Choosing a Ride Cymbal by Wash

Old Drummer

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I'd need to hear them, preferably in a musical context. Otherwise, it's like marrying a girl sight unseen.
My thoughts too, and it's especially frustrating to be unable to give two of these cymbals a whirl in live performance. To continue with your analogy, while I can learn a lot more about a woman from talking with her, I ultimately have to go the distance before I know.

But to the broader issue of choice in general, I realized years ago that I prefer arranged marriages. My family wouldn't have made as bad of choices as I made on my own. Sometimes I think just being handed a cymbal and told to play it by someone who knows both cymbals and me would be the best approach.
 

Old Drummer

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Decide what type of drummer you want to be and suit the equipment to 'that..
i.e. 'Where your Heart lies is where your gear should be.
Gotta have a Belief System : ) and be 'that' Boy.
I have No problem knowing who I "am" behind the drums : ) (lol)
Then, you move 'past' the (physical) instrument's (it's been decided) themselves, and get to applying yourself to the music in front of you.
Every time every place
The OP to one side, I've been mulling issues along these lines and suspect they're the crux.

Back when I was gigging (and dinosaurs roamed the earth), I played an A and a 602. Initially I did so because they were the "best" cymbals I was aware of, though over the years think I stuck with them mostly because I was burnt out and didn't care. I was everybody's perpetual sideman, playing because it paid. Then as I eased into semi-retirement and played in bands I enjoyed more but gigged less, I wasn't into it enough to try to get ideal cymbals. My old A and 602 worked well enough for fun and marginal profit.

Fast forward 30 years (with my old A and 602 long gone), I find myself playing a little again for the intrinsic enjoyment. All the sudden I have to ask myself, "Well, what cymbal sound do you want, big boy?"

The truth is that I want DIFFERENT cymbal sounds, and am all the sudden sympathizing with the drummers who have an arsenal of different cymbals, choosing different ones for different gigs.

In fact, out of curiosity, I listed 7 different songs in different genres I've recently played in jams and tried to decide which of my 3 rides I'd prefer for which song. All three rides were my first choice for some songs.

Complicating this further is that I'm well aware that there are more options than the 3 rides I currently have, and for some songs I'd prefer a different cymbal altogether.

But I can't imagine myself ever playing only one style of music in the same gig--or wanting to. I like mixing it up--an old swing song here, an old rock song there, some blues, maybe some country, even possibly some Latin.

So I guess I'm searching for the quintessential versatile cymbal (that doesn't exist).

But here is where the drummer's personality and personal style factors in. All versatile cymbals aren't alike. You choose one, I think, because it allows you to express your own style better than other versatile cymbals.

With this in mind, I'm strongly leaning in favor of Cymbal #3 on my list. Time for revelations, it's a 22" 60s' A at 2720 grams that was re-lathed and hammered by the cymbal smith, Jesse Simpson. I confess (and worry) that the coolness factor may be influencing my preference. It's cool as all get out to have both an old A and a custom cymbal in the same package. But I plain like the cymbal. It's one bold, complex cymbal, very in your face, and what the heck, that's not a bad drummer statement to make. It also seems to work well with my 18" Mehmet at 1630 grams, though in the opposite way I'm used to. The Mehmet is the moodier, quieter ride with a decent crash too.

I want to like Cymbals #1 and #2, and do, but they're not quite as appealing as Cymbal #3.

Cymbal #1 is a 20" Agop Traditional at 2470 grams. There's nothing wrong with it, and in fact it's fine. It's just not quite the dry ride I sometimes want (I miss my 21" Sabian HH Dry Ride for that), isn't really woody, and I have to pound the dickens out of it at loud volumes. It's a versatile ride that works, but neither a direct fit for anything nor I suspect my drummer personality.

Cymbal #2 is a plain 20" 60s' A at 2063 grams, and I don't have a problem with it either. Actually, I like it and want to like it more. It also benefits from the coolness factor. It's pretty cool to show up with a plain old A. But compared to Cymbal #3, it's one dimensional. Cymbal #3 just seems to give what Cymbal #2 gives, but more.

Please forgive the dissertation, but this cymbal selection stuff is surprisingly complicated, and I don't want to be one of those drummers with 30 ride cymbals lying around, even though I'm tempted . . .
 

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