Various Types of Popular Cymbals

Cymbals are used to express part of the vocal range of the drum set. A standard drum kit setup requires only cymbals. But there are different kinds of cymbals which can the drum set a full house. In this article we will be discussing Hi hat, Ride cymbal, splash cymbal, china cymbal, crash cymbal, sizzle cymbal and suspended cymbal.

Brief description of the various cymbals

Hi hat
Hi hat is a core element in the drum set because it is used as the primary time keeper. It is actually a pair of cymbals mounted on a specialized stand. The hi-hat consists of 2 cymbals. The lower cymbal remains stationary while the upper cymbal is attached via a clutch to a narrow metal shaft. This goes down through a hollow tube into the pedal, where it is controlled with the foot. A hi-hat can be played open, closed, semi open or the pedal can be manipulated so the cymbals clash together.

Ride cymbal
A ride cymbal is a type of cymbal that is a standard part of most drum kits. Its function is to maintain a rhythm, rather than to provide accents. A right-handed drummer will normally place the main ride cymbal near his right hand. Ride cymbals vary in thickness, which has an influence on attack, volume, and tone of the sound.

Splash cymbal
A splash cymbal is a small cymbal used for an accent in a drum kit. Splash cymbals and china cymbals are the main types of effects cymbals. Splash cymbal sounds great when hit in unison with a snare drum or tom. The name splash gives quite an idea as to how the cymbal sounds. The normal function of a splash cymbal is to provide a short, often highly syncopated accent.

China cymbal
China type cymbals are manufactured to have a dark, crisp, and explosive tone. Their origins can be traced back to the gong in both sound and shape, and thus they are given their name china. The china cymbal is often used like a splash cymbal. China type cymbals typically have a bell that is cylindrical or shaped like a truncated cone with its base the top of the bell, an outer rim that is turned up in the reverse direction to the main bow of the cymbal.

Crash cymbal
Crash cymbal is a type of cymbal that produces a loud, sharp crashing sound and is used mainly for occasional accents. One or two crash cymbals are a standard part of a drum kit. They are mounted on a stand and played with a drum stick.

Sizzle cymbal
A sizzle cymbal is a cymbal to which rivets, chains or other rattles have been added to modify the sound. The most common form of sizzle cymbal used in a drum kit is a large ride cymbal with a number of rivets loosely fitted but captive in holes spaced evenly around the cymbal close to the rim.

Suspended cymbal
A suspended cymbal is any single cymbal played with a stick or beater rather than struck against another cymbal. The first suspended cymbals used in the modern orchestra were one of a pair of orchestral cymbals, supported by hanging it bell upwards by its strap.