Crash Cymbal Skills

Lesson Overview

Now that we’ve covered the basics of this subject in The Fundamentals of Cymbal Crashes, we can talk about specific skills. This second part of the tutorial will address staccato crashes and 2-handed technique.

The Staccato Crash

This a simple, commonly used skill. It's basic, yet necessary. This type of crash is performed by striking a crash cymbal, then quickly muting it. The muting is accomplished by grabbing the ringing cymbal with the opposite hand. If the right hand is used to crash, then the left is used to mute & visa-versa. Typically, this type of crash is performed in combination with a bass drum stroke. Use of the bass drum allows the drummer to keep both hands free to perform the skill.

The following video briefly demonstrates.

Two-Handed Crash Technique

As I've mentioned in past tutorials, I took an 18 year break from drumming in my 20's & 30's. I'm pointing this out because, when I made the decision to begin playing again, I also decided to rectify some of the weaknesses in my previous technique. One of those was my lack of comfort with left-handed crash work. I'm naturally right-handed and therefore tended to favor my right hand for crashes. Back then, I guess I didn't see it as a big deal. The problem is, like every other weakness you leave unaddressed, eventually it comes back to haunt you. As your playing progresses, these types of issues begin to impose limitations on your development. Simply put, to be an effective drummer at an advanced level, you need the ability to work pretty equally with both hands. Drummers practice rudiments beginning & ending with both hands. This is just a natural extension of the same principle.

This next video demonstrates the skill.

Part 3 of this series Crash Cymbal Drills For Skills will cover drills for cymbal skills including practice techniques to assist in further development of your skills.

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About Tom Hoffman

Tom Hoffman currently lives in the Midwestern section of the USA. He started playing drums at the age of 13. That began the first phase of his musical journey. Seven months later he joined his first band. From that moment on, he was hooked! By age 15, he was functioning as both a drummer & a singer. At 16, like many other aspiring musicians, he began teaching in conjunction with local drum shop programs. From age 20 to age 23, he was one of the founding members of a band called "Nickels". During that period, Nickels was a common fixture throughout the local club circuit. The band was also given the opportunity to serve as opening act for a number of national groups appearing at local concert venues. At age 23, for various reasons, he decided to end the first part of his musical journey. He left Nickels, sold all his equipment and stopped playing altogether.

.....anyway, onward & upward into Phase #2. Apparently, Tom never lost the itch to play an active part in music. At age 40, he was looking to scratch that itch. He had something different in mind this time though......not performance.....writing. He'd always wanted to become more involved in the creative end of things, so that was the goal this time. One small problem though.....he lacked all of the skills, knowledge and equipment necessary to make it happen. That didn't turn out to be an insurmountable obstacle though. Over the next 2 years, he went about the task of addressing his musical shortcomings. By age 42 he had achieved a reasonable level of competency as a drummer, guitarist and bass player. He had also managed to acquire a fundamental knowledge of both music theory & home recording.

Tom is now 56. For the past 14 years he's been primarily an amateur singer-songwriter, but has never lost the passion for his first love....drums. He's still an active drummer and intends to continue in that capacity. In recent years, many of his songs have achieved various levels of recognition in international writing contests. He's been a finalist, a 6-time semi-finalist and a runner-up. He has also received a number of honorable mentions, but has yet to win. "Winning" is still a work-in-progress. For anyone interested, the following link contains a detailed breakdown of the award results. Tunesmith Awards.


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