Q: What is the difference between a Crash, Ride, HiHat?
A: Originally named by Avedis Zildjian III, Crash, Ride & HiHat are the three major categories into which all drum set cymbals fall. Cymbals from each category have now become the essential cymbals for not only the drum set artist, but for the all-around percussionist as well.
- Crash cymbals are used to accent beats in the rhythmic pattern and should reach a full sound as quickly as possible. The Crash tends to be a thinner and smaller cymbal than the Ride. Crashes should be set up high and slightly angled so they are easily played with the shoulder of the stick.
- Ride cymbals are used mainly to play different "ride" rhythmic patterns. This is why the Ride tends to be a heavier, larger cymbal than the others. A heavier cymbal will usually be louder and have a higher-pitched sound. You want to be able to hear the "ping" of the rhythm even when you are playing loud. You should generally set up your Ride so you can hit it with the tip of your stick comfortably.
- HiHat cymbals are used to establish a rhythmic time feel. The bottom cymbal is usually heavier than the top to help produce a brighter and more intense "chick" sound. When setting up your HiHats, make sure the tilter is adjusted to an angle so that the bottom cymbal meets the top in a way that will not cause an air pocket. The amount of space in between the hats should be set so it is comfortable for your foot to control them.
Q: What is the difference between marching and orchestra/concert band cymbals?
A: - Marching Cymbals achieve excellent projection with a higher profile and heavier weight to emphasize mid-range overtones and enhance projection.
- Orchestra / Concert Band Cymbals are matched pairs that have a lower profile (bow) and are lighter in weight in order to offer an immediate response and a full range of overtones.
- Suspended Cymbals are thin or medium thin and normally played with yarn wound mallets. They are used for powerful crash accents and smooth crescendo effects.