"Jazz" cymbals made easy.

Jazz Turkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
242
Reaction score
136
Location
United States
What makes a good "jazz" ride cymbal?

My $0.02. If you can practice with a cymbal for over a half hour straight without having to wear earplugs, it makes a good jazz cymbal.

I have certainly narrowed down my definition of a jazz cymbal over the years. At this point, it just doesn't seem very complicated anymore.

I'd love to hear what you think makes a great jazz cymbal. I'd especially like to hear from you regularly gigging Jazz cats.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,776
Reaction score
6,555
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
+3 Agree learn to play 100%

"where do you learn to play?"
on-stage)
from elders)
with others)
watching)
close listening&analysis)
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,776
Reaction score
6,555
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
the cymbal has to breathe a little/good bit too.
Makes it difficult the more Uptight the cymbal is
i couldn't take 20 minutes of that alone...
the more uptight the cymbal the more difficult
to stand it for 20 minutes alone.

so I can get ya Turk. It's not a bad test ; )
I mean it can be done (with an agonizer) but after 20 minutes
(or really less than 5 minutes)
you'd need literally a breather..
.
 
Last edited:

dboomer

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
388
Location
Visalia CA
the cymbal has to breathe a little/good bit too.
Makes it difficult the more Uptight the cymbal is
i couldn't take 20 minutes of that alone...
the more uptight the cymbal the more difficult
to stand it for 20 minutes alone.

so I can get ya Turk. It's not a bad test ; )
I mean it can be done (with an agonizer) but after 20 minutes
(or really less than 5 minutes)
you'd need literally a breather..
.
So certainly not to pick on you ... but I have no idea what this means. A cymbal that breathes or an uptight cymbal ??.

And there’s the problem. We don’t have a vocabulary that means the same thing to everybody.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,776
Reaction score
6,555
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
So certainly not to pick on you ... but I have no idea what this means. And there’s the problem. We don’t have a vocabulary that means the same thing to everybody.
Ok. Uptight. And Breathe.

Those are your two descriptors. Of the cymbal sitting in front of you. 20".
Now you ride the cymbal with the Ride Jazz beat.

Are you getting a feeling, that it's breathing.
Or is it seem uptight.

Is it giving off nervous high pitches that's fighting you.
Or is it relaxing like down a river flowing with you.

Ok? Played it long enough?
You only have two choices. now make it final.
Is it uptight or breathing

Can you live with it?

I think we're talking about the duration and the relaxation of each hit.
With each hit and the aftermath.
The length (duration) of the aftermath of the hit and the timbre (nervous or relaxed

There I gave you the $13-$23 dollar answer.
That's all I can do over the net.
 
Last edited:

Sinclair

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
760
Location
Los Angeles
just 80 ?
Well.. you can swing 100% of your ass off on a trash can lid but at a certain point that lid's gonna start sounding like sheeet if it doesn't work with the music. If you loose your ear for it you might even sound like sheeet playing it? Just sayin it's nice to have the right sound sometimes too.
 

jaymandude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
431
Reaction score
388
Ok. Uptight. And Breathe.

Those are your two descriptors. Of the cymbal sitting in front of you. 20".
Now you ride the cymbal with the Ride Jazz beat.

Are you getting a feeling, that it's breathing.
Or is it seem uptight.

Is it giving off nervous high pitches that's fighting you.
Or is it relaxing like down a river flowing with you.

Ok? Played it long enough?
You only have two choices. now make it final.
Is it uptight or breathing

Can you live with it?

I think we're talking about the duration and the relaxation of each hit.
With each hit and the aftermath.
The length (duration) of the aftermath of the hit and the timbre (nervous or relaxed

There I gave you the $13-$23 dollar answer.
That's all I can do over the net.
This reminds me of one of those old Marvin " Boogaloo" Smith posts on cymbalholic. Where the 10 pro jazz drummers on the site knew exactly what he was talking about.

And everyone else was like " Huh ?"
 

Jazz Turkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
242
Reaction score
136
Location
United States
A decent touch is 80% of it.
Agreed. Excellent point.
I will add, it would be hard to develop touch wearing ear plugs. And if you can only practice for a few minutes at a time, its going to take quite a long while to develop that nice soft touch.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,440
Reaction score
1,059
Location
Germany
In general, if you play jazz on a cymbal, it becomes a jazz cymbal. From bright to dark, high to low etc., everything's been done. I agree the cymbal shouldn't be too loud and pingy - but then there are Jon Christensen, Jack Dejohnette, Paul Motian etc. have used heavy rides that were arguably loud and pingy.

it would be hard to develop touch wearing ear plugs.
You need to be practising quietly, but even then, earplugs can save you from fatigue. I play much more relaxed that way. You need discipline, but with the hi-fi earplugy available these day, you can still hear everything.
It's important to be able to play quietly, you often have to deal with small or lively rooms, unamplified pianos etc, but in general, jazz doesn't equal drums played softly, in the same sense it doesn't mean saxophone played softly.
 

f.stahlenius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
140
Reaction score
100
Location
Sweden
I need to hate it, love it, it should have some mystery. Mystery? Well, it shouldn't be too easy, not generic sounding, I ask: I have an idea why this cymbal sounds the way it sounds (profile, hammering, bell...) but there is something unknown to it, something that hits me - the "punctum", if you want (haha, finally got to combine Roland Barthes and cymbals...).

It should make me want to PLAY it. No weird overtones or "hum". Weight? Depends on room/music/mood. I have 22:s between 1935-3090 grams that I consider to be perfect (jazz) cymbals. Profile... well, depends. Not too flat.

Three examples, all perfect jazz rides:

1. Agop 22" 30th, early version, thin at 2016 grams, nice umbrella shape, has two rivets. A bit of a mystery. Some days I hate it. Some days its the only cymbal I play (except hi hats). Still discovering its tonal palette/areas. Sits nice in the music, with piano, bass, flute, organ...

2. Early 22" Agop Signature at 2316 grams. Metallic stick sound, a cymbal that "shouldn't work", has two rivets. A bit cold, but has a lush, warm crash. This is a metallurgic enigma.

3. Old 18" Zildjian orchestral crash. Ping. Ping. Ping. Heavy. Thumbs up. Had this as my main ride for two years together with a pair of 12" Zildjian ReMix hats, probably early 2000's. Definitely a SOUND. Then, one day I bought a thin 20" Spizz ride (in 2002 maybe, before prices went hazy-crazy), and went into "soft", "lush", "warm", "buttery", "jelly" kind of stuff (is this food? - if so, I prefer bee wax and olive oil).

So, if we put all our cents and dollars together, we end up with... not soo much.
 

tkillian

DFO Master
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
3,265
Reaction score
1,786
What makes a good "jazz" ride cymbal?

My $0.02. If you can practice with a cymbal for over a half hour straight without having to wear earplugs, it makes a good jazz cymbal.

I have certainly narrowed down my definition of a jazz cymbal over the years. At this point, it just doesn't seem very complicated anymore.

I'd love to hear what you think makes a great jazz cymbal. I'd especially like to hear from you regularly gigging Jazz cats.
In my opinion 98% it's the drummer's touch and phrasing/feel. Even stick choice doesn't matter much.

Case in point Joe Farnsworth using 20, 21 or 22 inch old As, modern A's , K cons, old Ks, paiste Fo602, paiste trads...with plastic tip 2B or 5B sticks.

He sounds like a present day Billy Higgins/Art Taylor on any of those cymbals.

He likes rivets in his ride.
 

pgm554

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
268
Reaction score
150
Makes you wonder how folks can buy ride cymbals sight unseen over the internet without playing them first.
I've played cymbals that on paper looked to be just killer, only to discover they kind of sucked in real life.
Had that happen to me on a used 22 inch Sabian Manhattan jazz ride that was like a $150 bucks.
No matter how much I played it ,it just was not hip.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,776
Reaction score
6,555
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Makes you wonder how folks can buy ride cymbals sight unseen over the internet without playing them first.
Well that can depend....some old As and old Ks and some old new Ks and some old 602s and some old....and even some new.... you can pretty much suspect and be pleasantly surprised and over time develop a strong bond with a cymbal bought sight unheard
 

Jazz Turkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
242
Reaction score
136
Location
United States
I will also contend that as a player's touch improves, more cymbals can be played for 30 minutes without ear plugs. Better players have more options for a jazz ride, or it could be said the cymbal matters less for a good player.

For a fella like myself, the K Keropes are perfect - quiet, soft, dark, easily controlled, etc - and even though my touch has improved, I still struggle to play a bright heavy A for any extended length of time.
 

pgm554

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
268
Reaction score
150
Well that can depend....some old As and old Ks and some old new Ks and some old 602s and some old....and even some new.... you can pretty much suspect and be pleasantly surprised and over time develop a strong bond with a cymbal bought sight unheard
I've taken chances and hit some winners (Sabian Ed Thigpen),but if you're doling out $5 or $600 with no return policy...
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,776
Reaction score
6,555
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
5 minutes with a video or 5 minutes in a store does not always tell the entire story with some good cymbals it sometimes takes a year sometimes a decade for some that aren't obvious (excuse my preachyness sry)
 


Top