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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.