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Cymbal essentials – part II


Cymbal essentials – part II

Krish continues to talk about the right way to choose cymbals and creating your own set-up. Welcome back. So in the last article we spoke a bit about being sensitive to the sound of the rest of your band, and trusting your ears more than anything. In this part, let’s push the drummer geek level up a bit.

Q. The wonder of Pre-Lathed Cymbals

Well what is lathing you may ask? Lathing is a process that is widely used in the manufacturing industry to give a certain form of finish to a product. So giving a form of finish determines the overtone character of a cymbal.

The geniuses at Meinl however decided to tinker around and create Pre-Lathed cymbals, which as the name suggests, are the ones that are taken and finished without lathing. In fact, they are hammered by hand and then that’s it. . The Byzance Dark Series, as they have been aptly named, hold on to their dirty, raw nature and sound dark with low sustain. And if that wasn’t enough, you now have something called the Byzance Extra dry series, which is another form of pre lathed cymbal whose sustain, is so low that it actually gives a very sharp cutting through tone. It can even be used in form of music like rock and metal if the drummer has the style of playing splashes as a part of a groove or a quick fill.

Also try crashing those dark rides, if you are metal drummer. You would be amazed by what those ride cymbals can do when used as a crash!

Q. Sonic Harmony

The kind of harmony that we speak here is different from the actual term harmony used in music world.  It’s essential for a drummer to not be picking random sounds. You need to understand the nature of a cymbal and how well it sits with the other cymbals in your set-up.

Here is my suggestion, take two cymbals of different series, put them on stands and play them together and see if it’s hurting your ears or if it sounds welcoming. Trust me you will know it when it sounds bad. Please never buy random sounding cymbals. Have your whole set up in mind when you pick each and every cymbal.

Q. Investing in cymbals

Let’s face it, if you want to be a drummer you might as well embrace the fact that this is an expensive instrument and if you are going to be very picky about your sound then it’s going to be even more expensive, but it will be totally worth it! And being picky about your sound defines how professional you are and how serious you are about your music.  Don’t buy random shitty sounding cymbals. Instead save money and buy one cymbal at a time. No hurry. Just don’t waste your money on bad quality cymbals or cymbals that sounds like sheet metal. It will hurt your ear drum. As the wise have always said, good things costs money!

Also, my opinion is as a drummer your first investment should be on High hats.  High hats are pretty much the heart of your cymbal set up. So give priority to hats and ride cymbals first. Don’t buy some fancy crashes and use crappy hats.  In my opinion, crashes can wait!

Best of Luck!

Srikrishna “Krish” Natesan, is officially endorsed by Meinl, Mapex and Vater. Check out his band, Blind Image’s music here –

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