Cymbals are one of the most versatile musical instruments. There are different products made for specific environments.
I was recently looking for the best cymbals I could use for church service but did not seem to get the right information. It came as a shock, considering just how many cymbals are out there.
This is why I decided to write this review. I recently did another review on the best cymbals for church, and today, I will be giving a more comprehensive guide on the best cymbals for general church services.
In other words, I will not dwell entirely on reviewing the cymbals as I did early.
Instead, I will show you how you can play them, as well as choose the right cymbals.
What Others Say About Cymbals for Church
As usual, I went online to see what other people are saying about drumming for cymbals in general. And I must agree, many of them seem to agree that it does not matter the type of cymbal you have.
Anything can do, as long as you know how to use your gear. You may have the best cymbals but fail to put them in good use, which is worse than having poor quality cymbals.
From drumchat.com, there is this drummer who says, “When I played in church, I just played softer and used my regular gigging staff. A friend I have used the Sabian fast crashes. One is 15-inch and the other 16-inch. They are thin and have a very fast explosion and decay very fast. He uses an old Zildjian 18-inch crash ride by he mostly relies on the 12-inch splash. His hats are the Meinl HCS 14-inch. He hits these hard, and they don’t overpower anything very much. They sound very good out front. I am very impressed with this choice.”
There are several things I can get from this comment. First, church music is not like the regular gigs we do at the bar or anywhere else for that matter. It needs a more subtle approach, more or less like jazz.
Also, choosing the right cymbals for this environment is very crucial. You don’t want anything that will overpower the other instruments and create discord.
Another responder offering a solution to a question raised on the best cymbals for the church says, “Zildjian’s Inspiration cymbal pack. I don’t know if your music store in your area has these in stock …”
Well, Zildjian is one of the main cymbal manufacturers. It does not come as a surprise that many users will quote their products.
I have been using a combination of some Zildjians top-line cymbals and a few Sabians and Paistes. I like mixing up my kits for the best performance.
Many experts drummers agree that it all comes down to how you pick and set your gear.
Many beginner drummers find it hard, creating a good environment to learn good drumming because they don’t know what they are looking for.
How to Set Your Cymbals For Church?
Drumming in a church can be very hard. Many times, you will be told that you are too loud. Also, the drummer generally determines how good the band plays.
In other words, the main issues in a church set up is noise. Once you find a way to tame the volume of cymbals, you can play on any combination, and it will come out great.
Here are four of the best way to control your drum set.
I have heard people saying many times that drums are loud. But have you ever seen drums stored safely somewhere talking or making noise? I bet not.
This means drums will only make a sound when you play them. And it is your hands that do the job in this case.
So, if you want to play cymbals well for your church, learn to control your hands.
This is one point that I cannot emphasize enough. Cymbals will not make any sound until you strike them. And the level of noise that comes out depends on how hard you are hitting them.
If the cymbals in your church are thick and heavy, you should consider hitting them a bit lighter. It is all about discipline in the way you play or practice your drums.
Church music requires emotion and feeling. You will feel the reward as you bring them into your drum kit.
Note that your drum set is made up of different parts that should work in perfect harmony. It would be best to balance them in the right way for the listener, no matter the gear you may be using.
This discipline comes with practice.
Dry and Low-Volume Cymbals
If you are not able to control the excitement, there are other good options you should consider. I am talking about dry and low-volume cymbals.
And the good news is, cymbal manufacturers are stepping up to offer these solutions. They have realized how much drummers need them and doing everything to offer a solution.
Meinl has its Byzance line from which you can get the Extra Dry option. They are wonderful cymbals that will serve well in any music kind and works perfectly in churches. They are extra thin and hammered to give a dry function with fast decay. They are generally low pitched, and hence, no too much low and harsh high frequencies.
Sabian also offers their FRX line, which is made from the normal used high-end cymbals. Little holes are drilled in strategic places to contain those bad frequencies may people don’t like.
They are played like any other cymbals, but the perceived volume is much lower because of the contained frequencies.
Another great option is the Zildjian L80. This is one of the best low sounding cymbals on the market. Also, they come at a good price.
I have seen many of my friends in churches use dry and low-frequency cymbals, which do a fantastic job.
It would be best if you invested in high-quality, low-volume cymbals for a church setting. Unfortunately, they are very expensive, and many people cannot afford them.
Besides, you may not have the luxury to buy different cymbals for different settings. For his reason, you just need simple solutions that will serve you in different situations.
This is where muting products can come in handy. You may have seen cymbals that have a tape on the bottom.
Drummers use this approach to dry up the cymbal and shorten the decay. But tape is a bad idea for cymbals as it leaves a sticky residue.
Instead, use products like drumtacs. These are sound control pads for both cymbals and drums. The stick well on your cymbal and will come off without leaving any sticky marks.
Try putting one under the bell of each cymbal, and add seen fit. And you can place them anywhere you want, as long as it does not interfere with your hitting surface.
Another great option would be to use a drum shield. However, no drummer enjoys playing behind shields, although sometimes you just don’t have any option.
They reduce your drums and cymbals’ volume significantly because you will be playing behind a plastic wall.
There is, however, that feeling of disconnection when you are forced to play behind the wall. It is like you are not even playing to a real audience, and there is no motivation.
However, you will still need to be professional and do the job as required. If drum shields are the only option available, there are always ways to make it sound great to your advantage.
Since you are still playing music and hit as hard as you want, make the best of it. If you are a good drummer, it does not matter where you are playing.
What Are the Best Cymbals for Church?
Playing drum set cymbals in a church setting can be tricky. I have played in a bar gig, as well as in church, and there are very significant differences.
Drummers are sometimes forced to play behind shields or use a bad sounding electronic drum kit. Special considerations like volume, tone, and versatility are often the main concerns.
You can still use thin cymbals in a church environment. And since you already know how to control the volume, here are some of the best cymbals for the job.
Zildjian has always been one of my best cymbal makers, and I know many drummers feel the same too. This S thin crash cymbal comes in 14, 15, 17, 18- and 20-inches configuration.
You can therefore pick the smaller size if you want less volume. And since they are already thin, you won’t have much trouble with the sound.
The crash was designed for all levels of drums, all the way to professionals. It is made from B12 allow for balanced frequencies. Also, it features top-bottom lathing for a sturdy weight, feels, and sound. Extensive hammering for dialed-in sonic response and brilliant finish all contribute to the quality of sound you get.
It is hard to discuss the best cymbals without mentioning something from Sabian. And this Quiet Tone Crash speaks volumes about the brand.
It is designed for practice, but can still be used for quiet worship areas.
It delivers a solid bell sound for a true-life experience. The bow/edge is highly responsive, and it offers a traditional feel on this crash.
The cymbal is constructed from a tough and durable metal alloy. And coming from Sabian, you can always count on its quality.
These Agean R low volume cymbals are not the cheapest cymbals out there. But there are worth the investment if you want to deliver those low volume sounds effectively.
The set comes fully packed with a pair of 14-inch hi-hats, a 16-inch crash, and 18-inch crash, and a 20-inch ride. You also get a cymbal bag for easy transportation.
You can start playing straight from the box as the pack comes full with every instrument you need to complete your set.
The R series cymbals are crafted from high-quality B20 alloy in Istanbul. They feature beautifully hand-drilled holes, one at a time to ensure rich and clear tones even at low sounds.
You can use the cymbals for small gigs and in the church setting. I have not seen any complaints about this product, even though Agean is not among the biggest manufacturers.
This nicely crafted crash cymbal is known for its excellent sounds at a very low price. It is a soft cymbal that is used for less aggressive environments like jazz and churches.
They offer smooth playability, with an explosive sound that is not too loud. They also come with a reasonable weight, which makes them perfect for different settings, especially in church.
The cymbal measures 13.6 inches are is made from high-quality brass. It is, therefore, long-lasting, with a unique, bright sound. You will appreciate the response this cymbal offers too.
Zildjian is one cymbal manufacturer that does not need any introduction. It has been on the market for more than 200 years serving various generations of cymbal users.
If therefore, you are looking for something different, by affordable, the Gen16 buffed crash cymbal is for you. It will give you everything you need, from an attractive look to huge sonic characteristics.
Its structural design is aimed at delivering high-end cymbal feel. It is a great option for low volume cymbals, with a dimension of 16 by 2 by 16-inches.
It has a warm and rich tone that comes from a nice pattern of holes. Since it’s a quitter model, church drummers will find them a better option for playing behind shields.
After securing the crash above, you may want to check these low volume cymbals. From the first glance, they speak of the perfect craftsmanship that went into delivering their unmatched design.
Zildjian seems to know what the modern drummer needs and will go to a large extent to give. Although this cymbal is a bit on the higher side compared to other models, you will feel good spending your money.
In terms of functionality quality, it is a low sounding cymbal suitable for the church environment. It is very light too, which makes it easy to transport.
The low volume family of cymbals is made for quieter drumming needs. Playing them, therefore, means no one will be telling you to struggle to keep things lower.
What Are the Best Sounding Cymbals?
When it comes to choosing the best cymbals, we all want to look at the sound that comes out. But the sound is a very subjective matter. What one drummer likes may not be what the other one prefers.
However, there are some features that are common with most of us. And one of them is sound quality.
This also comes down to the music you are playing and the specific type of drum cymbal. As we have seen above, there are different types of cymbals.
For hi-hats, sound may vary from tightly closed to slightly open to very open. Anything in between will also do you justice. 14-inch high-hats are most recommended for first-time buyers.
Crash cymbals deliver accents. Larger and thicker ones give higher-pitched sound, while smaller and thin one is lower on the pitch. Your choice depends on how hard you wish to hit them.
Ride cymbals keep time. For a first-time buyer, consider buying something between 20-inch and 22-inch. Also, the bell size affects their tones. A larger bell translates to more overtones.
Which Zildjian Cymbals Are Best?
Zildjian has been making cymbals for more than two centuries. It, therefore, has several lines of product that you can count on for incredible sounds.
The five best Zildjian cymbals include the following:
- Award-winning FX series. These cymbals were introduced in 2015 and are described as diverse and often bonkers. Its series won the “Best New Cymbals for 2015” award.
- Kerope Medium. This is not a new line in the drumming community. The popular 20-inch and 22-inch came out stronger in 2015. They were built on the feedback for drummers, which keeps them on the top line.
- 19-inch and 20-inch K Custom Dark Crashes. These cymbals were also among the best cymbals in 2015, and have remained so until today. They deliver slightly trashy overtones due to over-hammering.
- 21-inch K Custom Organic Ride. This cymbal won the Gear Award for Best Ride Cymbals. It is best for beginners.
- L80 Low Volume cymbals. These are the quietest cymbals you can ever have on your set. For a church setting, they are definitely what you need.
What Size Ride Cymbal Should I Get?
Ride cymbals are used for keeping time and are alternative to hi-hats. Their size defines the best rides. 20-inch or 22-inch crash cymbals are considered the best as they will allow playing most of the things you need.
You can use your current drum set to deliver nice church performances. You only need to know how to control your volume, which you now do. Besides, the cymbals accessories I have reviewed the above should be a good start.