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Let’s talk about cymbals and some of the sounds you can get from them.

Cymbals are very versatile. They come in different sizes, shapes… and their sound changes depending on what you strike them with, how you strike them, and where you strike them. You can modify them and even combine them to customize their sounds. Here are some different ways you can get sounds from your cymbals.



The main cymbals in a drum set are the hi-hats, crash, and ride. Additionally, we have china, splash, and FX cymbals. All of various sizes and thicknesses. Each of these has its own intended sound that can be altered depending on where you strike it. Here are some suggestions.

*You can play the ride cymbal on the bell, body, or edge of the cymbal.

* You can choke the crash cymbal.

* And the hi-hat is most versatile because there are two cymbals that close together that you         can also play with your foot.

* You can also get different sounds by the angle at which you strike the cymbal.

* You can also muffle a cymbal’s tone with gaffer tape or gel dampeners.




Additionally, the sound of the cymbal can change depending on what strikes it. Try using sticks with different-sized tips, mallets, dowel rods, and even your hands. 


Next, you can experiment with using the cymbals differently than they were intended, like…

* Making hi-hats out of splash cymbals (if the splashes are too thin, try doubling up on the               bottom one).

* Making hi-hats out of two crashes.

* Or even making hi hats out of two ride cymbals.

* The bottom hi-hat cymbal is usually thicker and heavier than the top one. Try switching them       around to see what it sounds like. 



And you can get some pleasantly interesting and unpleasantly interesting sounds by stacking different cymbals together.

* Try combining a splash or crash cymbal inside of a china cymbal.

* Try two splash cymbals both facing the same direction.

Experiment with different combinations and sizes of cymbals.


A long, long time ago and in a land far away, rivets were drilled into cymbals to prolong their resonance. The rivets would bounce against the cymbal, producing a sizzle effect. Well, you don’t have to drill into your cymbal to get that effect. You can wrap dog tag chains around the end of your cymbal stand to lay across the cymbal to get the same effect. Several cymbal companies make similar accessories to get that sound. 


It’s good to know how each cymbal is played traditionally, but you can get some unique sounds from your cymbals by experimenting with these examples.

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