Monday, February 22, 2021

Bonne Fete a Moi and cymbal concepts

 Hi everyone,

I have (nearly) just achieved another year circling the sun and am very glad of it! 

On a completely unrelated note, I was recently thinking about cymbals and my relationship to them. I recently read online about a drummer's quest for the "perfect' cymbal. In my opinion, there are no perfect cymbals just like there are no perfect people, and I'm grateful for that in both cases! I'm actually of the opinion when most drummers don't like the sound of a cymbal, they switch them rather than learning how to play to get their conception out of said instrument. I'd like to offer a simple exercise regarding this, but first a little personal history….

I'm not crazy about a lot of the ride cymbals I hear. ( Keep in mind that even designating cymbals "ride' and "crash" has only been a thing for about half as long as the modern drum set.) On the other hand, I rarely hear a "crash" cymbal that I don't like immediately. I blame Ringo and Art Blakey. Ringo for that great sssshhhhh/white noise/no stick sound on the early Beatles records, and Blakey for that great Pwoosh that swells slightly after the impact of his Ks. (Speaking of Ks, I associate the sound of Ks more with Blakey than even Tony or Elvin and if there was such a thing as a "perfect" cymbal, Blakey's in the 50s and 60s would be it for me!) Anyway, I have found a great exercise to work on our Jazz ride rhythm articulation is to practice on thin/crash/small cymbals and still get the attack of the ride without it washing out. Don't use any Earth, DeJohnette, or flat cymbals for this, you have to work for that ride rhythm! :) Keep any decent cymbal a chance, and a good player will teach it how to work for them! :) 

And here's Art Blakey playing that cymbal sound that's been in my head since I was in high school! Enjoy!

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