Common Hihat and Cymbal Patterns

The ride cymbal is a standard cymbal in most drum kits. It maintains a steady rhythmic pattern, sometimes called a ride pattern, rather than the accent of a crash. It is normally placed on the extreme right (or dominant hand) of a drum kit, above the floor tom. The term ride means to ride with the music, describing the cymbal’s sustain after it is struck. The term may depict either the function or characteristic of the instrument. Most cymbal makers manufacture specific cymbals for the purpose. Some drummers use a china cymbal, a sizzle cymbal or a specialized tone such as a swish or pang cymbal as a ride cymbal. When playing extremely softly, when using brushes, and when recording, even a paper-thin crash may serve well as a ride cymbal. On the other extreme, when playing extremely loudly a cymbal designed as a ride may serve well as a very loud, long crash.

The ride can fulfill any function or rhythm the hi-hat does, with the exclusion of an open and closed sound.

Try to play all of these patterns with your favorite beats and grooves. Also combine these patterns with this reading exercise.

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