About Cymbals & Gongs
Like most percussion instruments cymbals and gongs are very old - in this case dating back about as far as the bronze from which they're made. Today's cymbals however are much thinner more musical and available in far greater variety than those of ancient Egypt or Babylon. A typical modern drum set incorporates a baseline of cymbals including a crash a ride and a pair of hi-hats. Beyond that it's up to the drummer to select cymbals according to personal style and musical genre with other options including china cymbals and splash cymbals. There are many cymbal manufacturers to choose from most notably the brands collectively known as the "big three": Zildjian, Sabian, and Paiste.
Each type of cymbal has a specific percussive role to play. Crash cymbals are named for their crisp loud "crashing" sound which is used as a dramatic accent. Ride cymbals by contrast are usually played in steady ongoing patterns. Hi-hat cymbals sound similar to ride cymbals but are mounted on pedal-controlled stands that allow them to be played by striking with a stick while held open or closed producing different sounds or played without a stick by clashing the cymbals together. These common types of cymbals are often available bundled in cymbal packs that make for easy upgrades from a beginner's cymbal set and which sometimes come with other accents such as splash and china cymbals. There are many further types for the ambitious drummer to explore as well including sizzle cymbals, clash cymbals, swish cymbals and more.