#129: Should I Mix and Match Cymbals?

Should I mix and match different kinds of cymbals?

I received a great question from Mitch the other day about mixing and matching different lines and even different brands of cymbals. I thought we’d all benefit from talking about it…

Hey there. Welcome back to Drummer Daily. I am so happy you’re here. I say that a lot, and I always mean it. I’m feeling great today. I’m here in Nashville. I’m in the middle of the heat of the summer, and I just installed a new air conditioner up on the third floor where my drum studio is, so I’ve … It’s a little noisy, so I have it turned off for this podcast, but as soon as this podcast is over, I’m turning it back on.

Hey, before we get started today, I just wanted to invite you. In case you haven’t seen or heard with anything I’m doing, I am leading a free masterclass. If you’re listening to this fairly soon after it comes out, it’s this Thursday, which I believe is June the eighth, and then Saturday, June … what would that be? Eight, nine, 10 … June 10th, I’m leading two free masterclasses, you can pick either one, but the classes are going to be live online, and they’re all about the exact path to becoming a professional drummer.

It’s about two hour long, live thing. We’ll have lots of interaction. We can chat back and forth, the whole thing. So, head over to Danielhadaway.com/class, and you can sign up for either one of those times that works for you. I hope you can join me there, ’cause it’s a lot of fun. We’ve had a lot of … I’ve already done two of these. I did two of these last weekend, and they were a lot of fun, and a lot of people seemed like they really appreciated the info that was shared there, and so I’m so pumped about that. Head over there and join me if you’d like. Danielhadaway.com/class.

All right, so today I thought that I would answer a question, and I’m going to do this fairly often now. I’m going to answer questions that you guys write in, that you might have about drumming, becoming a professional drummer, , drum , pretty much anything at all that you might want to know. Feel free to email me, daniel@danielhadaway.com, and let me know what questions you might have, and I will do my best to work it into a podcast.

I’m going to do that today. I got an email from Mitch, and Mitch writes, he says, “I’m looking to get a new ride and hi-hats. I have a 20 inch Istanbul crash, and I was looking at 16 inch Zildjian K hi-hats. Is it important to have all the same brand of cymbals, so that they have similar sounds, or is it okay as long as they fit well together?”

That’s a great question, and I know that it’s … I will tell you this, I’m a little bit OCD, and so, I have this irrational need to personally have all of my cymbals match brands. Now, I don’t actually have a … In my own mind, I really don’t have a reasonable justification for this. It’s not like I think that mixing and matching cymbals sounds bad, but I just like to look and see those little logos match when I’m looking at my drum kit. That’s what I’ve done, but I will say this, the blanket statement I would give you, Mitch, is no, the cymbals don’t have to match brands at all, and I don’t think that’s necessarily important.

But I will say this, most cymbal companies, all cymbal companies, especially within the same line, so for example, if you were to get … I play Zildjian cymbals. So, if I were to get a Zildjian K custom dark cymbal, a dark ride cymbal, dark crash cymbal, or whatever it is, I could get another of that same line, another K dark cymbal, and those two, without them in person, I can feel like there’s a pretty good chance that they’re going to match up and sound good together. They’re going to blend together. They’re going to complement each other. So, in this day and age, where we buy a lot of things online, and we don’t necessarily always get a chance to play every, the exact cymbals, maybe, that we’re going to order, before we get it.

If you’re going to order online, I would suggest you either do a lot of research into what each cymbal exactly sounds like. There are some drum shops that actually post videos of the exact cymbals that they’re selling, so you can kind of get a better idea of what they sound like. But, if you’re going to order online, and you don’t have access to that, and you’re not going to do research, I would suggest you stick to the same line of cymbals, because you can kind of trust, especially the bigger companies to really do a good job of putting cymbals in the same line that at least are intended to complement each other.

But, I will tell you this. If you can go to a drum shop, or you have a chance to get your hands on a cymbal you’re considering, in some way, and you can kind of pair them up, or get an idea for what it sounds like in real life, that’s always the best option, no matter what kind of cymbal and what brand you’re going to pick, and how you’re going to mix and match. So, if you are going to mix and match, and you’re going to put that Istanbul cymbal with those Zildjian cymbals, I would suggest that you try to get your hands on the combination in some way, and try it out, or try to go to a store and try out the cymbals you’re considering.

Now that said, another way you can kind of judge, at least kind of the amount of wash and the weight, you can look at, if you start looking into the weights of cymbals, so how much a cymbal weighs relative to its size. A lot of times companies will post how many grams their cymbals weigh, so you can look at like a 20 inch cymbal or a 22 inch cymbal, and if you know 2,000 grams to you is heavy, or it’s light, or it’s … that will give you an idea of how thin or thick the cymbal is, and give you a better idea, at least, of the kind of wash that you’re going to get out of it. Every cymbal’s a little different, even from factories that, you know, two identical cymbals are not going to weight exactly the same amount. They’re going to be close, but not exact. Basically, kind of geek out as much as you can on the cymbals that you’re considering. If you do that, I think you’ll end up with something that you’re happy with.

Thanks so much, Mitch, for writing that in. Hey, again, if you would like to have me answer your question, or talk about a topic that you’d like to hear about, send me an email. Daniel@danielhadaway.com. Also, like I said, that free masterclass, if you’re listening soon, is over at Danielhadaway.com/class. Thanks so much for joining me today. I’ve got a lot more Drummer Daily coming at you very soon. Until then, go, play the drums, and do something to advance your career as a pro drummer, today.

All right. Talk to you again soon. Bye for now.

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