The brilliance of effects cymbals may begin with their shiny, metallic exteriors, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Effects cymbals are used to add a bit more panache to a song. They add sounds typically not producible with regular cymbals. What kind of music a drummer plays helps determine what kind of effects cymbals the drummer will want to use. Manufacturers of effects cymbals may add holes, bells, and other trinkets to their cymbals to give them even more variety in sound. How the cymbals are mounted also affects the music they produce.
One of most common effects cymbals is China cymbals. Chinas come in a wide variety of looks. Most drummers are going for a trashy sound when using China cymbals. The name comes from the cymbal’s gong origins. While Chinas used to have a pretty distinguishable look, over time this effects cymbal has lost a lot of its uniformity. This diversity in look adds to the brilliance of effects cymbals, allowing them to stand out for more than just their sound. Chinas also come in many sizes. When mounted on a drum kit, they are just as likely to be bell up as bell down.
Splashes are another common effects cymbal. In fact, some China cymbals are also splash cymbals. China splashes are typically the smaller ones, 12” or less. Splash cymbals are, by definition, small. Typically, drummers use 10” or 8” splashes, but they come in a range of sizes from 4” to 13”. There is also a wide variety in types of splash cymbals, which further adds to the brilliance of effects cymbals. These varieties have names: traditional, rock, china, salsa, thin, bell, sizzle, and stacks. As their name implies, stacks splash cymbals are a specialized cymbal designed for stacking, although many drummers continue to use traditional splashes for this purpose. Stacking and piggybacking are both typical ways to mount splashes.
Effects cymbals are mostly used to add shimmer, brilliance, and brightness to a drum set's already incredible range of sound. While a drummer may reach out to silence a crash cymbal during play, an extended sustain is sought after with effects cymbals. Their volume is usually louder than the regular crash or ride cymbals because they are played to add a bit of specialness to the music. There are so many different types and styles of effects cymbals that it’s important to take your drum sticks and go try a few out in person. There is an effects cymbal out there for everyone, because everyone deserves a bit of brilliance in their lives.