How To Use A Crash Ride Cymbal: Cymbals Galore!

By Evan C

A Crash And A Ride In One?

You may be wondering how to use a crash ride cymbal if you’re new to drums. It may also be a thought if you’ve been drumming a while and just never played on these types of cymbals before. Let’s talk about crash ride cymbals and the different ways we can use them. 

Crash Rides Are Great

A crash ride cymbal is an excellent addition to any drummer’s kit. It can produce a wide range of sounds, making it a versatile option for drummers.

Using a crash ride cymbal is a great way to add depth and texture to your music. Whether you’re playing jazz, rock, or pop, this cymbal can help you create the perfect sound.

The best option when using a crash ride cymbal is to experiment with different techniques. You can use it as a traditional ride cymbal by striking the bow with the tip of the drumstick.

This creates a clear and defined ping sound that’s perfect for leading beats or keeping time in any songs.

Alternatively, you can use it as a crash cymbal by striking the edge of the cymbal with the shoulder of your stick.

A diagram showing the bow and edge of a cymbal

Things To Look At With Crash Rides

That’s pretty much sums up how to use a crash ride cymbal, but let’s dig into specifics. I wanted to talk in detail about how you can use this particular cymbal behind your drum set. 

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How To Use A Crash Ride Cymbal Properly

A crash ride cymbal is a versatile cymbal that combines the features of both a crash cymbal and a ride cymbal.

It has a medium weight, and it’s larger in size than a typical crash cymbal, but typically smaller than a ride cymbal (at least in weight).

The crash ride cymbal is often used in genres such as rock, pop, jazz, and metal. In this post, we’ll discuss how to use a crash ride cymbal in your playing.

  1. As a crash cymbal

The crash ride cymbal can be used as a crash cymbal to provide a loud, explosive accent in your playing.

To use it as a crash cymbal, strike the edge of the cymbal with a drumstick or a mallet while keeping your wrist loose and relaxed.

The cymbal will produce a loud, explosive sound that can add impact to your music. You can either use it to crash repeatedly on like you’re holding a beat, or to end a drum fill. There’s no rule that says you can’t use it sporadically through any song (as long as it makes sense). 

Crash a crash ride 😀
  1. As a ride cymbal

The crash ride cymbal can also be used as a ride cymbal to provide a steady, rhythmic pulse to your playing. To use it as a ride cymbal, strike the cymbal near the bell with a drumstick or a mallet.

The cymbal will produce a clear, sustained sound on the top of the cymbal that can help drive the rhythm of your beat. 

Ride a crash ride 🤭
  1. As a crash-ride cymbal

As the name suggests, the crash ride cymbal can also be used as a combination of a crash and a ride cymbal.

To use it as a crash-ride cymbal, strike the edge of the cymbal with a drumstick or a mallet while also switching between hitting the bow of the cymbal.

This will produce a sound that combines the explosiveness of a crash with the rhythmic sound of a ride cymbal.

4. Experiment and explore

Ultimately, the best way to use a crash ride cymbal is to experiment and explore. Try different techniques and see what sounds you can create.

How to use a crash ride cymbal
Ride and crash on a crash ride 😱

Use it to accentuate different parts of your music and to add your own personal touch to your playing. With practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to incorporate the crash ride cymbal into your playing in a way that feels natural and expressive.

In conclusion, the crash ride cymbal is a versatile and useful addition to any drummer’s arsenal. Whether you use it as a crash cymbal, a ride cymbal, a crash-ride cymbal, or for accents and fills, the crash ride cymbal can add impact and energy to your music.

So, grab your sticks and start exploring the possibilities of the crash ride cymbal today! It’s pretty easy to learn how to use a crash ride cymbal.

You can find all kinds of exclusive offers on different crash rides on Musician’s Friend!

Other Things to Consider and Mention

Position: There is no right place to have crash ride cymbals. You can place them on your right side or the left side, depending on what hand you lead with or what works for the setup of your current cymbals.

If you wanted a more normal ride cymbal and only wanted to crash so often, it may make sense to keep it closer to your floor tom.

This would allow you keep a steady rhythm, but then also have loud crash accents in there when you want. 

Size: This cymbal type will typically range from 18″ – 22″. This is really the sweet spot in terms of an average ride cymbal and can give a big sound when you crash it. 

Larger cymbals tend to produce deeper and louder sounds, while smaller size ones produce higher-pitched and brighter sounds.

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Thickness: The thickness of a cymbal affects its overall sound and response. Thicker cymbals tend to produce higher volume levels, stronger and longer sustain, and a pronounced bell sound.

Thinner cymbals, on the other hand, are generally more responsive, have quicker decay, and offer a more delicate and shimmering sound.

Jazz drummers may find that thinner crash rides work better for them, while a rock drummer make like a heavier cymbal. 

Hammering and Lathing: Cymbals undergo various manufacturing processes, including hammering and lathing (from a molten metal disc), which significantly influence their sound.

Hammering involves shaping the cymbal’s surface by striking it with a hammer, creating a range of tonal complexities and adding texture.

Lathing involves removing metal from the cymbal’s surface through machine-cut grooves, which affects the overall brightness, response, and decay.

All of these things are the ingredients that are used in conjunction to fulfill the sound properties of all cymbals.

If we were to compare the 21″ Zildjian K medium/thin crash ride and the 22″ Paiste Masters Dark crash ride, you’d see several differences that give the cymbals their unique characteristics

Zildjian K crash ride
Zildjian K medium/thin crash ride

For example, a 21″ Zildjian K medium/thin crash ride will offer a more mellow and medium ride sound, as well as good stick definition and a dark crash.

There will be more decay and a much louder volume. The Paiste Masters Dark crash ride will have a lower volume, much quicker and trashier sound, and a smaller bell. 

Paiste Masters Dark crash ride
Paiste Masters Dark crash ride

While both cymbals have great tonal properties, the Paiste will have more unique tonal complexities, due to all of those factors, including the large hammering marks. 


You may also see crash ride cymbals made of brass out there and they are typically marketed towards beginner drummers.

If you like and it works for you, that’s all the matters! However, bronze cymbals that are a B20 composition (80% copper and 20% tin) are typically the high-end cymbals and will give you the best sound.

Although, beginner cymbals made of bronze (usually B8 which is 92% copper and 10% tin) still can sound great behind your drum kit. 

I have a few crash rides that I used for many years, but don’t use them as much as my ears have changed. They are Saluda cymbals and I definitely recommend them! Check out this post I did about them by clicking here!

I used to like thick crashes and rides, but I prefer thin crash cymbals with a faster, harsher decay. I also prefer rides that are more dark and washy, with a controlled stick definition.

Either way, good rides and crashes are subjective. However, together you can have a fantastic cymbal that can bring liveliness to your chops!

So, it may take you a while to learn how to use a crash ride cymbal because your ears may change too. As your ears change, your style of playing may change as well.

Then, you’ll figure out better ways to use a crash ride. I feel the more use you can get out of cymbals the better!

Sounds And People Change

Anyways, what a cymbal sounds like and how to use a crash ride cymbal are correlated in my opinion.

 They are good dual purpose cymbals, but also great with splash cymbals, china cymbals, and effects cymbals. 

I’d recommend checking them out or get a thinner ride and just use that as a crash.

Your Ideas On How To Use A Crash Ride Cymbal

What are your thoughts on crash rides? Do you think they are good fur drummers to have? I’d love to hear your opinions and anything else. Let me know in the comments below!

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Until next time, stay attuned!

-Evan C.

About the author

Hi there, I'm Evan and I love drums.. Also, I love music! I've been playing drums for most of my life and nothing beats the thrill I get from it. I hope to be able to provide you with insightful tips and reviews on things within the drum and music world!

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