What's In My Cymbal Bag?
Hello – this is Skip Hadden, Professor of Percussion at the Berklee College of Music, getting ready to hit the road this summer. This trip, for my Cymbal Set-Up, I am using the following:
22” K Constantinople Ride. It’s a Hi Bell, Medium Thin Low with ribbon lathing near the bell, top and bottom surfaces, regular lathing elsewhere. The upper surface has a overhammered surface also. Lots of spread, and a little hard to keep control of in lower volume situations, but a test and a chance to work on my touch.
This big sound does work well for me when I need atmosphere and density, particularly with brush, rods or brooms. It is important that I use the Zildjian Maple Mini Ball sticks. I prefer this design with the small round tips to help with the control issue and for projecting that woody stick sound I can produce. (Thanks to Bill Stewart and Colin Hoorweg for pointing out that distinctive sound and technique development).
The other Ride is also a 22”, but a prototype Bounce/Overhammered Hybrid with no lathing under the bell. Again this one is a challenge to control but we’ll hear which one wins out after this trip against the one described above.
No Crash this time. We’ll hear how that works out! I am hoping the immensity of the broad sound from either of the above will fulfill that function. If I hit them appropriately...
HiHats Ahh…my trusty 13” Pocket HiHats. These really have worked well for me in a variety of situations. They are great for playing splashes, if I leave them open a little and lay into them, even in a jazz context. They are also quick and sharply defined when needed to be. Think all styles other than jazz here. When playing on them in a jazz context as in a Ride situation they are less conducive to the style but I am willing to make this compromise. Their sound cuts through and I think clarifies my phrasing ideas by way of their contrasting color in conjunction with the open atmosphere of the rides.
If I took a Crash it would be an 18” K Dark Crash, that is my go to. It’s pretty dark but still a compliment between the broad Rides and the sharply define HiHats. Yeah...Okay I guess I’ll take that too!
One last thought...The way the cymbal feels to me is probably the most important factor in using it. If I am comfortable with it I can make it work for me. It takes time but I feel it’s worth the effort.