Best Ride Cymbals

Best Ride Cymbals: What are they?

A good question! A great question! And a very important one at that. The answer to both questions is “best” and it’s not necessarily what you think it is. Let me explain…

The word “ride” comes from the Latin rēre which means to move or travel (as opposed to travel by horse). When we say a piece of music moves us, we’re talking about the sound being made. That’s why when someone says something moves them, they mean it physically moves their body. Sounds like a simple enough definition but there are many other factors involved in making a piece of music move us emotionally or mentally.

For example, some pieces will make us feel happy while others might make us sad. Some will make us laugh while others might make us cry. These are all different types of movement and each type has its own characteristics.

As you may have noticed, there is no single best ride cymbal. There are many different kinds of rides and they’re all going to suit different musical styles. If you listen carefully to any musician, you’ll notice that the sounds they use come from a variety of sources including wind instruments, percussion, guitars, drums and even synthesizers.

There are many different kinds of cymbals and they all come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Just as with other instruments, the selection of cymbal is one of personal preference and style. A composer will probably need to have a bit more explanation than a jazz musician but even then, it’s still based on their own personal experience and tastes.

There are many different kinds of crashes and each one has a specific sound and tone. The most popular would probably be the classic crash cymbal but, as with other instruments and sounds, it’s one of those things that is a matter of personal preference.

Sources & references used in this article:

A scientific approach to microphone placement for cymbals in live sound by JJ Harrison, AJ Hill – 2013 –

SOUNDING BRASS AND CYMBALS. by R Zildjian – Music Journal, 1957 –

The drum handbook: buying, maintaining, and getting the best from your drum kit by G Nicholls – 2003 –

Automatic classification of drum sounds with indefinite pitch by VMA Souza, GE Batista… – 2015 International Joint …, 2015 –

Swinging the Jazz Band: Initial Steps for the Drummer by S Ulano – Music Educators Journal, 1975 –