How to Select Cymbals

So you just bought a drum set and you want to know hot to select cymbals. Cymbal selection can be a hard task, especially with all the competition out there. This article will hopefully tell you how to select cymbals for your drum set. Cymbal selection can change depending on your style of drumming, style of band you play for, size of your kit, and room you play in. You want to be sure your cymbals match your drumming style as well as your budget, so be sure to follow these basic guidelines.


First off you need to figure out your drumming style - this is vital in selecting the proper cymbals. If you are a heavy rock drummer, choosing thin jazz style cymbals will not be the right choice. If you are a studio drummer, then maybe you would want a more all around bright cymbal. Same goes for a rock drummer, you will want a solid durable cymbal set that offers brilliant highs and meaty lows. So before you head to the music store, look over your style of drumming and try and figure out what you want.

Selecting cymbals should be like selecting drum kits – you should never judge them by their names. Make sure you take a pair of sticks with you and play the cymbals before you buy them. For example, you may see a very nice Sabian crash that costs around 200$; however when you play it, it sounds exactly a 100$ no name cymbal. Make sure you do not spend more on just the name brand. In saying that, the quality is usually a lot better with top name brand cymbals, so just use your ears.

How to Select Hi Hat Cymbals

Hi-Hats Selecting Hi hats is one of the hardest cymbals to choose. This is because they are one of the most important cymbals you play. If you want a nice bright sound, by thinner cymbals. If you want a grunge sound from them, try buying a thicker projection pair of hi hats. Also, buying used hi hats will offer you more of a grunge sound due to the dirt on it. This may be what you are looking for. Regular hi hats are around 13-14 inches, so for an all around sound, make sure you buy those sizes. There are many different types of hi hats to select from, make sure you test out which ones work best for you!


How to Select Crash Cymbals

Crash Cymbals Crash cymbals are very easy to choose. These are the cymbals you strike for the loud booming sound. There are a few types of crashes to select from, dark, medium, thick, and thin. These are just a few examples, but they are the most common. Dark cymbals offer a little less sustain, and have a lower frequency to them. Medium and Thin cymbals are great for bright crash sounds geared more towards soft rock and jazz music. The thick cymbals are obviously heavier and louder. They have a lot of sustain and last quite a long time. Perfect for heavy metal and rock! Whatever your style is, there are crash cymbals for it. Make sure you look around and chose the right ones!

How to Select a Ride Cymbal

Ride Cymbal Ride cymbals are kind of like hi hats, they are harder to select. Like usual, there are many different types to choose from. Thickness is the biggest thing to look for in a ride cymbal. If you have a really thick ride, you will get the bell sound (ting) that works great in all genres of music. If you want a crashing sound with your ride, then look for a medium thin ride – these are also known as ride crashes or rock ride cymbals. For you jazz players out there, try picking up a thin ride, or a Manhattan ride. These offer great buzz with loads of character. Be sure to test out all the different styles.



The main cymbal manufacturers are Sabian, Zildjian, Meinl, and Turkish. Each brand makes very nice cymbals that sound equally great. A lot of drummers will like to stick with one manufacturer when selecting cymbals. This is nice for consistency sake on your kit, however, do not let this guide what cymbals you buy next. If you like the sound of a Sabian crash, but already own a Zildjian ride cymbal, do not hesitate to buy. I hope this will help you out the next time you go out to buy a new cymbal!

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