The Importance of Soft Cymbals
When playing the drums, it’s important to have a variety of sounds and techniques at your disposal. Cymbals are a crucial part of any drum kit, and can add a lot of character to your playing. While hard hitting cymbals can create a powerful crash, there are times when you want a softer, more delicate sound. In this article, we’ll explore how to produce a soft sound on the cymbals.
Choosing the Right Cymbals
The first step to producing a soft cymbal sound is choosing the right cymbals. Not all cymbals are created equal, and some are better suited for soft playing than others. If you’re looking for a soft sound, consider using thinner cymbals. These cymbals will be more responsive to light touches, and will produce a more delicate sound. Additionally, you may want to consider using cymbals with smaller diameters. Smaller cymbals require less force to produce a sound, which can make them easier to play softly.
Using a Light Touch
The key to producing a soft cymbal sound is using a light touch. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that the amount of force you use can dramatically affect the sound you produce. When playing softly, you want to use a light touch and let the cymbals do the work for you. Try using a technique called “feathering,” where you lightly tap the cymbals with the tips of your drumsticks. This will produce a soft, swirling sound that’s perfect for more delicate passages.
Controlling the Decay
When playing softly, it’s important to control the decay of the cymbals. Decay refers to the amount of time it takes for the sound of the cymbal to fade away. If you’re not careful, a soft cymbal sound can quickly turn into an unpleasant clatter. To control the decay, try using your non-dominant hand to mute the cymbals after you strike them. This will help to cut off the sound and keep it from ringing out too long.
Experimenting with Different Techniques
Producing a soft cymbal sound is all about experimentation. While the tips above are a great starting point, there are countless other techniques you can use to create different sounds. Try playing around with different drumstick grips, or experiment with playing the cymbals with your hands instead of sticks. The more you experiment, the more sounds you’ll be able to add to your drumming arsenal.
Producing a soft cymbal sound is a valuable skill for any drummer to have. By choosing the right cymbals, using a light touch, and controlling the decay of the sound, you can create a wide range of delicate and nuanced sounds. Remember to experiment and have fun with it, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of soft cymbal playing.