7 Different Types of Cymbals
Cymbals are percussion instruments that create a sound when hit with a drumstick or when two of them are struck together. A standard drum kit set up requires cymbals. This article will talk about the seven different types of cymbals and how they are being used.
The hi-hat is composed of two cymbals that are mounted on top of each other on a specialized stand. They are held in place by a narrow metal shaft that runs through a hollow tube that connects to a pedal. The top cymbal is attached to the rod with a clutch. It crashes to the bottom cymbal when the foot plate of a pedal is pressed. When the pedal is released, the top cymbal returns to its original position at the top of the lower cymbal. The lower cymbal is fixed on the hollow tube. Hi-hat cymbals are most commonly used in contemporary music like R&B, hip-hop, disco, jazz, rock and roll, house, and reggae .
Another standard cymbal that can be found on most drum kit is the ride cymbal. A ride cymbal’s main purpose is to provide a steady rhythm rather than accents. Drummers usually place this instrument near their dominant hand for convenience. Though ride cymbals are designed primarily for the purpose of making a sustained, shimmering sound, they can be modified according to the drummer’s sound requirement. The sound of a ride cymbal is influenced by the size and thickness of the cymbal and the kind of mallet used to hit it with. Smaller and thinner cymbals make shimmering sounds more than the thick ones. You’ll get a smooth, quiet sound if you hit it with wooden drum sticks. Hitting it with nylon-tipped sticks will give you a sharper tone. You will get a low, steady beat if you hit it with a brush.
A splash cymbal is used to create special effects or accents in a drum kit. It is also known as multi-crash or crescent cymbal. It is named as such because it resembles the sound of a water splash. Splash cymbals have short, high pitch sound and are hit relatively hard because of their small size.
The origin of this type of cymbal can be traced back to the gong both in sound and shape, hence its name China cymbal. China cymbals are designed to create a dark, crisp, trashy, and explosive tone. China cymbals characteristically have a bell that is cylindrical or conical in shape, an outer rim that is flipped in the opposite direction, little or no change in thickness from bell to rim, and an unpolished area that includes the inside of a bell. Although most china cymbals have these characteristics, others do not. When used in a drum kit, china cymbals are usually mounted bell down.
A crash cymbal produces a loud, sharp “crash” sound and is used mainly for occasional accents. They are traditionally used in pairs, each one is held by a strap set in a bell. Crash cymbals can be played with a drum stick or mallets, or by hand in pairs. The sound can be produced in several ways – rubbing the edges together in a sliding movement, striking the pair against each other, softly beating the edge of one cymbal against the body of the other, scratching the edge of one from the inside of the bell to the edge , or shutting the cymbals together and choking the sound. Crash cymbals vary in thickness and weight. Bigger and thicker cymbals are usually used by big bands to produce a very loud accent.
Clash cymbals are played in identical pairs by holding one cymbal in each hand and striking them together. Like the other types of cymbals, the sound produced by clash cymbals is influenced by its thickness and size. Higher pitch can be obtained from the smallest and thickest cymbals while the largest ones give the greatest volume.
A sizzle cymbal is a cymbal added with rivets, chains or rattles to adjust the sound it produces. Rattles made the sound of the cymbal louder and more penetrating. The most common form of sizzle cymbal used in a drum kit is a large ride cymbal with several loosely-fitted rivets locked up in holes spaced uniformly around the cymbal close to the rim.
Sizzlers may be used to produce a sizzle sound without the need to bore holes in the cymbal. Sizzlers come in two patterns, the rivet sizzlers and the chain sizzlers. Rivets are suspended above the edge of the cymbal in two groups 180 degrees apart by rivet sizzlers. Chain sizzlers, on the other hand, suspend several short lengths of ball chain on the surface of the cymbal. These ball chains may be fixed, adjustable in length, or completely removable.
The different types of cymbals have each own characteristics and purpose. Hopefully this article gives you an idea about what they are and how they function.