Drummers generally hit their crash or ride cymbal and think that it only makes the sound that they hear! However, that is one of the most common misconceptions in the percussion industry. Think of the crash and ride cymbals as being the same as any other instrument...they can make multiple sounds!
You are probably wondering how this is possible! After all, you strike your crash cymbal with you drum stick and it always makes the same sound. The trick lies within using 2 different parts of the drum stick to strike 2 different areas of the cymbals!
Do you want to know how?
Read the text below to find out...
Striking The Outer Circle With The Tip Of The Stick
This is definitely the most common way to strike a crash and ride cymbal because it is the most pleasing to the ear. The idea here is to strike the outermost circle of the cymbal with the tip of your drum stick.
This produces a high pitched sound that lasts for a few seconds.
*Tip: Don’t focus on hitting the cymbal really hard, as it will produce an undesirable noise. Manoeuvring the drum stick using only your fingers will probably allow you to hit the cymbal with the right amount of force*
Striking The Outer Circle With The Middle Of The Stick
This is a common way to strike a cymbal for songs that have slow tempos because the sound rings on for about 10 seconds!
The only thing that you must know about this type of cymbal hit is that it produces a really loud and obnoxious noise! With that being said, you should use it to add flavour to a drum beat by incorporating it a few times in each song! Over doing it with these loud drumming sounds (like this one) is one of the bad habits that drummers get into.
Tip: You should definitely put some tape around your sticks if you plan on striking the cymbals in this way. The edges of the cymbals have a tendency to chip away at the wood on the middle of the sticks...tape will protect them from this*
Striking The Inner Circle With The Tip Of The Stick
In order to achieve this type of sound, you must focus on the raised circle that is in the middle of the cymbal. You should be using the tip of the drum stick to strike that inner portion.
You’ll notice that it produces a short and high pitched “ding sound”! Audiences love it when you incorporate this cymbal sound into a drum beat, but it gets very annoying when a drummer uses it too often.
You should focus on finding the happy medium between not enough of this sound and too much of it!
Striking The Inner Circle With The Middle Of The Stick
This sound takes a lot of practice to master, but is well worth it once you have gotten the hang of it! You will be using the middle of your drum stick to hit the raised inner portion of your crash or ride cymbal!
This type of hit will produce a medium pitched sound that rings out for about 2 seconds, and can be incorporated into nearly any drum beat.
This cymbal sound is not taught in many drumming schools, and rarely played by drummers! This means that audiences have probably NEVER heard this sound being incorporated into a drum beat. Use it tastefully, and you will surely please your audience with the sounds that you are producing on your cymbal!
Don’t Overuse Any Of These Sounds!
The one thing that stands true with all 4 of these cymbal sounds is the fact that they should be used tastefully in songs and drum beats!
Overusing any of these sounds will have your audience members leaving the building. Your hi-hat should be the main cymbal that you are using while playing the drums, and each of these 4 cymbal sounds should be tastefully incorporated!