Ride cymbal

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1 Ride cymbal | 2 Floor tom | 3 Toms

4 Bass drum | 5 Snare drum | 6 Hi-hat

Crash cymbal | China cymbal | Splash cymbal | Sizzle cymbal
Swish cymbal | Cowbell | Wood block | Tambourine
Rototom | Octoban | Hardware

The ride cymbal is a type of cymbal that is a standard part of most drum kits. Its function, very similar to the hi-hat it is an alternative to[1], is to maintain a steady rhythmic pattern[2], sometimes called a ride pattern rather than to provide accents as with, for example, the crash cymbal. Drummers normally place the main ride cymbal on their extreme right (or dominant hand) above the floor tom, as it is played with the right hand the vast majority of the time[1]. The most basic ride pattern in rock and other styles is[3]:

Eighth-note ride pattern.png

The ride can fulfill any function or rhythm the hi-hat does, with the exclusion of an open and closed sound[1]. In rock and popular music another percussion instrument such as a shaker or maraca may be substituted for the cymbal in a ride pattern, especially in quieter styles such as soft-ballads or bossa-nova[4].



The term ride means to ride with the music as it sustains after it is struck. However, it can apply to either the function of the cymbal in the kit or to the characteristics of the cymbal itself. Most cymbal makers designate some of their cymbals as ride cymbals indicating they are designed primarily for this purpose. However, they can be altered to suit different purposes or requirements that the drummer may see necessary for what they are using the cymbal for.

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