Different Cymbal Playing Styles on a Drumkit

Cymbals are an essential part of the drum kit, and the way they are played can vary greatly depending on the style of music.

In this article, we will explore some of the different cymbal playing styles, and how they can be used to create a variety of sounds.


The hi-hats are the most versatile cymbals on the drum kit, and they can be played in a variety of ways. The most common way to play the hi-hats is with the foot pedal, which opens and closes the cymbals. This creates a consistent, even sound that is often used to keep time. However, the hi-hats can also be played with the sticks, which allows for a more expressive sound. For example, drummers often use the sticks to create rolls, flams, and other intricate patterns on the hi-hats.

Crash Cymbals

Crash cymbals are used to add accents and energy to a drum beat. They are typically played with a loud, forceful stroke, which creates a sharp, crashing sound. Crash cymbals can be played on their own, or they can be used in combination with other cymbals, such as the ride cymbal.

Ride Cymbals

The ride cymbal is used to keep time and provide a consistent background sound. It is typically played with a steady, even stroke, which creates a shimmering, bell-like sound. The ride cymbal can also be used to play more expressive patterns, such as rolls and flams.

Other Cymbals

In addition to the hi-hats, crash cymbals, and ride cymbal, there are a variety of other cymbals that can be used on the drum kit. These include splash cymbals, china cymbals, and gongs. Each of these cymbals has its own unique sound, and they can be used to create a variety of effects.


The different cymbal playing styles on a drumkit can be used to create a wide range of sounds. By understanding the different techniques and styles, drummers can add variety and interest to their playing.

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