Random musings - Popularity of the 22 ?

jaymandude

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Hey all-

Thinking out loud here. Yes, that's how it starts... I'm not asking what people play and why, tho I'm sure I'll get that. It's just the nature of a forum for people to post their preferences. That's cool I suppose but not what I'm after....

What I'm thinking, and this has been on my mind on and off for a while. Is when and why did the 22 become the go-to ride ? I'm 57, and growing up, well thru the 80's it was mostly about 20's. MAybe a 21 here and there. Oh sure, some guys had 22's, a lot of the arena rock guys perhaps and some noteable jazz players, but it didn't seem to be the norm.

But cut to about 2010 maybe, maybe ? And all you start to hear about are 22's. Zildjian guys are promoting K cons like crazy, Americana guys want a deeper thing ( even tho Levon Helm played an 18" ride, and you can't get more Americana than him) I don't know if it was marketing, or a confluence of rivers, but the 20 really started to fade. And some of the biggest drum idols rarely if ever played a 22. Gadd and Elvin come to mind here. Also....I say this because I play a lot of retro music, and so many of those sounds are smaller cymbals. Chess blues, some classic country. And I feel that recreating that accurately is a 20. I have some amazing 22's, and it's taken me a loooooong time to adjust to that sound. I like it, but it's definitely different.

Do you get where I'm going here ? Your thoughts ?
 

jb78

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I'm interested in the answers too, though I wonder if you're understating the relative prevalence of 22s, at least in the 1970s-90s? Certainly 22s are significantly more popular/standard than they once were, though so it's a point well taken. The most obvious answer is that there's been a more general trend in cymbals toward darker, more complex sounds.
 

dtk

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The trend in general has been towards bigger...if you have 18/19/20 crashes you need a 22 ride.
 

dboomer

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22s were the norm in the mid 60’s as far as Hollywood was concerned.
 

blueshadow

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I remember Tommy Wells talking about it probably about same time as you mention 2010ish that he was using 18, 19 and 20" crashes in the studio....but he also talked about how he used his Paiste 19 404 was it? quite a bit as his main ride on recordings.

I know you didn't ask for personal preference but for me if I'm using multiple crashes then I'll take the 22" as its more of one dimensional ride sound whereas when I use only one crash and ride I prefer the 20" as its a more controlled crash sound along with ride properties. Hope that makes sense. I really think a 21" would be perfect but haven't found that "one" for me yet.
 

foxy_shazamtastic

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My contemporary drum idols growing up in the late 2000s all played big, dark cymbals and I and many of my peers fell in love with that dark, full sound. For me it wasn’t about accurately recreating old sounds, I was in love with this new sound and what it offered over the smaller/brighter/faster sounds. So maybe that’s the answer (or one possible answer), a lot of ears were tired with the old sound and wanted a new sound. You can still find ways to fit into the older styles of music with the big/dark cymbals, it will just sound different. And I think sometimes music is just about trying something different. So the trend was 20” rides, some folks get tired of that and try 22’s, and they dig it. And people hear them and dig it too. Eventually it could go the other direction (and maybe already is).
 
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jaymandude

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I remember Tommy Wells talking about it probably about same time as you mention 2010ish that he was using 18, 19 and 20" crashes in the studio....but he also talked about how he used his Paiste 19 404 was it? quite a bit as his main ride on recordings.

I know you didn't ask for personal preference but for me if I'm using multiple crashes then I'll take the 22" as its more of one dimensional ride sound whereas when I use only one crash and ride I prefer the 20" as its a more controlled crash sound along with ride properties. Hope that makes sense. I really think a 21" would be perfect but haven't found that "one" for me yet.
I remember this too, when he went to the 24, 13, 16. I'm also wondering if the bigger cymbals were a response to the rise of digital recording. People wanted things to be bigger and warmer cause they felt or heard digital sounded cold.
 

219Dave

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Interesting thread. Also, it seemed that in the 80s hi hats were all 14 and all my crashes were 16.
 

JDA

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Could be ; ) when people's got more money in their pockets..
Also a 22" from Avedis is not (not always) a 22" from Bosphorus/ old K...etc... It's a slight difference but it matters when looking on the set, at a "full" 22" and one that's slightly "under".......
 

REF

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My main was a 24" in the 70's. But, I had 20 and 22, as well. Matter of fact, I had a 26, too. I don't remember any particular size being prevalent for all genres. Just depended on the music and the band and the instrument, as well. Depending on models a 20 could outdo a 22 for volume. I only played Zildjian back then. Aside from Paiste, that was about it. UFIP was not in my world back then. Nor Meinl.

The more companies that emerged and competed, the more choices, and size became whatever sounded and felt right, player to player.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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It's a guy thing. If a 20" is good then certainly a 22" is better!

I've been playing a 22 for 40 years. I always like the cushion from that extra spread. Later on when I finally expanded my pallet I added some 20's and 21's to my small collection. I love them all.
 
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dogmanaut

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Accurate or not, I remember when I was shopping for my first set of pro-grade cymbals as a teenager circa 2002-ish, I was very much under the impression that a ride cymbal was almost always 20”. I thought I was pretty hot stuff when I decided on an original run 21” K Custom Special Dry ride. Just that extra 1” made it feel huge to me...

When I got back into drumming after a 4-year break (roughly 2011-2015), it was immediately clear that bigger cymbals were in vogue. Not just rides, but everything.

So just from what I saw, it seems like the shift towards bigger pies really happened somewhere in that 4-year window. Of course, there are all sorts of other factors that could account for me perceiving things that way, including me becoming active here on DFO around the same time I got back into drumming.
 

jtpaistegeist

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20" rides were the standard size when I started playing (early 90s). The shops around me mostly only had that size, and this was before cymbal packs became a thing. Personally, I use a 22" 90%, with 24" being my other main sized ride. For me its the pitch, stick feel, and nuance that I can coax from a nice med-thinnish 22". There are some 20" Rides that I like, mostly thinner and darker ones like my Masters 20" Dark.
Recently went through a bunch of Sabian rides building my HHX setup. My favorite of the 20"ers were the HHX Stage 20" and Legacy 20". The Stage ride sounded great, but left me yearning for more. The 20" Legacy was an awesome crash...will be buying another soon!
 

bodinski

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I've yet to meet the 20" ride that speaks to me, but have 3 22s that do. Go figga...
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Seems that cymbal sizes have tended upwards in general. I’ll say, 22s tend to have a deeper lower tone (of course, there are other factors). But 20s seem like a crash to me now.

I think 22 - 24 players generally like cymbals. I don’t know. Just seems like the cymbalholics go for bigger sizes.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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That said, I’ll still keep a 20” ride around...despite leaning on larger rides mainly.

Actually, I think Tony may have been the one guy that really popularized the 22. Even though Kenny Clarke had been using one before him.
 
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On the one

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I have 2 20" rides and 1 22" ride. During my heavy/thrash metal days the 22 was perfect. Now that I'm playing other genres now the 20s are fine. I haven't played my 22" in about 6 years
 

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