News Different Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets


When using a trap set a drummer will use many different types of cymbals. The reason that different types of cymbals are needed for drum sets is because they make different sounds and serve a unique purpose. Here are a few of the core cymbals that must be part of any drum set along with some other unique cymbals that offer a really cool sound.

Crash Cymbal

There no mystery why the crash symbol has its name. This is the cymbal that is ‘crashed’ to accentuate the beat, frequently heard at the end of a fill. When a drummer goes around the horn from the snare to the toms in a solo moment, it will normally end with a strike of the crash symbol. These symbols have a range of sound, so if you are looking to add a crash symbol check out the reviews to make sure you get a quality sound, and don’t skimp on the stand. A good cymbal stand will make a cymbal sound better than an inferior one. Crash cymbals are typically 14-inches wide.

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets

Hi Hat

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets

Often misrepresented as the high hat cymbal, the hi hat is the most important cymbal in the drum set. This is the core of many beats and the most versatile cymbal of all. A hi hat is really two cymbals set up on a stand to face each other. The cymbals are played with a drum stick but also have a foot pedal to open and close the pair of cymbals which is what makes the unique sound. Generally right next to the snare drum, the hi hat is the first set of cymbals any drummer should own.

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum SetsRide Cymbal

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets
A ride cymbal is the big cymbal that is a workhorse in sounds like jazz. When it comes to the easy beat and rhythm of jazz or the filling sound of rock, the ride cymbal is the one that gets repeated use. As important as the stand is for the crash it may be even more important for the ride. You will want no contact between the stand and the cymbal to get a clean sound. Ride cymbals are typically 18-20 inches wide.

The hi hat, crash, and ride cymbals are the must-have cymbals in any drum set. For a little added variety, here are some additional options.

Splash Cymbal

For the sound of a splash cymbal, think of the crash but with a lighter and higher pitched sound that does not last as long. That is the sound a splash cymbal makes and it is perfect in certain situations. It looks just like a crash but splash cymbals are normally smaller, in the 9-12 inch range.

Wire Brushes

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum SetsDifferent Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets
No, there are not to clean your grill. Wire brushes are an important cymbal accessory to get a soft subtle sound that you cannot get with drum sticks. Some songs will demand wire brushes, so these should be considered the first cymbal accessory that you add to your collection.

Quality drum sets are the core to any drummers inventory, but great cymbals really will make a difference. Whether you are improving your beginner’s drum set or adding on, these different types of cymbals for drum sets will provide all the variety needed to complete your sound.

Different Types of Cymbals for Drum Sets
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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