What ride for big band?

What ride for big band?

  • 20" Dream Bliss 2011 gm

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Old Drummer

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Opinions vary, but when I think big band, I think big cymbals. This was apparently Stan Kenton's opinion too, since he had his drummers play huge rides (like 26"), and he may have been the last of the great big band leaders. However, I suppose if we go back further historically we'd find big bands with little cymbals, even puny 13". In between, well, I'm sure opinions vary.

But I'd personally skip the 20" rides and go with a 22"--or maybe a 24" if I was feeling bold--and look at the old A's and K's in medium weights. That is, I'd want a cymbal that could make some noise, which paradoxically may also be important for brush work on the quieter tunes. But I don't think you'd get "clear definition" this way. However, I wouldn't prioritize "clear definition." I'd go for tone and volume.

As it happens, I have what for me seems the perfect big band cymbal, or at least that was my immediate reaction when I played it. It's a medium weight 22" 60s' A that was re-lathed and hammered by the cymbal smith, Jesse Simpson. It comes in now almost between an A and a K, still an A but more complex. It's not a cymbal suited for a quiet jazz trio, unless it's played with brushes, because it makes too much blasted noise, but it would be great for a big band. In my opinion.
 

Elvis

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Need a go-to ride for big band. Clear definition for horns and reeds to hear, enough wash to give the band a cushion to sit upon, pleasant sound for audience. Crashability not really a factor. I have all of these, but keep going back and forth. Help me! Comments & rational welcomed. Thank you!
22" Paiste Signature Full Ride

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...don't tell anyone you've ordered it....don't tell anyone you're bringing it out....just put it up on the kit and watch the horn section freak.
Has a lot of the same qualities a 20" Sig. Mellow ride does, but with a little stronger ping.
It'll do everything you're looking for in a cymbal for that occasion.
Not cheap, but worth it.


Elvis
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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The never ending search for THE Big Band ride . JDA knows this has been my white whale for years . I have used dozens of cymbals over the years from so many different cymbal companies . I have done the bright ok by thing to the dark washy thing to the dry dark things and my search still continues . The Big Band I play with plays the traditional swing to new as well as modern pop song charts , so versatility is paramount for me .
I currently go between a couple rides for Big Band gigs and it depends on the set list . They are :
20” Sabian Artisan Light ride that is on the drier side , it is crashable as well and has a nice understated warm wash and good bell.I would not use this for Rock/Pop charts the band does occasionally .
20” Paiste 602 Medium ride - excellent stick definition , crashable , superb bell . Very bright and clean sounding but has a beautiful lush wash .

The 22” Istanbul Agop Traditional Heavy ride really intrigued me for Big Band use . It sounds fantastic in the YouTube videos I have heard . Have not had the opportunity to play one in person yet .

The ride cymbal I should have kept was a 20” Paiste Traditional Medium Heavy ride - that was one incredibly versatile ride that recorded really well . Cannot for the life of me recall why I sold it . They are sadly discontinued .

Another Paiste ride I think would be a winner is the 20” Paiste Signature Mellow ride - such a pretty sweet ping and very nice stick definition and not too bright .
 

Seb77

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I saw Buddy in 1982 he used a Zildjian 21 rock ride.
It fit some of the arrnagements at that time:
That kind of low-pitched ping might be totally out of fahsion, but if it's played by Buddy, I could listen to it all day. Toward the end of the song it even sounds like he had some roto-toms on his set. Slap-Bass and synth to boot!

It just occurred to me the thread question is as vague as asking "what ride for small band". Such a vast field of styles, people
 

hardbat

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I vassilate between my 22" Canadian Zilco and my 20" old stamp K (not thin). For big band, I like something with some meat, but low pitched. Oh, I used to have a 20" Canadian K that was perfect. Must be something about Canada and big bands.
 

Elvis

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The never ending search for THE Big Band ride . JDA knows this has been my white whale for years . I have used dozens of cymbals over the years from so many different cymbal companies . I have done the bright ok by thing to the dark washy thing to the dry dark things and my search still continues . The Big Band I play with plays the traditional swing to new as well as modern pop song charts , so versatility is paramount for me .
I currently go between a couple rides for Big Band gigs and it depends on the set list . They are :
20” Sabian Artisan Light ride that is on the drier side , it is crashable as well and has a nice understated warm wash and good bell.I would not use this for Rock/Pop charts the band does occasionally .
20” Paiste 602 Medium ride - excellent stick definition , crashable , superb bell . Very bright and clean sounding but has a beautiful lush wash .

The 22” Istanbul Agop Traditional Heavy ride really intrigued me for Big Band use . It sounds fantastic in the YouTube videos I have heard . Have not had the opportunity to play one in person yet .

The ride cymbal I should have kept was a 20” Paiste Traditional Medium Heavy ride - that was one incredibly versatile ride that recorded really well . Cannot for the life of me recall why I sold it . They are sadly discontinued .

Another Paiste ride I think would be a winner is the 20” Paiste Signature Mellow ride - such a pretty sweet ping and very nice stick definition and not too bright .
I had one of the last of the original run of Signature Mellow Ride's made.
NCNut is absolutely correct on his descriptive of that cymbal. It even crashed nicely. I used to describe the sound as "searing"...you had to hear it to get it...but you had to give it a good whack to get it there.

...also, looks like Memphis Drum Shop has a 20" Traditional Medium Heavy Ride, if you're still interested.....

 

D. B. Cooper

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I played the 20” Zildjian & Cie Vintage (1787 gm) at an outdoor unmic’d rehearsal of the big band last night. The tone was good for riding, but the wash overtook the stick sound. Crashing was good. The bell sounded nice and delicate on a mambo. I think I need a little more definition and less wash.

I took the 20” Ping as well, but after a few exploratory pings, it went back in the bag. Too cold and icy a ping, too gongy a crash. Might have to sell this almost unused.

Next week, I’ll try a different one. There’s an un-stamped 21” Agop Om prototype that I might try.
Oooooh. That sounds like a good idea. If you don't jump on that, link me.
What are the weights like on Oms usually? Aren't they a lil to thin for that much sound?
 


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