How do we know which cymbal to hit? Instinct or not?

Rick

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For me it's hard to quantify. I have a set of cymbals that work well together and each does several different things well. I'm very familiar with what each cymbal can and can't do and I have in my head how each cymbal sounds. So when I'm playing a song, it's really more about musical feel and expression, with ergonomics factored in there to a degree. I generally have little idea ahead of time what cymbal I'm going to use where... other than like whether the tune starts out on the high hat or a ride cymbal. I'd say it's like your cymbals are part of your musical vocabulary and you just use them accordingly. Generally speaking, if I think too much about what I'm going to play it usually doesn't turn out as good as if I instinctively play what I feel. I know that probably doesn't help all that much.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I practice with usually one cymbal so the choice is easy. When I gig, I have a LSR/crash, a ride that's crashable, and a R. side crash/ride. LSR is higher pitched, ride is mid-low, and R. side is low. Depends on the song, too. On some of the rock-ier songs, lot of R. side. If it's a crash for an accent, or between verses, usually the LSR. If a bridge or chorus/solo, will be ride or R. side. On pop/bluegrass/lighter songs, usually LSR. Also depends on my mood, the vibe of the gig and the audience energy, too.......Some instinct, some pre-planned, some spontaneous......
 


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