Check Out The 9 Different Types Of Cymbals To Complete Your Drum Set

There are many types of cymbals, ranging from the hi-hats to the crash or ride cymbals. Often, these are the most common types that you will get with your kit.

Cymbals help balance out the sound of your kit.

Different Types of Cymbals To Complete Your Drum Set

Cymbals are essential components of a drum kit. They provide a variety of sounds, such as crashes, rides, and high hats.

Cymbals come in various sizes, shapes, and materials.

Some cymbals are designed to produce specific sounds, whereas others are meant to add texture or create a rhythmic pattern.

To answer your question, you should consider the size, shape, and material of each cymbal.

The most important thing to remember is that every cymbal has its purpose.

For example, a crash cymbal produces a loud sound at the beginning of a song. On the other hand, a ride cymbal adds a soft, smooth tone during the middle of a song.

Keep on reading to find out more!

Crash Cymbal

Crash Cymbal

The crash cymbal is arguably the most notable cymbal in a drum kit.

The cymbal is responsible for producing an extremely loud sound at the start of a song. It also helps set the pace of the song by providing a strong beat.

The cymbal is often used as the defining sound, as well as the bass drum, in a lot of songs. It is usually hit at the end of bars, or where the beat may transition.


Crash cymbals range in size from 14 inches to 20 inches. The most common sizes range from 16 to 18 inches, including the odd sizes such as 15 or 17.

Smaller diameter crashes are often preferred by recording engineers, but it’s not a requirement to record using small crashes.

Bigger crashes can be more effective when playing live, but smaller ones have their advantages too.


Crash cymbals typically consist of two thin plates that are usually made of bronze. Bronze is a copper and tin alloy, and it is thin but sturdy.

Other metals include aluminum, brass, steel, silver, and nickel.

A crash cymbal can be solid, hollow, or double-layered. Solid crashes are the most popular choice because they’re easy to hold on to.

Hollow crashes are lighter than solid crashes, so they don’t weigh down the cymbal as much.

Double-layered crashes are thicker and heavier than single-layered crashes, which makes them easier to control.

Playing Surfaces

A crash cymbal can either be on the bow, bell, or edge.

The edge produces a crushingly loud sound, whereas the bell would provide a suppressed, high pitched sound that is not as loud.


A crash cymbal is played differently than any other type of cymbal.

Instead of playing in continuous notes across a bar of music, you would play a crash cymbal singularly in one hit, but you can hit it many times in a row when playing hard rock or metal music.

You play the crash by tapping it with a stick or hitting it with a mallet.

When you tap it, you want to strike it hard enough to make a loud noise. If you hit it lightly, it won’t produce a loud sound.

Ride Cymbal

Ride Cymbal

The ride cymbal is another essential component of a drum kit.

This cymbal provides a softer, smoother tone throughout the song. It is ideal for adding a subtle effect to the music.

The ride cymbal plays a role similar to the snare drum in terms of volume and pitch. It is generally played lower in frequency than the crash cymbal, and it is often paired with the hi-hat cymbal.


Ride cymbals are generally quite large, ranging from around 16 inches, to 22 inches. There are even larger ride cymbals available if you need one.

A smaller size means less volume, while a larger size means more volume. A bigger cymbal means more volume.


Ride cymbals are usually made of metal. They are usually made from copper alloys such as bronze or brass.

Playing Surfaces

Ride cymbals can bring out a lot of different sounds.

Ride cymbals can be played on the tip, edge, bell, or bow. By playing them differently, you can get different sounds.


Ride cymbals are played by striking them with sticks held in a French grip.

Using this grip allows you to play the ride cymbal without hitting your fingers. A French grip places the thumb pointing upwards, allowing the stick to pivot on the index or middle finger.

The stick should be placed at an angle so that the stick doesn’t come straight up, but rather slightly angled towards the floor.

Hi Hat Cymbal

Hi Hat Cymbal

The hi hat cymbal is used to create a distinctive rhythm pattern that is played in almost every song.

The hi hat cymbals are two cymbals that are controlled with a foot pedal, closing and shutting the cymbals together.

When the foot pedal is depressed, the cymbals come together, creating a tight and sharp sound that is used in every genre of music.

It is often the base way of playing the drums.

When you release the foot pedal, the cymbals gradually pull apart, creating a loose and crashing sound that is usually played in quarter notes, rather than eighth notes.


Hi hat cymbals are typically between 6 and 8 inches in diameter.

Larger sizes are available if needed. The size of the hi-hat depends on what kind of drummer you are playing for.

Top cymbals are usually heavier than bottom cymbals. A combination of different cymbals produces great sound.


Like most cymbals, hi hat cymbals are made from copper alloys, or tin alloy.

Playing Surfaces

There are three main ways to play the hi hat: on the top, bottom, or both sides. On the top side, you place the hi hat with the foot pedal depressed.

This creates a very deep and booming sound. You can also release the foot pedal and play the hi hats separated, but crashing together. This produces a much higher pitched sound.

Lastly, you can use both sides of the hi hat cymbal.

This creates a unique sound that is somewhere in between those two previous sounds. Hi-hats are used to create a tight sound when playing drums.

You can use the hi-hat to make a loud noise or to create a soft sound. Using the hi-hat gives you control over how loud your music plays.


There is a technique to play the hi hat cymbals. First, you must learn how to adjust the hi-hat properly. Then, it’s time to practice using the hi-hat.

Practice slowly and carefully until you feel comfortable with the technique.

If you’re not sure about the technique, ask someone who knows how to play the hi-hat. Once you have mastered the technique, you can start practicing more complex songs.

Hi hat cymbals are generally played in eighth notes when the foot pedal is depressed, and fourth when it is released.

In a bar of music, there are eight notes, this is counted in ‘one, and two and three and four and’, whereas fourth notes are counted in ‘one, two, three, four’.

Splash Cymbal

Splash Cymbal

Splash cymbals are small cymbals that are used to add some extra excitement to the drum set. They are used to produce a crash effect similar to a tom hit.

These cymbals are usually played with a single stroke of the stick. Some people prefer to use their hands instead of sticks to play these cymbals.

Splash cymbals are used to create a short burst of sound that adds excitement to a song. There are many types of splash cymbals.

Crash cymbals are usually placed between the main tom drums, elevated above the rest.


The size of the splash cymbals varies depending on the type of cymbal.

The smaller ones are generally used as accents while the larger ones are used to create a louder sound.


Most splash cymbals are made out of plastic or metal. Metal cymbals are harder to find because they are expensive. Plastic cymbals are cheaper, but tend to be weaker.

Playing Surfaces

To play the splash cymbals correctly, you need to know how to hold them.

Hold the cymbals by the edge so that you don’t break them. Also, try to keep the cymbals up high so that you won’t accidentally knock them off the stand.

When playing the splash cymbals, you should play them at the same speed as the other drums.

It doesn’t matter if the cymbals are slightly out of tune. Just focus on making a nice, loud crash.


To play the splash cymbal, first you need to learn how to position the cymbals. Start by holding one of the cymbals in each hand.

Next, put the cymbals down on the floor. Place the cymbals close enough to each other so that you can easily reach them.

Now, take the cymbals back up to the stand. Make sure that the cymbals are facing the right direction. Finally, strike the cymbal.

China Cymbal

China Cymbal

China cymbals are large cymbals that are typically used for percussion.

They are often used along with the ride cymbal, which is the largest cymbal in the drum kit. A china cymbal has a round shape.

This means that it is wider than it is tall. The china cymbal is also known as a crash cymbal. It produces a very loud sound that is commonly heard during rock performances.

The china cymbal is also used to make a loud noise during a performance.

The china cymbal is most commonly found in a drum kit. It is usually placed near the center of the kit.

The china cymbal is used to add an exciting element to a song. It is also used to create a powerful beat.


There are various sizes of china cymbals. The smallest ones are called Chinese bells, and they have a diameter of about 12 inches.

The next size is called a gong bell, and it measures approximately 15 inches in diameter. The largest china cymbals measure 18 inches in diameter.


China cymbals are made from different materials. Most china cymbals are manufactured using brass.

Brass is a strong material that makes china cymbals durable. Other china cymbals may be made from aluminum or zinc.

Playing Surface

When playing the china cymbal, place it on the floor and then raise it up to the stand. You can also play it with your hands.

Keep in mind that the china cymbals will not stay on the stand unless you secure them properly.

To do this, tie a rope around the cymbal’s handle. Then, hang the cymbal on the stand.


The technique for playing the china cymbals is similar to the technique for playing the ride cymbal.

First, hold the cymbals in both hands. Next, place the cymbals down onto the ground.

Finally, bring the cymbals back to the stand. Strike the cymbals together when you want to produce a loud sound.

Swish Cymbal

Swish Cymbal

A Swish Cymbal is a type of cymbal that is used in drumming and percussion instruments.

The design of this cymbal is very unique because of the rivet holes. These holes allow the player to play the instrument in many ways.

For example, the player can make the cymbals vibrate by hitting them with sticks or mallets. Also, the player can use the rivets to create a percussive effect when striking the cymbal.


A swish cymbal is available in two sizes: small and medium. The small size measures 10 inches across. The medium size measures 12 inches across.

They are medium sized, and they have the same appearance as china cymbals.


Swish cymbals are made out of metal.

Metal is a good material to use because it is sturdy and durable. However, some people prefer wooden cymbals because they are lighter.

Playing Surface and Technique

To play the swish cymbal, first place one hand underneath the cymbal.

Then, strike the cymbal with the other hand. If you hit the cymbal hard enough, the cymbal should come off the stand.

Once the cymbal comes off the stand, it will continue to move until it hits something. At this point, stop the movement of the cymbal.

The swish cymbal is known as an exotic cymbal, and it is not a cymbal that is played in most songs. It is mainly used in jazz music.

Jazz musicians like to use the swish cymbals because they can create a variety of sounds.

Stack Cymbal

Stack Cymbal

A stack cymbal is a type cymbal that has been designed to be stacked on top of each other.

This allows the drummer to get more volume out of his drums. A stack cymbal is usually placed on top of another cymbal.

A stack cymbal has an iconic look, because it looks like a crash cymbal with lots of small holes.

There are three types of stack cymbals: single-headed, double-headed, and triple-headed. Each type of cymbal has its own advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, a single-headed stack cymbal produces a louder sound than a double-headed stack cymbal.

On the other hand, a double-headed stack may give a better tone quality than a single-headed stack.


Stack cymbals are usually pretty big, around 12 inches wide. They usually look like crash cymbals, but with double layers and holes.


Stack cymbals are usually made from aluminum. Aluminum is a good material to work with because it is strong and light. It also does not rust easily.

Playing Surface

To play a stack cymbal, you need to take your hands off the cymbals.

To play the stack cymbal, you should be hitting on the edge. The bow will also create a good sound, because it will create a higher sound.


To play on the stack cymbal, you should play it rarely, and gently.

When playing on the stack cymbals, you should only play for short periods of time. You should try to avoid playing too much at once.

Effect Cymbals

Effect Cymbals

Effect cymbals are a smaller section of cymbals, but they include cymbals such as china, stack, and splash cymbals.

This is because they make unique sounds that should be used for effects, rather than throughout a song.

The section also includes effect cymbals such as the Zildjian crash of doom cymbals.


Effect cymbals come in all sorts of sizes, including large, medium, and small. Large effect cymbals have a diameter of about 20 inches.

Medium effect cymbals have diameters between 16 and 18 inches. Small effect cymbals have a diameter between 10 and 14 inches.


Effect cymbals tend to be made out of almost anything metal.

Some examples of materials that are used to make effect cymbals are brass, bronze, steel, and copper.

These metals are durable, so they do not break easily.

Playing Surface

To play an effect cymbal, you must hold the cymbal in your left hand. In order to play the cymbal, you would then hit it with your right hand.

The best way to play effective cymbals is by using the edge. This will produce a loud sound.


When playing an effect cymbal you should play it lightly. Do not play it hard or fast. Instead, play it softly and slowly.

Finger And Hand Cymbals

Finger And Hand Cymbals

Hand cymbals are not usually thought of as a great instrument, but if you can play them well, it’s a real skill that’s worth having.

Drummers who can play hand cymbals can achieve a wide range of volume and sounds.

Percussionists who play finger cymbals can achieve some nice effects.


As you’d have thought, these cymbals are smaller than your hand. This is because you can play them easily with your hands.


Finger and hand cymbals are typically made from plastic, wood, or metal.

Plastic and wooden cymbals are more common. Metal cymbals are rarer, but still exist.

Playing Surface

You can play finger and hand cymbals by using the edge. If you want to play the cymbals harder, you can use the whole side of your hand.


You can play finger and hand cymbals by using the edges of your fingers.

You can also use the whole side of the hand. You simply hit the cymbal with your hand and fingers.

What Are Cymbal Playing Surfaces?

Playing surfaces refer to the different places you can hit the cymbal. Each point produces a slightly different sound.

These places include the edge of the cymbal (the most popular choice to achieve loudness), the bell (the raised part where the cymbal is attached to its metal rod), and the bow (the sloped part between the edge and the bell).

How Many Drums Should A Drum Kit Have?

Drum kits come in all shapes and sizes. There are some kits that contain more than 20 drums. However, there are other kits that only contain 10-12 drums.

When choosing a kit, consider what kind of music you like to perform. Most regular drum kits have five drums.

This includes the bass drum, the snare drum, the floor tom, and the two upper toms. You can customize your kit by adding more toms.

How Many Cymbals Should A Drum Kit Have?

Generally speaking, there are two types of drums: single-headed drums and double-headed drums.

Single-headed drums come in three basic shapes: cylindrical, conical, and spherical.

Double-headed drums consist of two heads connected by a neck.

There are four main types of double-headed drums: straight, straight/conical, straight/spherical, and curved/spherical.

Final Thoughts

The best way to learn how to play the drums is to practice. Practice will help you develop your skills.

In addition, it is important for you to be able to read sheet music.

If you do not know how to read music, then you need to find someone who does.

Sheet music will help you determine what cymbals to play, as well.