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Cymbals - and knowing when to NOT hit them.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by gustobassman, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    So this weekend i played a couple gigs and one of the bands at Friday's show really got to me. This band wasn't that bad, or that good honestly, but what really struck me was the drummer and his cymbals.. On a small 4 pc kit I counted 6 besides the hi-hat. I know, that's not a ridiculous amount, if you know how to play tastefully. This guy though....

    He made sure to hit each and every one of them in each song, about 3-4 bars apart. Think Keith Moon but cymbals only, no toms. The band rocked in their own special way, but all i heard was Metal. Like Cymbal metal. They kept this up for about 45 minutes. The twangy acoustic guitar the singer was playing really added to that nice sharp metallic, ear-piercing, i-have-to-go-outside-or-i'll-throw-my-drink kinda vibe.

    This was a first for me. Anyone else play with/seen a ridiculous cymbal heavy drummer? I really wish i could've gotten some video... :p
  2. Maybe the drummer was taking too much medication...and overdosed on Cymbalta :)
  3. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I wish my drummer would hit them more...
  4. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Got one here that I don't like playing with because he is hell bent on having a china cymbal on a separate stand outside his high hat and right in my stage space and he uses it for a crash. It sounds like serious doggie poo every time he hits it. And that is OFTEN. He studies and studies and woodsheds and practices and does lots of sub gigs and STILL hasn't figured out how bad this thing sounds when he uses it. Of course, he also plays Vinnie Caliuto fusion riffs in AC/DC songs so I doubt he'll ever get it.
  5. About 15 years ago I took a gig drumming in a rock band after about 10 years of not playing seriously. Let's see, 2 regular crashes, a splash, the ride and as I'm putting the china cymbal up the bass player sez, "You still use a china? Guitar players hate china cymbals."

    "Yeah, I know, that's why I still put it up."

  6. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    ...until they do, then it's too much and it's a long time to get to "just rite" ;)
  7. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    I know what Petrus means.... I had one sit in who wouldn't apply the appropriate crash no matter how much I begged or gestured... he just kept staring blankly and smiling while mimicking Charlie Watts, refusing to hit that hi hat and snare at the same time....
  8. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I hate cymbal overuse, especially in live versions of R&B and dance music that had little cymbals or only hi-hats in the first place. A lot of dance music will have several different hi-hat sounds, all always closed, and no cymbals ever. The default project template in FL studio is kick, clap, hi-hat and snare. No cymbals. But then you get drummers who thinks it's just like playing classic rock and keep hitting cymbals on every song.
  9. pipFunk


    Feb 1, 2005

    I guess you'll probably think this guy has too many drums too? ;)
  10. this reminds me of one of the first drummers i played with. he had an appropriate amount of cymbals, but would hit them at very random times. also, we had to hide his cowbell from him.
  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I played a few weeks ago with a drummer (a sub) that was awful (I posted it here in TB). Not only was he lousy drummer, he had a sizzler on his ride cymbal. Not just a little chain sizzler, either, but one with five fingers, each with five (or so) 1/4" steel balls on it. Damn thing nearly deafened me and the keyboardist.
  12. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    One drummer I USED to play with had a china. I swear, when he hit that thing it would make me lose my balance. I finally moved over to the edge of the stage just to get away from it. Then, other drummers would sometimes hit cymbals at weird times, and I'm thinking, "What was that for? There was no punch in the song right there."

    Dumb, just dumb.
  13. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Trashy cymbals require a drummer with great restraint. Some have it, some don't. :p
  14. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    A producer once told me that a sure fire way to tell a pro drummer from an amateur drummer is this: pro drummers tend to hit the drums hard and have a soft touch on the cymbals; amateur drummers do the opposite. It pretty much holds true in my experience.
  15. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    When I was a teen, one of the first drummers I ever played with used to hit them way too much too. He had one that was cracked and sounded like a trash can lid and a sizzle that he would whack incessantly - drove me crazy
  16. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I guess the solution would be to pursue Alt-J's drummer Thom. Dude doesn't use any cymbals, not even hi hats and still sounds great.
  17. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    We used to have a guy that pretty much only played eight-notes on his ride, all the time, every song, slow or fast. Rarely properly used his hats. Nice guy, but his playing drove me nuts. He'd lose timing on slow songs and had no clue how to play 3/4. (ok, stopping the rant)
  18. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    "What are you using to mic the cymbals?"

    "Pretty much every single mic on the entire stage."
  19. We have a local drummer here in San Jose, CA, who does a regular blues gig with a snare drum, bass drum, and a hi-hat. Nothing else. And he makes it sound really good.

  20. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    At the risk of being exiled....

    I'm a bass player turned drummer. Here is my current set up. 4 piece kit and a lot of cymbals. I do use them all. And yeah, the china gets a work out. Mostly on breakdowns. I play heavy metal. But I don't use every cymbal in every song either.


    And here it was in the studio a few weeks ago. Not my drums, but my cymbals, snare, and hardware.