crash Ride. Just a great all around cymbal. Nice washy ride, fine crash.

When just messing around at home, all I really use is 14" hats, 16" thin crash, and a 20" crash ride. I have a 20" Medium ride, but it doesn't get too much use when it's just me.

-Ryan
 

blackbyrd

Member
For years My setup consisted of a 20 in Ride, a 16 in Crash and an 18 Crash Ride that I never really liked the sound of so I didnt use it much. One thing I have found, now that I have started adding more cymbals to a new setup, is that in the years of using only one crash I had to learn, by necessity, to play quality not quantity...

It made me into a better groove drummer as I couldnt always rely on having a multitude of crashes to slam into.

Now that I do have more cymbals I still find myself using them as needed...focusing on the musicality and tonality of how I play.


that being said

Go for it...you will be surprised at how creative and inventive you find yourself becoming.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
After you get used to playing with just one crash cymbal, you can also try playing with just one tom. Same thing in my book.

The reason I have multiple cymbals or toms is to have a variety of sounds/pitches. I like to have at least a couple of options when crashing, and the ability to go from a low-pitched to a high-pitched crash, and vice-versa. Also, there's a timbral aspect as well (you get a different "color" when playing a 14" crash versus a 19" crash, even if they're from the same series). I have done gigs with just one crash before, and I didn't enjoy them as much as when I have more than one crash. I found out that I can do it, and it sounds good to the musical groups and audience, but I personally didn't like it.

If you feel as though you can get by with just one crash, and not be stifled musically or creatively, then go for it...
 

Jon_Gwon

Senior Member
I just recently made the switch to one crash by trading in my ride and one of my two crashes for a 24" Paiste Giant Beat Ride. It easily covered the task. For such a big cymbal, it is surprisingly controllable. I'm trading in my 18" Crash next week for the 20" Giant Beat multi, then I think I'll be good to go. Between the two of them I should have plenty of sound options to choose from as they both work great as crashes or rides.

I also use a vintage 20" Paiste Rude China off to the side where you'd normally put a second crash, just for effects and what-not.

I used to play a much larger set with a bunch of cymbals, and now I play a 4 piece with the one crash, one ride and the china and I'm really enjoying how simple it is. Everything is extra easy to reach and I feel I move around my kit better. It also forced me to think differently (maybe more creatively?) about my cymbal work, just like switching to a four piece kit did for my rolls.
 

cnw60

Senior Member
I just saw Eric Slick playing with the Adrian Belew Power Trio on Monday night. I had never heard of Eric before this, but he is freakin' incredible, especially for being just 22 years old. If you get a chance to see these guys - it is a great show.

anyway - to the point, he was using just one crash (and one ride). Simple 4 pc setup and he got more sound out of that setup than the guy who played in the warmup band who had 5 or 6 crashes, china, splashes.

Eric's crash looked to be an 18", some kinda' Paiste.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
How timely this thread is...

I just went to a 2 cymbal set-up. Just 1 crash and a ride (hats too of course!).

I've wanted to do it for a while and I finally just did it.

And now that I am used to it, when I put the second crash back in (just to make sure), I don't like it as much.

I was inspired by Cindy Blackman with Lenny Kravitz, and Steve Jordan with his various things, and it just really appealed to me. Mel Taylor with the Ventures used only hats and one cymbal on a video I saw of him, and it was great (what an awesome drummer he was!).
And, even though I play in a rock band, with the way my set-up is, the 2 cymbal thing works great. It's very comfortable and "freeing".

I like a 24" washy ride and I always crashed the ride a lot too, so I went with a Paiste Giant Beat 24 (24" 2002 crash came in second)---sounds (and feels) really great, and it was really a no brainer for me on the GB.

I got a 20" GB multi to use as my "crash", which I ride and crash (and I use all my cymbals as a ride or crash anyway).
The15" GB hats I ordered might be in the shop today or tomorrow. I tried out a few combinations of 16" cymbals which were cool (a RUDE for the bottom is very cool), but for right now the 15's are what I need.

I went through & played all my bands cd's through the 'phones, and I was able to play everything and not sacrifice anything by not having more cymbals, so I'm good to go.

I have been comparing the new GB's with some of my other cymbals (various Sabian models, and older Zildjians), and the 20" Sabian AA Orchestral Suspended cymbal I have sounds the same as the GB 20 only it's lower in pitch. Same overall character, sustain, openness, feel....Kind of amazing since one is B20 and the other is uni-roll 2002 alloy sheet bronze.

This set-up is real fun, and I am looking forward to carrying a lot less gear too!

I say go for it, and use whatever cymbal(s) sound good to you, and work for what you want to do.
 

Fishnmusicn

Senior Member
Thanks for all the input guys, lots of food for thought. I'll probably start out simple with one crash, see how it feels and take it from there. I'm building my kit up slowly, and part of that is economic circumstances, but if I can make it work for me, then why not...

Fishnmusicn
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Whenever I use only one crash, I use a 17" K Custom Hybrid. It has a great diversity of sounds that I can call upon. I also crash my 20" Paiste 2002 ride when I need a different sound. I sometimes do live radio shows With The String Band and there isn't a lot of room in Radio Station studios. That is why I have to limit myself to only one crash.
 
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wy yung

Guest
Maybe it's been asked before, but does anyone use just one crash cymbal effectively? One drummer that comes to mind is Doug Clifford with CCR in the original band. I've got my drums set up in my mobile home now in the corner of my bedroom, and I'm looking at space considerations and also economics but also whether this could work in a playing situation. I've noticed that most drummers with the one crash cymbal thing usually have a 4 piece kit, and since I prefer a 5 piece which I have, it might be odd. Right now I've got a little Tama Stagestar kit which I'm getting going with again, and it's actually pretty decent for what it is. Anyway, back to the original question, can it work and if so, what size crash, 18" or 20"?

Fishnmusicn
Most drummers I work with use one crash and one ride. When I play drums I rarely use crashes at all. I prefer a couple of ride cymbals that can be crashed. Ringo did alright with one crash.
 

Kenny Allyn

Senior Member
Kinda fun for doing a rootsy groove thing ...




The bass drum is from my Katche jr. kit the snare is an old Supra-Phonic,
Zildijan New Beat hats and a Zildijan A series 20" Crash Ride.
 

wolfgang

Senior Member
One of my Premier stands recently literally fell apart in my hands, so I no longer have enough stands for all my cymbals. I'm going to try a crash/ride/china setup and a crash/ride setup instead of using 2 crashes like I usually do.
 

DrewTheShoe

Senior Member
I practiced a few nights ago with the band having only my kick, snare, hats, and an 18" K Custom Dark Crash with two rivet. While it was a little interesting on the heavier rock stuff, by God I had exponentially more fun playing with that setup and it really made me get creative. Try it out for a little, after all, variety is the spice of life...
 

PaisteTim

Member
I just saw Eric Slick playing with the Adrian Belew Power Trio on Monday night. I had never heard of Eric before this, but he is freakin' incredible, especially for being just 22 years old. If you get a chance to see these guys - it is a great show.

anyway - to the point, he was using just one crash (and one ride). Simple 4 pc setup and he got more sound out of that setup than the guy who played in the warmup band who had 5 or 6 crashes, china, splashes.

Eric's crash looked to be an 18", some kinda' Paiste.
Eric was playing an 18" Signature Fast Crash, a 20" Twenty Ride and 14" Twenty Hi Hats on that show and yes, if you haven't heard him play you are doing yourself a disservice.

Also, I've seen Steve Jordan play with just a light ride as his crash and ride. If you have the right technique it not only is possible, it sounds great!

Tim
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
Unless the audience is packed with drummers, most will not notice if you have one, two or three (plus) crashes. Most of the audience is looking at the singer, lead guitarist or their significant other! Besides, one crash is capable of multiple sounds. Your ride can also act as a big crash; and don't forget your hihats. Sometimes, less is more.

GJS
 
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