Cymbals for congueros - hand playing your cymbals

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Postby dannydrumperc » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:33 pm

Hi guys!

I play a multi-percussion setup and hand-crash my cymbals a lot while playing congas. I use a 14" paperthin crash, a ZXT Trashformer and 8" K splash, all Zildjians (dah, :p ).

I know that both Zildjian and Sabian have specialty model cymbals for the hand percussionist, but (IMHO) almost any thin cymbal will work well for this application (the thinnest, the best), like Sabian's Ozone crashes.

What cymbals are you using in your setups? What models would you like to try?
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Postby Berimbau » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:39 pm

Hey Danny,
I feel rather fortunate in that I'm usually in the driver's seat as a percussionist/bandleader. By doing a lot of multi-culti world music and jazz without a kit drummer, it allows for a greater range of dynamic levels. I can just play berimbau, or triangle, and/or caxixi, move up dynamically to pandeiro, darabuka, or bongo, or go full out with congas and cymbals. A lot of contemporary drummers use up too much space for my own personal taste. Less is more. I love it when the percussion is sparse, intelligent, and dramatic. A really great percussionist knows how to convey a story by using not just rhythm, but color and melody, too.
For most gigs I use three cymbals: an ancient 18" Tosco Italian flat top ride, an equally ancient 8' Zildjian splash, and the youngster of the trio, a twenty year old Sabian 14" thin crash. These three cymbals have a real beautiful integrity to their blend, and I don't think it would be possible to replace one. I also like their dynamic level as it allows me to play acoustically which is best. Because I was fortunate enough to have studied with Nana Vasconcelos, I use each of my instruments rather sparingly.
My Tosco ride may seem anomalous to most, but I love it for it's extreme dryness and low wash. Trust me, not even the K's match it, but then again I'm obviously looking for a very particular sound. I sometimes supplement these with either a 12" Wuhan or a 16" Sabian china crash, or with a few Wuhan gongs, a 22" wind gong, and an 8" opera gong and a 14" jing gong.
The crashes are sounded in most cases with my bare hands, as I saw John Bonham do back in concert back in the 1960's. At times I will also use sticks (Vic Firth Echo) or a soft mallet (American Drum). Sometimes I play the ride with a stick and my quinto with either a bare hand, a brush, another stick, or a Flix Blaststick.
This is rather a lot about equipment, which is important, but for me space is just as important. Nana taught me how to play the spaces for which I'm greatful. I look forward to our colleagues replies.


Saludos,


Berimbau
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Postby yoni » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:49 pm

Hi Danny, Hi Berimbau,

When I use my hand cymbals they are a ZildjianK 8" splash, very thin, and a 1958 Zildjian 10" splash, also very thin.

Berimbau, I agree with you, less can be more, and for me it can also apply to amount of equipment. When space and transport permit, I do take all 3 of my congas to a show, (when congas are especially needed for that type of music) and even add a 4th drum, an ntenga, for a real bass sound.

But lately I'm into the "oneness" of one drum, and specialize on darbuka or dahola the last few years and may have reached a level on these drums I never even approached on congas. I like the idea of one instrument, just like one violin, one bass, one horn, one guitar. Not to mention that it's easier to carry one drum around!

Danny, I like that you're using a paper thin cymbal. I think all hand cymbals should be very thin, safer this way.

All the best,
yoni
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Postby dannydrumperc » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:40 pm

yoni wrote:Danny, I like that you're using a paper thin cymbal. I think all hand cymbals should be very thin, safer this way.

I also think it's safer that way - the less mass in the cymbal the less force needed for exciting it, ergo less risk of injuries.

I've never tried hand crashing on big cymbals - 19"+ (at least not seriously). My 2 bigger crash cymbals are both 16", so they are not big. They are both medium thin (A and K Zildjians), making them not suitable for this application. I've thinking about adding a bigger (than 14" :D) crash for hand crashing but I'm not sure how big it must be. Maybe an 18 incher will do it fine; of course in paper-thin weight.

Small cymbals react faster then bigger ones, and hand crashing adds certain amount of delay to the crash. Do any of you have any experience with big cymbals within this context (hand crashing)? Have any of you tried the A Customs and K Customs Fast Crash cymbals?




Edited By dannydrumperc on 1108586480
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Postby Berimbau » Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:25 pm

Yoni,
Hope no one has a cow as we are technically off-topic, but let 'em talk. I'm with you too, my friend! I used to carry three tubs and boxes of instruments to each and every gig. After studying with Nana in the late 1970's, I got into using JUST ONE DRUM! I know that would just kill a lot of our posters here, but the sonic potential of one tub is absolutely endless.
On other gigs I will use just a darabuka, pandeiro, or bongo as my main axe. I will use two tubs on some latin or jazz dates, but I'm 50 and hate schlepping equipment around. I have nothing to prove anymore, so I leave that to the young players!
Heave-hoe!
Peace Out,


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Postby GuruPimpi » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:57 am

I see that many of you are using old and vintage cymbals, which i can't get here in Slovenija since the culture of world percussion is strongly evolving in last ten years.

Can anyone of you tell me which cymbals you recommend from todays new series?

Thanks a lot,

Primoz
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Postby dannydrumperc » Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:52 pm

GuruPimpi wrote:Can anyone of you tell me which cymbals you recommend from todays new series?


Any thing thin enough to produce a good sound when hand played. Sabian and Zildjian are manufacturing hand percussion models under the names Azuka (Z) and El Sabor (S), but I like to go with versatile cymbals that I can use in my drumset too. I don't know about any other manufacturers (Paiste, UFIP, etc.) with similar models. Wuhans would be worth to try.

Positioning is the clue for preventing injuries. If you need more volume try bigger cymbals, not beating them harder. For more volume you'll need a massivier instrument. Thin cymbals don't project as well as thicker ones, so the extra needed mass is to be found on a bigger diameter instrument.

Edit: Meinl has the Candela line.




Edited By dannydrumperc on 1108651862
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Postby yoni » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:11 pm

Sorry guys, also off topic, but Berimbau, your post cracked me up and made my day!

Heave-hoe! :D
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Postby Mike » Sat May 05, 2007 6:12 pm

Hi there!

Does anyone play the Meinl Candela cymbals?

They are supposed to be very thin - well, the thin models at least :;):
and thus very appropiate-

I´m just being very curious... Any input????
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Postby deadhead » Sat May 05, 2007 10:11 pm

Does anyone play the Meinl Candela cymbals?


Never played their hand cymbals, but I had a 10" Candela Percussion FX Bell with 3 sizzles, souded like crap in my opinion. I use Meinl hi-hats that I love, not Candela though. I've used Sabian El Sabors and they sound great with hand or stick. Istanbul also has some thin "hand and stick" series splashes and crashes, never played those, but their other cymbal lines are amazing.
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Postby pavloconga » Sun May 06, 2007 12:06 am

Berimbau wrote:I can just play berimbau, or triangle, and/or caxixi, move up dynamically to pandeiro, darabuka, or bongo, or go full out with congas and cymbals. A lot of contemporary drummers use up too much space for my own personal taste. Less is more. I love it when the percussion is sparse, intelligent, and dramatic. A really great percussionist knows how to convey a story by using not just rhythm, but color and melody, too.
... for me space is just as important. Nana taught me how to play the spaces for which I'm greatful. I look forward to our colleagues replies.


Saludos,


Berimbau

Hi Berimbau,
This may be off topic too, but would be great to hear more about what your teacher taught you about 'playing the spaces'. I think it's really important stuff for a percussionist and I'd be very interested to hear a new or different approach.
regards
Pavlo
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Postby Mike » Sun May 06, 2007 4:53 am

Thanxs for sharing anyway, deadhead!

There is candela splash at ebay at the moment, and I wasted some thoughts on that.... But then, buying a cymbal you don´t know anything about without testing it is.... nutty :D
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Postby Diceman » Sun May 06, 2007 11:55 am

Mike,

Get it.
I have a Candela splash and I love it. It has a bright short sound and is easily excited with the hand.
Gramatically speaking I use it for commas IYKWIM
Sorry, thats just the way I think of cymbals, chimes, vibraslaps etc

Suave
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Postby Mike » Sun May 06, 2007 1:35 pm

Hi Diceman,

funnily enough I got it.

Ebay can be strangesometimes, I got the splash for 32,50€.

Not too bad for a new Candela, I guess.

Now let´s see and - splash!! :;):
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Postby Mike » Sun May 06, 2007 2:23 pm

IYKWIM


Please explain to somebody who is not used to cryptic signs :;): :) :D :laugh:
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