Cymbals generally fall into one of the six following categories: Ride, Crash, Hi-hat, Splash, China, or FX. Whether it be maintaining groove or adding accents and dynamics, knowing what each cymbal type does is a great place to start your search. Here is our breakdown of Zildjian's different cymbal types.
- Ride Cymbals: The ride cymbal is the largest and heaviest cymbal on the drum set. We use it to play “over-riding” patterns within grooves. It has a bigger and darker sound with more stick definition than a crash cymbal. Ride cymbals vary in sizes, but typically range from 19-24”. The most popular sizes fall between 20-22”.
- Crash Cymbals: The “crash” cymbal – a term coined by Avedis Zildjian III – is a thin and light weight cymbal that creates an explosive bright sound with a quick decay. There are many models of crash cymbals, ranging from thick and heavy to thin and light. The most popular crash cymbals typically range between 16-18”.
- Hi-Hat Cymbals: Hi-Hats cymbals are the primary timekeeping tool behind the kit. Hi-Hat cymbals come in pairs and are mounted to a foot-controlled stand that is used to push the cymbals together. Zildjian offers a range of diameters that are available to be purchased both together or individually.
- Splash Cymbals: Splash cymbals range between 4-13" in diameter and make a quick and accented sound. As the name suggest, these cymbals are used to create a splash like sound that is great for articulating notes and adding sonic diversity.
- China Cymbals: China-type cymbals are a distinct type of crash cymbal known for their unique shape. Designed to create an expressive and explosive sound, Chinas produce a bright and crisp tone.
- FX Cymbals: “Effects” cymbals are unique and alternative cymbals that offer other distinct sounds. Beyond the basic cymbal types, FX cymbals offer a world of specialty sounds that can help complete your setup. Some popular options include stacks, bells, and trash crashes.
- Cymbal Packs: Zildjian sells a number of our cymbal types in a pack for a quick and cost-effective purchase option for your drum kit. Cymbal packs are a great option for a new drummer looking for their first set.