Hi-Hats are a pair of cymbals (usually with the top hi-hat lighter than the bottom) played with sticks and controlled by the foot. Time is kept with either or both. Opening and closing the Hi-Hat while playing on it can create anything from an explosive, trashy sound to a silky smooth one. Sometimes multiple Hi-Hats (sometimes called Remote Hi-Hats or X-Hats) are used as effect cymbals.
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Although the Hi-Hat has become the primary time keeper for many contemporary styles of music, the Ride is the more traditional keeper of the pulse. A heavy Ride cymbal will have a very dry, well-defined stick sound and a penetrating bell. Lighter Rides have a “washier” sound that is often described as being “wetter”.
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Heavier than a Crash but lighter than a Ride, Crash-Rides don’t have the dryness and clarity of a Ride or the fullness and sparkle of a Crash. However, Crash-Rides have their own sound and purpose and are used more and more in modern music situations to both sustain the pulse and create accents.
Accents & Effects
Crash cymbals explode on impact and have a shimmering, although relatively short, decay. They are used to accent a section, phrase or fill as well as to create dynamic swells and sustained roars.
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Stackers are “vented” cymbals that can be used individually or in combination with other cymbals. Their holes serve to interrupt the cymbal’s normal vibration to create a trashy, controlled effect.
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Named for its country of origin, the China cymbal provides a short, trashy, colorful contrast to other cymbals and is appropriate for riding, crashing and special effects.
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Small in size and short in duration, the distinctive sound of Splash cymbals is used in virtually every musical application, from Jazz and Latin to R&B and Metal.
Heavy Bells have a piercing tone and a long decay— providing an ear-catching effect that cuts through any musical situation.