Evolving cymbal set-ups (how about yours?)

mtarrani

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In the past year I have gone from a decade of a simple ride + hi-hats setup to hi-hats + left side ride, right side ride and far right ride. I've also settled into a format where one of the rides is a sizzle ride, one is a flat ride and one is a regular ride. I am forever changing up the order of those, but usually it's a sizzle or flat on the right, and a regular on the left. My current rehearsal setup is, left to right, sizzle, regular and flat though.

Anyone else have hard and fast setup configurations, or does yours change often? Just curious.
 

Deafmoon

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After 50 years playing I have gone all the way back to 1 ride, 1 crash and a pair of hi-hats. And now I am seriously thinking about swapping the crash with a lighter ride or now that you mention it, possibly a sizzle ride. I started out on a 4 piece kit with a minimal cymbal setup and went up to 10 drums and 12 cymbals at my max. Over the years my musical needs changed and I just gradually went down and down back to a 4 piece kit. The only time I miss the huge amount of drums and cymbals is when I am solo performing stuff ala Grant Collins or Terry Bozzio. Then I miss not having all those available tones. But truthfully I can get a lot of different sounds out of the drums and cymbals now that I didn't know about when I was starting out in the early 70's. Sticks, Mallets & b rushes, differently applied pressure and where you strike the cymbal or drum. You learn as you go and nothing is right or wrong.
 

Twakeshima

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51161D8D-48F5-4F3A-8E83-C48C4BB61C40.jpeg

Started off with an 18 inch crash, Hats, and a 20 inch ride.
After I got into heavier music I decided I wanted a china- played around with places to put it over the year but I ultimately decided over my floor toms was the best.
After that I got into smaller high pitch cymbals and got 10 inch splash and 14 and 16 crashes.
After I discovered that I could use a 22 inch jazz ride as a soft crash it changed my playing completely. It’s above my ride and China and I won’t go anywhere without it.
most recently I’ve replaced my 18 inch crash on the left with a 19 inch paiste 602 that really compliments the 22. The right side of my kit has generally stayed the same the past few years but the left has moved around quite a bit.
 
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daveplaydrum

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In my last band I stuck with the same setup the entire time...hi hats, ride, two crashes. But the band I’m in now I’m changing it every few practices. First I had two rides and two crashes then I tried one ride and three crashes (one being an Xist ion fx). I have more cymbals now than I did before so usually it’s just switching out whatever I feel like messing around with at the time. I find that no one else in the band notices if I’m playing 16” hats or 13” hats etc so I don’t feel any need to be consistent.
 

Seb77

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I've changed the cymbals more than the setup. Crashable, non-riveted cymbal on the left, riveted crashable main ride. Far right side cymbal changes with the gigs, that's where I would put a flat a china or a second crash, maybe a small crash on top if I'm feeling really fancy.

Makes me think ...I love cymbals and have many different ones including splash and bell cymbals, but hardly ever go for the full spectrum, I don't feel the need. I should work on expanding my range and get used to a larger setup, at least for certain gigs. Im really not used to using that many instruments, goes for toms, secondary snares etc. as well. I grew into thinking there's more than a lifetime to learn what to do on a four-piece kit with two cymbals - but now I'm thinking that doesn't mean I need to play a four-piece kit for life.
 

Mcjnic

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Mine changes as often as I shower ... monthly at least.
Here lately, I've gone to a 22 Ride, 15 Hats, and 3 crashes - usually 17,18,19 (sometimes 18,19,20). I also slip in a few fx cymbals - small splashes, maybe a china and/or a cymbal with holes.
I want so much to drop down to hats and two cymbals ... can't seem to bring myself to do it. Same for the kit, though. I want to do a one up one down with a snare and bass ... just can't seem to work out of the two up two down. Maybe one day.
 

hsosdrum

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For nearly 40 years my setup was the same: Snare/2-BD/2-up/2-down, with 1 ride, 2 chinas, 5 crashes, a splash and hats. Six months ago I added a second ride (I have three 22s and swap them around depending on the music or my mood) and ever since then I've been swapping crashes (I own 10 or 11) and moving things around. I changed my 8" splash to a 6"/8" splash stack (which I love, so it will probably be a permanent change) but I haven't settled on a combination of crashes that's completely satisfying. I suppose I'll probably have to throw more money at the problem ;) .

7/24/21 Update:
So of course I threw money at the problem! I replaced my 90s-vintage K and A crashes with post 2013-redesign A crashes, and the result is the absolute best cymbal setup I've had since I got my first drums in 1965:

IMG_0845_S.jpg


Clockwise from foreground:
18" A Med-Thin Crash (2021)
15" K Sweet Hats (2021)
8" A Splash (1984)
18" A Thin Crash (2021)
15" A Paper-Thin Crash (1984)
16" A Thin Crash (2016)
22" K Ride (2015)
22" K-Constantinople Bounce Ride (2020)
17" A Thin Crash (2021) — above
22" A Swish Knocker (1995) — below
18" A Avedis Thin Crash (2020)

I'm sure I'll be keeping this setup for a long time; it's perfect for me. :thumbup:
 
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Pibroch

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Hard and fast - never varies with the same hats and splashes (no crashes / rides). Get my cymbal kicks from messing around at home with 17 rides 7 pairs of hats (and no splashes) sometimes playing along with recordings.
 

Drumolator

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Mine has changed often because it took me a long time to get the cymbals right at our small church. I now have one ride I love, a pair of hats that I like, and three good crashes (16, 17, and 18). I also have a 16 inch China that I do not often use. Peace and goodwill.
 

Franklin Nigel Stein

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The kit stays the same though I do occasionally bring a different snare drum. Typical 5-piece drum set with 5 cymbals.

The cymbals change with the set list. Ranges from super thin and dark for quiet material all the way to modern bright A Zildjians.

I mix and match a little but generally have 4 “sets” of cymbals revolving around 5 pairs of HHs. The HHs usually drive the crash/ride options.
 

swarfrat

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My ride just moved left of the hats. And it's going to stay there for at least six months while I work on open handed for real.
 

Sequimite

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I've stayed pretty consistent over the decades: Paiste ride and hi-hat, two Zildjian crashes with the occasional extra cymbal. But in the last few months I've restarted from the ground up. Back when I had few cymbals and fewer stands my Ludwig lightweight stand supported a ride and a crash, ala Ginger. I'm going back to multiple cymbals on light weight stands, up to three per stand and they are mostly Bosphorus.
 

dtk

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I play in two original bands...
One is very 80s...20" Omni Ride...18 evolution crash 16 AAX dark and 15" HHX Banda Turka top over...i forget (?)...

In the other band I recently bought a set of Smrynas 14hh/16/18/20 and they make me smile all the time...I've added an 18" Meinl Crash ride with cymbals for a longer show we're doing at the end of august....

if we go and record I might bring something special/different...
 

mtarrani

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I play in two original bands...
One is very 80s...20" Omni Ride...18 evolution crash 16 AAX dark and 15" HHX Banda Turka top over...i forget (?)...

In the other band I recently bought a set of Smrynas 14hh/16/18/20 and they make me smile all the time...I've added an 18" Meinl Crash ride with cymbals for a longer show we're doing at the end of august....

if we go and record I might bring something special/different...
I have the same set of Smyrna cymbals you have, plus a set with 15hh/17/19/21. They have a Paiste vibe for sure. Perfect for just about any genre (except metal and heavier rock.)
 


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