There are three main types of cymbals that make up the core of any drummers cymbal-setup, no matter what type of music they play: hi-hats, crashes, and rides. Click on those names above to get a quick description of each.
These cymbals come in pairs and are mounted on a dedicated hi-hat stand that is played using the foot, which brings the cymbals together to create the sound. The hi-hats are also played with sticks. The most common size for hi-hats are 14", but 13" and 15" are also very popular.
In case you were wondering:
How many cymbals do I need to start playing?
All you need to get started is a pair of hi-hats, one crash, and a ride. That’s the classic set-up and while you’ll see many drummers with very large cymbal set-ups, at the core of nearly all players’ selections is this basic set-up.
Should I invest in a ride, crash, or hi-hats first?
Ideally, you would have all three to start. However, just as the bass drum and snare are the core of the drums, the ride and hi-hat are the core of the cymbal set-up, and the ones you will use the most by far. So if your budget is limited, maybe start with both or either.
I'm ready to upgrade my cymbals. What should I get?
The two things to consider are your budget and what type of sound you’re looking for. SABIAN has 10 different series of cymbals to choose from, each with its own distinct sound characteristics and price point. Spend some time on our site to learn about the different series. The video/audio clips and descriptions will help you narrow down the type of sound you’re looking for, and which series it falls within. It might even be that you’ll want cymbals from more than one series. Mixing series can add a unique blend to your setup. It’s all about the sound you are looking for. An option to consider is our pre-selected, pre-packaged cymbal sets. These are available in most series and come in many different configurations. Some even include a FREE cymbal. This option can help take the guesswork out of your cymbal search.