June 24, 2006 9:34 AM   Subscribe

I've seen some drummers lay small cymbals over their snare drums to get a loud, rich 'PANG!' sound. I like that, which leads me to my two-part question: 1. What's the best size/type of cymbal for this effect, and 2. what other ways can I manipulate my drums (preferably without damaging the shells) to get unique sounds?
posted by Evstar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure about the main question, but I presume just a run of the mill splash cymbal is what they're using.

Other things you can do is lay a tambourine on the snare, or the ride cymbal (I think Jim White of Dirty Three does this). I currently drape a keychain on my ride to make it 'sizzly' without putting rivets in my cymbal. I've used some kind of percussion mallets before, and I know a lot of others do too.

But I think half the fun is experimenting with different things for yourself.
posted by iamcrispy at 9:43 AM on June 24, 2006

The pro drummer I work with uses a medium light 13" hat for this. 13" mostly covers the (14") snare. A 14" cymbal would be too snug.
posted by sourwookie at 10:08 AM on June 24, 2006

Jazz drummer here. I tend to favor using an 8" or 10" Splash cymbal on the snare. Something like the Zildjian A Series works nicely, to my ears. You can of course go bigger if you want, but then it's sometimes hard to grab it and pitch it back on the stage when you're mid-song.
posted by peewee at 11:35 AM on June 24, 2006

al jackson of booker t and the mg's used to put his wallet on the snare ... not the same kind of sound, of course
posted by pyramid termite at 5:32 PM on June 24, 2006

The amazing Le Quan Ninh places a tiny china cymbal on a floor tom and blows through its hole, vibrating the head & making a harmonically rich overtone series. So rad.

I do something very similar with my trumpet on an upended marching band bass drum, and with an upside-down trumpet mouthpiece on a rice bowl with a piece of balloon stretched over it. I used to do it on a drum without any tools, just face down & blowing. That was sorta gross though.

A violin or cello bow is also a nice accessory. I used to bow dowels laid across a floor tom. Eddie Prevost (of AMM) famously bows cymbals to great effect.

Sean Meehan in NYC rubs a dowel vertically on a cymbal on a snare drum (that's all he does these days I'm pretty sure) for pretty impressive multiphonic drones.

Another fun trick is a rubber ball (super ball) on a dowel or chopstick, rubbed the right way it will activate a drum head beautifully. Works on cello or contrabass too.

I've seen dudes put vibrators on snare drums, but that's sort of the end of the gimmick cul-de-sac IMO.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:15 AM on June 25, 2006

one more, Joe Tomino sometimes shoots a cap gun barrel-down on his snare, it's pretty rad if you aren't aware that it's coming.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:06 PM on June 25, 2006

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