Ride cymbal size

AtlantaDrumGuy

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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.
21 is a great size for a heavy ride. I have a k heavy in this size. I’ll admit, I don’t use that cymbal to be expressive. I use that when I need a more defined ping, and when I’m thinking more about rhythm and time keeping for rock oriented music. Sort of my Kenny Aronoff type of cymbal.
 

OZjazzer

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I’ve always played a 22” ride on the right so it has become a habit.

Funny I always seem to be able to find more 22’s that I like. I’m never really happy with the 20’s or 19’s that I’ve tried. So I’m always looking. Maybe I’m just tuned into the sound of a 22”?
 

drummerjohn333

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I am not a professional, so I don't really have one definitive ride that screams me, and I would guess that most forumites would be like me:
I have several that I rotate in and out depending on what I am playing. I love the ones I have and am blessed to have built up a pretty good selection over the years. No preference though:
-20in 60s Zildjian A - just under 2000g
-20in Paiste 802 dark look with dirt and patina
-20in Zildjian Scimitar (since new in 1987)
-20in Paiste 2000 brilliant Sound Reflections
-20in MIJ Caravan
-22in Paiste 400 "Ride"
-22in Paiste 404 Ride
-22in MIJ Kingston
-22in MIJ Caravan - thin roaring lion
-20in Paiste 505 Medium (Honorable mention)
 

Fat Drummer

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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

THAT! Word for word for me as well!
 

Rock Salad

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I got 20" old Zildjian in my Rock n Roll band. I have a 22" Dream but it is not clear enough and kinda loud on the wash for this band.
 

repete

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I wouldn’t call it a preference. I’ve used 20” rides for a long time because they were available and I found ones that I liked. Then I got a 21” HHX Groove Ride because it had the sound I was looking for. I guess the size has to do with it but it wasn’t like I needed to get a 21” - I just liked the sound. I also have a 22” K custom medium ride. I lucked on this one as I found it cleaning out an abandoned house. These are the only rides I have at the moment and enjoy playing both of them.
 

Ely

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I regularly rotate and play four 24s and four 22s depending on the gig or session.

24s:
K light
A medium
Old A
Paiste Giant Beat

22s:
K con renaissance
Byzance sand crash ride
Byzance jazz big apple
Murat diril

If my other 22s were available as 24s I’m pretty sure I’d have them instead. In my experience, 24s have more complexity and they are more accepting to nuance.
 

Seb77

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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
Another 20" player would be Billy Hart. I could imagine many touring /gigging jazz drummers use a smaller ride when travelling. Just recently heard Rick Hollander on a beautiful 20" old K main. Jochen Rücckert used a 20" old K at first. I think he said he couldn't afford a larger one! (Now he lists a lot of 22" and larger ones , Lauritsens for example).

The above are all (post) bop-oriented players. Then there are the more avantgarde players who often use smaller cymbals; Jim Black comes to mind. Or Joey Baron, Matt Wilson etc.
 

multijd

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Ill use either a 20 or a 22 sometimes even a 19 as the main ride. I could use any of them on the left and for somethings add another to the far right. My choice is based on the band and venue. What i need to give and how I want the cymbal to respond. Each cymbal is an individual so it isn’t as much about the size as the specifics of that sound. I often take a couple of 20’s and a 22 with one or two 19’s. Then I can pick what feels best. Lately I’ve been experimenting with some cymbals that I dont use regularly to try to break up my habits, open my ear and keep my touch responsive. One thing i dont use very often is a dedicated “crash”. If i do it’s a 17” turk that i can ride on also.
 

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I knew a guy who only would play 24s. When I asked why, he replied " I never fell off one yet"..

ba doom tssh
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I used a 20" ride for nearly 20 years. As I got deeper into jazz drumming in the last 10 years or so, I've moved up to 22" rides (I tried a 24" - it was just too big).
I've set up 20's on the left, but I now try to do 22's both L&R. I really am no longer into 18's (my former go to crash) anymore. The spread between an 18 left and 22 right is too wide.

But I have no problem with 20's - I think with the right cymbal, you can get spread, stick sound, a bell & dark crash, but it depends. I favor K cons, Agops & Bosphorus these days........
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I’ll just say that it’s nice having a few options if you can. I use a 20” at times...couple of old As and a Zildjian orchestral ride. Otherwise, it’s bigger stuff 21 and over. I think I could potentially do everything with my 22 old K and a few vintage As. But I like having some AKs in there, like K Heavy and KDM...those are really useful. The K Heavy is when I need a ping in my swing! I have a few cymbals that overlap “a little” in sound, but that’s okay too.
 
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Elvis

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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?
I've played some great 20's in my time. The Paiste Trad Light Ride I have now is really something magical, but I find I'm gravitating more towards 22's these days.
I seem to find them possessing more character than most 20's I'm running across lately.
...just my experiences, recently.

Sonor_ForceCustom_Bebop12.jpg


...22 ski-doo!!! Dream Bliss on left, Soultone Vintage Flat on right. =)

Elvis
 
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Old Drummer

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Well, I started out playing a 20" because it was cheaper than a 22" and never regretted it. You get used to what you're used to!

In experimenting around a little, I've found that the weight of the cymbal seems to affect its, let's say carrying power, more than the diameter. I tried a thin 21" and forget whether or not I like the cymbal, nobody can hear it. A medium weight 20" does better. I'm sure there are other aspects to cymbal design that affect all this too.

I'm not against larger diameter cymbals and would switch to one if I liked it more, I just wouldn't seek one out based on diameter. On the flip side, I do feel that an 18" is too small, so I guess I am alert to diameter. Then again, I had an old K that was 19" plus a fraction that sounded really good.

My view is to choose the cymbal based on its performance for what it does for you and don't worry about the specific size. All else being equal--and were I say to have a cymbal custom made--I'd probably go for 21". But all else is never equal. And since 20" and 22" are the standard sizes, while the 20" is generally cheaper than a 22" (plus takes up less room etc.), when it doubt, go with the 20".
 

JDA

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" (I see) Ride cymbal diameter size as similar relatable to bass drum diameter size"
I can play 18" to 24" to 26" and or all points in-between.
It's just a friggin target.
Right left center upper lower behind you everything around you is a target.
7" Ice bells 16" floor toms; targets it's all targets
attacked by two sticks (and two feet.)

or one stick if you're a " percussionist" ..
 
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JDA

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Trouble with gear hoarding is it's all target -practice
(I just made that up)
 

Ickybaby

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For me it depends on the gig. Most of the time recently I've been using a 22" Sabian AA Rock ride. I generally hate cymbals marked "rock" as they tend to be clangy sewer lids. This one is nice and pingy for sure but it has great body underneath it. If I have an outdoor gig I usually take a medium heavy 24" ride. Indoor I have several to select from 20" 1950's A Zildjian to 1960's Paiste 602 sizzle, flat rides, etc.... I think the ride cymbal is the most expressive instrument on the kit.
 

halldorl

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I haven’t even looked at 20” rides the past 20 years or so. 22” and 21” is where I have been. I like the spread and the lower pitch. Enter the Meinl Byzance Foundry Reserve 20” ride and I’m hooked. Feels and plays similar to a 22” but with greater defenition and articulation.
 

AustinFitz

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I'm playing an old 21" Sabian AA Dry Ride at the moment. Seems to be a jack of all trades, but master of none kinda cymbal. A good all around ride that works well for almost anything.

My favorite ride to date was my 20" Sabian Hand Hammered Jazz Ride though. Unfortunately I sold it years ago thinking I was done with drums. Eventually I'd like to find another just like it, but being that they're hand hammered I'm not sure that's even possible.
 


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