Education - Anatomy of a Cymbal

Bell Size

Cymbals with larger bells generally produce more overtones and greater volume than cymbals with smaller bells.


Weight greatly affects the volume, articulation, and overall sound and power of a cymbal. Thinner models respond fastest (vibrations move through the metal faster) and produce fuller sounds. Thinner crashes are explosive and full sounding. The sound of thinner rides is more tone than stick articulation. Thinner models are best suited for light to moderate volumes. Heavier models respond with bigger, louder sounds. Crashes have more attack and penetration, while hi-hats and rides have increased stick articulation, so the strokes you play are clearer. Medium weight models offer the most versatility, though mixing weights may be your answer to a great sounding set-up.

If you are playing hard and loud, medium to heavy weights are recommended. These are thicker, more durable cymbals designed to perform in louder situations. Heavier Cymbals = Increased Volume, Longer Sustain, and Higher Pitch.


As the profile becomes higher, so does the pitch. Low pitch sounds blend with the music. High pitch sounds are more cutting and better for louder playing. Higher Profile = Higher Pitch, Brighter Response, and Increased Cut.


Larger cymbals generally have more volume, longer sustain and slower response than smaller cymbals. Bigger Cymbals = Increased Volume, Longer Sustain, and Bigger Sound.


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