What's "Better" - Living Amongst a Forest of Cymbals or Keeping Things Sparse and Tight?

tbird8450

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I'm sure this topic has been discussed plenty, but I've recently been coming back to drumming after a long break and finding that my appreciation for cymbals is far more substantial than before.

When I started off, I used a pretty standard complement of beginner cymbals: 14" hats, a 20" ride, and a 16" medium crash. That's all I used for years and was largely content. Since returning to the hobby, over the past few months I made the call to finally up my cymbal game and I started off with a few Paiste 2002s. I've since been steadily adding more and more as I'm just loving the variety and enjoying exploring the nuances of each size and sound signature. I think I may have a problem and will put a hard stop on further buys to stave off divorce (for now!), but I'm wondering how others approach this. Obviously there are endless variables, including the styles of music involved, whether you prefer to "force" yourself to be more creative by limiting your options, vs attempting to be more creative through having variety of options - perhaps at the risk of overdoing it - as well as your personal budget, the practicality of hauling a bunch of gear around if you gig often, etc. Obviously the great drummers themselves run the gamut from a fairly spartan cymbal setup like Ringo, to guys like Peart who could put the cymbal wall at some drum stores to shame.

Anyway, I've been simultaneously laughing as well as getting excited when I walk into the music room now and am greeted by a small army of bronze versus what was there before. I don't relish the thought of eventually packing all of this stuff up for live shows, though. Where do you fall on the spectrum?
 

JDA

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I keep amounts of the best of the 50 years of my epic periods

the A - 22 (avedis)
the P- 5 (paiste)
the J- 6 (japanese)
the old K - 17 (old K)
the Bos- 9 (bosphorus)
the Isti- 2 (istanbul)
the It- 1 (ufip)
 
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varatrodder

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I may buy and sell a lot, but I always go back to my core pieces. Usually when I'm buying it's to get a certain sound for specific project or situation, and then I sell when it's no longer needed. It's a fun way to try out new stuff, but not be committed to having a cymbal store's worth of bronze in my closet.

The core that will never be sold:
24" A Zildjian block stamp - 3600g
21" Mat Bettis mod (previously a Sabian/Tosco Country Ride) - 2800g
20" Soultone Vintage flat ride - 1984g
18" A Ziljdian small stamp crash - 1325g
18" K Zildjian Istanbul OS3B - 1545g
12" Paiste 2000 splash
 

CC Cirillo

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On behalf of my bandmates, and the styles I tend to play: sparse and tight.

I can have many cymbals stashed in my garage or a closet or a bandmate’s house, or storage locker--like so many acorns squirled away-- but at rehearsals or shows: sparse and tight.

Excluding hi hat, I think I only have three cymbal stands.
 

Stretch Riedle

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I thought I didn't have that many cymbals...until I stated looking around my room and saw 5 cymbal bags sitting there. Granted, I only have about 30 cymbals [a pair of matching hihats counts as 1] and I usually only take hihats, 1 ride, 2 crashes to most gigs.
My stash is 8 Impressions, 3 Zildjians, 5 Wuhans, and 14 Paistes.
So in response to the question, I'm sparse at gigs and rehearsals but I have a few sets to grab from.
Stretch
 

hsosdrum

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My setup provides my answer:



I like using lots of differently-pitched crash cymbals, and by placing a crash near each tom I can get to them quickly without having to flail all around the kit. The downside is having to carry seven cymbal stands, but I'm using Ludwig's lightweight flat-base stands, which are easier on my back. :thumbup:

P.S. I got around the divorce conundrum by indulging in one. Now I spend as I please! ;)
 

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RIDDIM

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Get the tools you need to realize what you hear and what the music you're asked to play requires. No more, no less.
 

JimmySticks

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I'm trying to keep it tight. Just 3 rides, 3 crashes, 2 china's, one pair of hats and they are not all used at once. For now they cover my needs.

But I will say, if I ever play out, I'll probably look over my cymbals again and make sure I have the right ones.
 

Deafmoon

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I generally build a set-up based upon sounds I like to project. The ride sound varies only slightly; Zildjian, Paiste Flat, K. Dark or A. Ping Ride. For Hihats; Zildjian 13" Mastersound, 14" UFIP Class or 13" Paiste Medium Heavy Sound Formula. If I use one other cymbal with my ride, it will be a ride or crash, but no smaller than a 17" medium weight crash which can handle some sticking if needed. 18" to 20" are generally better. When I go with two other cymbals they are generally crashes. I love the double crash with the sounds a major third apart. Generally, 17" and 15" crashes work best for this with the 17" being a medium or medium thin and the 15" being thin or fast. Any other sounds, china, bell, splash...I can add if needed. But honestly, I think the china sound has been done to death. And although you cannot deny the intensity it brings in jamming, it gets pretty obnoxious, pretty quickly to my ears. At 61 I'm kinda over the white noise thing.
 

lossforgain

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In regular use, I only typically play with a hat, ride, and 2 crashes. But that doesn't mean I don't own extras! I have more cymbals right now that maybe ever before in my life, but there are still sounds I am looking to find. So I keep buying and selling, and will see what I end up with. I don't mind having lots of cymbals around that I can play with, but I recognize that a lot of these aren't going to be go-tos and will probably not stick around for the long term.
 

tbird8450

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I can definitely understand maintaining extras for flexibility, but for me I find that if I can't hang them on a stand and keep them in reach of my sticks at all times, I'm better served by selling them off as in practical use any extras will just take up space in a closet. I think I'm pretty well finished for now with the following:

16" medium
18" crash
18" medium
20" crash
22" ride

I'm also currently auditioning and deciding between 14" and 15" hi-hats. Whichever pair comes in second will very likely be sold, even though I love them both.
 

Classicdrummer

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At rehearsal I bring hats, two crashes (one bright and loud one mellow and trashy), and two rides (same pattern). Currently crashes are 18” Agop 30th and a 50s A, rides are 22” Agop medium sig and 21” HH vintage. I usually pair one dark with one bright for a nice contrast with exceptions for a couple songs.
At home I have a couple other things laying around but I prefer to rotate anything I’m not using consistently through trading and selling.
 

BNestico

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3 crashes, a china, & 3 splashes has been my set up for some time now. I’m a sucker for splashes. Sometimes I’ll use some sort of stack. Minimum of 2 crashes though, no matter what, preferably 3 though.
 

Esotericdrums

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Normally I keep my setup fairly small. Hats, a crash or 2 plus a ride. Lately I’ve switched to playing hats with 3 rides,
K mastersound hats
20 K custom dark ride with sizzle chain on left
22 K Con MTL- main ride
20 Kerope or 22 K Con hi bell MTL far right. For rock I switch out the far right and use my 18 K custom dark crash.

then I have my stack of cymbals I’ve cycled throughout the years.

20 k custom dry
20 Kerope
20 small stamp 50s A ride
18 K custom dark crash
17 K custom fast crash
17 old A medium thin crash
16 old A crash
14 a custom hats
10 a custom splash
8 oriental china
Multiple handmade bells and stacks
 
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Jonnymac

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Trying to get my setup perfected for a blues/jazz gig without switching out cymbals.
Right now it’s
15 new beats 990/1400
20 block stamp A 2050
22 block stamp A 2580
18 K Dark thin 1250

May switch to 14 new beats, just bought some 60s on Reverb to check out

The rest are either waiting to be sold or a rainy day
 

Sinclair

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"Living Amongst a Forest of Cymbals or Keeping Things Sparse and Tight?"

Really... this is a real question...in the Cymbal Talk section no less?! Must be a typo. Come on! Somebody's not thinking straight. What's better than your own personal forest of cymbals? I'll tell ya what....NOTHING.... including a "happy" marriage. It's not your fault if she won't take your hand and frolic through the forest with you. Sheesh! Next!
 

Pat A Flafla

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Grow the forest in your drum room, then select different trees for each gig (when gigs resume).
 


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