The Difference Between Ride and Crash Cymbals

The Difference between Ride and Crash CymbalsDrummers have all sorts of different cymbals, toms, and other pieces of equipment in their drum kits. Those who have been playing for years can spot the differences between these many pieces of equipment with only a quick glance, but if you’re just beginning to play the drums, you may have no idea what each of these pieces does. One of the items that can be very confusing is the cymbal. They all kind of look alike, but there are some major differences. Two different cymbals are the ride and the crash cymbal, and they aren’t the same at all.

A ride cymbal is usually going to be thicker. They’re played in a style very similar to the hi-hat cymbals, which are the two cymbals located left of the snare drum. The hi-hat and ride cymbals are used to play the beat. Generally, drummers use either the hi-hat or the ride cymbals along with the snare and bass drum to create the beat of a song. Often, the ride is used during the chorus while the hi-hat is used during the verse.

The crash cymbal, on the other hand, is an accent cymbal. It is generally much louder than the ride cymbal and creates what is called a splash or a crash. When hit with the bass drum, it creates a crash. When hit at the same time as the snare dram, it makes a splash. Usually, a crash is played on the first beat of a four/four measure and on the up beat (the first or third beat), while the splash is done on the down beat, or the two and four beats.

The major difference, as you can see, is that the ride cymbal is played more continuously and at a softer sound than the crash cymbal, which is done for accent. Both are very important to the drum set, and a great drummer will learn how to make the best of both of them.


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