Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of Drum Cymbals

Types of Drum Cymbals

Cymbals are an essential component of a drum set, adding texture, accents, and dynamics to the overall sound. Here are some common types of drum cymbals:

1. Ride Cymbal

The ride cymbal is a larger, usually 20-22 inches in diameter, and is played with a drumstick or brushes. It provides a clear, sustained, and defined ping sound. It is commonly used to establish the rhythm and maintain a steady groove in various music genres.

2. Crash Cymbal

Crash cymbals are used to create explosive accents and crashes. They come in different sizes, ranging from 14 to 20 inches. Crash cymbals produce a loud, bright, and quick sound when struck, adding impact and energy to fills, transitions, and climactic moments in music.

3. Hi-Hat Cymbals

The hi-hat cymbals consist of two cymbals mounted on a stand and controlled by a foot pedal. They are played by pressing the foot pedal to close the cymbals together or releasing it for an open sound. Hi-hat cymbals provide a crisp and distinctive “chick” or “wash” sound and are used to create various rhythmic patterns and grooves.

4. Splash Cymbal

Splash cymbals are small-sized cymbals typically ranging from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. They produce a quick, bright, and focused sound that adds a splash of color and accents to drumming patterns. Splash cymbals are commonly used for rapid and brief accents in drum fills and transitions.

5. China Cymbal

China cymbals have a unique, dark, and exotic sound characterized by their distinctive trashy and explosive nature. They feature an upturned rim and are often used to create dramatic accents, crashes, and effects in rock, metal, and fusion genres.

6. Crash/Ride Cymbal

Crash/ride cymbals are versatile cymbals that serve dual purposes. They can be used as both a crash cymbal and a ride cymbal, offering a blend of explosive crash sounds and defined ride patterns. Crash/ride cymbals provide drummers with the flexibility to transition between different playing styles and musical sections.

7. Effects Cymbals

Effects cymbals encompass a variety of specialized cymbals that are used to create unique sounds and textures. This category includes cymbals such as the bell cymbal, swish cymbal, and stack cymbals. These cymbals produce distinct and unconventional sounds, adding a touch of creativity and experimentation to drumming.

These are just a few examples of the various types of drum cymbals available. Each type of cymbal offers its own unique sound and characteristics, allowing drummers to express their creativity and enhance their musical performances.