Ride cymbal size

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Let’s chat about ride cymbals. Sizes specifically. There seems to be a trend towards larger sizes these days (going on for awhile). Do any of you still play a 20” or smaller in the main slot? Do you ever feel that a 20” doesn’t have the spread or volume of say a 22 or 24?

I do keep a variety of Zildjian rides for different reasons, but I have more of the larger sizes at this point. I’d like to hear your thoughts. What do you prefer and why?
 

Seb77

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I often use a 20" main ride. Spread doesn't come from size alone, in fact some ridiculously large cymbals I've tried had very little spread in context.
Different sizes have different kind of response, though, larger ones don't crash as easily, they have a morte even sound thoughout the dynmic range , the way I hear it. I often prefer a 20" for the dynamic response and crash/ride qualities.
 

Dragonlordapocalypse

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I’m playing a 22” now. I’ve gravitated towards larger cymbals the last few years and I used a 20” for 15 years without any complaints. But my main Crash has gotten larger, hi hats have gotten larger, I’ve gotten rid of splash cymbals, and of course the ride has gotten larger. It has a lot to do with the type of music I have been playing too. I’ve even gone to lower snare tunings. The deeper sounds just seem to blend better. Maybe when I’m in a different project I will go back to my 20”...I’d have to buy a new one though. I sold both of my 20” rides. So much for versatility lol
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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It seems that the people that are more cymbal lovers tend to play the bigger cymbals. There is more surface area to explore. It’s like...”let’s hang out on the cymbals more.”

Whereas the idea of a 20” ride...it’s just there for the time keeping and rhythm. They don’t spend as much time with the cymbal tones (get in, get out ...”it’s more about the drums” mindset). And perhaps, one will play differently as a result. JDA will have some more feedback on this subject, if he sees this.

Elvin (and maybe Mel) might have been the only cymbalholic to use 20s in the main slot. Though he owned 22s and at least a 24 at some point.
 
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jtpaistegeist

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Definitely prefer 22" and sometimes 24" rides. I like rides with many tonal colors and shoulder/edge crash sounds. The 22" seems to be the sweet spot for me. I only have one 20" Ride now, and its a Masters Dark Ride which I only use as a left side jazz ride, or a big rock crash/ride.
 

Seb77

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I have some 22" cymbals that have a very narrow sweet spot/ring, and I play them in that spot all the time, Up the bow there are often unpleasant gongy, honky overtones, the famous barking seal. As mentioned above, I actually feel I can get more different sounds out of a 20" because of the crash potential. With 22" (or larger) I often use "shank" crashes rather than full-on edge crashes.
 

DannyPattersonMusic

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I have multiple ride cymbals all ranging from 20" to 22" :

20" No Name (stamped) "Japan" underneath the bell
20" Paiste ColorSound 5
20" Avedis Zildjian Medium
21" Zildjian K Custom Organic Ride
22" Zildjian K Constantinople Medium
22" Impression Mixed Series
 

Redbeard77

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It's not the size of the ride, it's how you use it. :occasion5:

I don't really notice a difference in volume between a 20 and 22 (of same model), I just prefer the lower pitch of the larger cymbal. I've upsized all my cymbals lately, and I like how they fill more space and the lower pitch is more pleasant to me the way it fits in the mix. However, I could see how a smaller cymbal could be perceived as louder since it would tend to cut through more easily. Size is just another factor along with weight, lathing, hammering, etc. I like smaller brighter cymbals when playing pop styles, and larger darker cymbals when playing country and blues.
 

Bullseye_Doc_Holiday

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I'm playing a 24" Kerope in the main spot. Before that it was a 22 K Con Ren (short-lived), then a 22 K for a few years before that, and a 70's 22" Zilco for many years before that.

I (like most I think) prefer thinner and darker cymbals that open up well across the dynamic range. That tends to mean though that the smaller the cymbal the faster it opens up so your "ride" turns into a "crash ride" pretty quickly below 20" or so. Frankly, I think my 20" KCDR and 21" Avedis Sweet Ride make fabulous crashes.

Then again, I've taken my 19 Kerope as my only cymbal (besides hats) to a gig and it rides pretty well up to a certain point.
 

bongomania

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When I’m playing on my own, I love the bigger rides, but in the live mix of my jazz/funk band, the two rides that have sounded best have happened to be 20s. So that’s what I’m sticking with for gigs.

Course it depends on the specific cymbals, weights, other variables.
 

cplueard

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21" seems to be my magical spot as my two favorite rides (HH RBDR and a modified Salsero ride) are 21. I mainly just need a defined ping with the right amount of wash and kinda dark hum and 21"s just do that for my preferred style of play. I've got a lighter 22" a 20" and an 18" for lighter gig stuff, but 21" heavy is magic.
 

jptrickster

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I'm happy with 20's. I've played them all up to 26 and I like them all for different reasons. I find 20's most responsive, best stick/wash ratio, crashability, easyier to shlepp, tighter set up. The best all around for my use. I might use a 20 crash too, I see that as being a newer trend ,ya bigger crashes for sure
 

TheMattJones88

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I have a 21" and 23" Sweet Ride, and I go back and forth. Right now I'm preferring the 21" because it has a bit more cut. The 23" is darker and a little smokier sounding. The 23" definitely crashes better than the 21", but I've been moving to actually crashing on my crashes more recently, so it's not as big of a thing.
 

JDA

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Yes well you get into Bosphorus and Old Ks they aren't (a lot of the time) exactly either 20" or 22". They're a little under or over. And it's in a nice way, noticeable.
Avedis you are getting the full 20" and 22".
A full 22" in Avedis (AK or A) is different than a 22" in Bosphorus or old K.

But a 22" Old K or Bosphorus is different real estate
22 Bos Hammer is like 21.7"
Avedis K Dark Medium is full 22"
Old K 22 is 21.8"
 
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dustjacket

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22" is the sweet spot for me. Tried 19" to 24". It's perfect and still feels substantial, like it's the captain of the ship.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I still feel that a 20 or smaller is more limiting in tones available vs 22 - 24. Hence, the cymbalholic naturally leaning towards larger sizes. That’s my theory. Cue this up around 2:30.

 

tkillian

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Im a jazz drummer.
All my heros and all the "first call" jazz players today play 22"
There are a few exceptions of course....but most 22". I would say 99% of jazz players...22 and a 20 or 18 on left.

I cant speak to other styles.

Really it comes down to your personal taste and style.

I think a main ride is so personal! It really defines you and your sound and style.

When I think of my heros i think
ELVIN JONES 20" old K
Art Taylor 20" old K
Roy Haynes 18" flat ride
Jeff Ballard 20" old K
Lewis Nash 21" zildjian
Brian Blade 24"

Other thzn that...mostly 22
 
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premierplayer

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I'm not a jazz drummer and 22 is my go to size, occasionally a 21 A Sweet or K Sweet. I've had several 20's over the years and only one of them I really enjoyed playing, then I cleaned it, ruined it, sounded like any other new cymbal, traded it on. Funny, the new owner thought it was the total bomb! It was a good cymbal, I regret letting that one go.
So..., I play 50's to current, rock, blues, R&B, and a few standards, 22's are my go to size.
 

WaggoRecords

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It seems that the people that are more cymbal lovers tend to play the bigger cymbals. There is more surface area to explore. It’s like...”let’s hang out on the cymbals more.”

Whereas the idea of a 20” ride...it’s just there for the time keeping and rhythm. They don’t spend as much time with the cymbal tones (get in, get out ...”it’s more about the drums” mindset).
It’s funny you say this, I was just thinking how 22” and bigger feels like too much real estate to try and figure out. I’m still developing my feel for ride playing and don’t quite have my bearings with a 20” K Custom Dark ride, though.
 


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