The Guide To Drumming Cymbals

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

When you think about a drum set you usually tend to forget the important shiny members of the kit, but the cymbals are actually one of the most vital parts. Most drum kits come with at least one cymbal but there are usually three included in a standard set, including the ride cymbal, crash cymbal, and two hi-hats.

Drum cymbals.

Cymbals are of absolute importance to the drummer and are capable of creating sounds that no other drum pieces can, so it’s essential to understand their role. This simple guide will walk you through the most common types of drum cymbals, what each of them does, and their role in the overall percussion.

The Types Of Drum Cymbals

Although there are a countless number of drums and cymbals out there in the world, there are some widely recognized by most drummers as the standard cymbals. Here are some names you might have heard and what sets them apart:

  • Crash Cymbals – These work alongside the ride cymbal and help to give emphasis to important parts in the song or rhythm.  The sound they produce is usually sharp and loud so they’re ideal for timing like a bridge or to indicate a change.
  • Ride Cymbals – The ride cymbal is probably one of the most important types as it’s responsible for keeping a beat, but the difference between crash and ride is quite obvious. Some believe the name refers to it ‘riding to the music’ and that’s exactly what it sounds like if you listen closely.
  • Hi-Hats – You’ll find a hi-hat one every drum kit and they’re extremely important to keeping the beat of the music. These feature two cymbals and are operated with a foot pedal for ease of use. The sound possible can be quiet and low or loud and sharp, making it very versatile.
  • Splash Cymbals – These are small symbals that work similarly to a crash symbal, with the main purpose of hitting them to make a splashing sound. There are many different types depending on the style of music being played including salsa, China, and stack.

How Are Drum Cymbals Made

With a little knowledge of what is a cymbal and how are they made you can better understand the importance of these instruments. Drum cymbals are made using a variety of ways including traditional methods and those that are modern to reduce time and money spent in the process.

The traditional method of making drum cymbals involved using individual cast cymbal blanks which were forged to make the desired shape of the cymbal. These shapes were then cold hammered in the final stages to give them their look so that it could harden the metal and then turned on a lathe to thin them out.

Modern machines are now used to make cymbals and one upside to this process is they produce an even cymbal which then gives an even sound. Using modern casting techniques like rotocasting and working with sheet metal, manufacturers can now save time and money making the instruments which give off a very similar sound to traditional styles.

Zildjian Vs Sabian Cymbals

There are two leading brands when it comes to drum cymbals, and they are Zildjian and Sabian. Any drummer on earth will likely have a favorite out of the two and one they prefer working with, however, both have plenty of benefits and advantages to discuss.

Zildjian Vs Sabian cymbals.

The truth is, there’s no clear winner when comparing the two and even the most expert drummers will know when each brand works best. Some find that Zildijan performs better during live shows and is the right choice for the traveling band, and others think that Sabian is a must have when you’re recording in the studio.

As two of the most popular makers of drum cymbals and the leaders even among the big four, you can’t really go wrong with either choice. Although drummers certainly have their favorites, both are well made and will deliver crisp and clear sounds, so there’s no right or wrong answer it seems.

How To Clean Your Drum Cymbals

When you consider how much use our cymbals get and the beating that they take on a daily basis, it’s important to know how to keep them clean and looked after. According to the experts at Zildijan, there are some things you must remember when caring for your cymbals.

  • Keep cymbals in a padded bag that has been designed for their protection and never handle them with dirty hands;
  • Keep the cymbal away from other forms of metal, this includes the cymbal tilter rod, when packing it away. This will prevent scratching and other damage.
  • Warm water and soap can be used to remove any dirt or grime, but it’s ideal to purchase a specialized cymbal cleaner in order to polish them and keep them free from scratches.

The Drummer’s Favorite Choice

If you ask any drummer what their favorite part of the kit is they’ll undoubtedly tell you it’s one of the cymbals, as these versatile pieces are capable of delivering such unique sounds.

Whether you own one of the more famous brands of cymbals or something else high quality and impressive, you’ll love the way these instruments can make a huge range of sounds and dramatic effects.

Many drum cymbals.

Just as you would with any instrument, caring for your drum cymbals is paramount to how well they perform and will impact largely on the sound you’re able to create as a drummer. Cymbals should be regularly cleaned, cared for with correct carrying and storage, and treated like the important and often expensive instrument that they are.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Special offer for our visitors

Looking For Something To Make Your Music Sound Even Better?

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions