Clash cymbals technique

lars

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Hello.

I am a “hobby composer “. I need to learn more about cymbals. I am working on a march. I wrote one staff line for the clash cymbals. However, in some of the bars I want another effect than the “usual” clash sound. In these bars I just want to reinforce a certain rytmic figure with the clash cymbals. I want the cymbals to be held together after the strike, like if you closed a book. In other words: I want a short strike without any “chime”. I have a few questions relating to this. 1. Is it possible to do like this? 2. Is this a common way to handle the cymbals? And 3. How can I notate this? Lars
 

Seb77

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You mean like a hi-hat "chick"? I've seen it done i some modern pieces.

Not sure there's a special notation, but you could use a (.) staccato dot, or a (+) on top of the note to signal "short/muted sound". Maybe use an eight note with an eight note rest to make sure it's a short sound.
If it's a fast rhythm, it might get difficult, and be more appropriate to play on a hi-hat or something else such as a cabasa. The traditional classical technique for short cymbal sounds is clashing, then muting the cymbals with your upper body. In general, you can ask the player to do anything physically possible, even if it is uncommon - that's not really a criterion with modern music :D
 

lars

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Thank you Seb. This was an informative answer with great depth and details. I will remember this
 

bpaluzzi

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There are a couple ways to do this -- do you want JUST the "chick" sound, or some degree of "crash", but cut it short?

Check out this video:

For the former, see "Crunch" at 8:00

For the latter, see "Crash Chokes" at 5:09 or "Sizzle Press" at 9:40
 

lars

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Chick is nice In Norway is it bedtime now. Thank you mates!
 

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