Hats + One Cymbal?

Jasta 11

Well-known Member
I play a 20 inch ride that i crash and a set of hats for 90% of my gigs. I dont miss the extra crash and stand. The only time I use a seprate crash is when thre is a good backline and I ony have to bring my cymbals or use theirs.


Silver Member
For my primary rig, no. I tried hats with a crashable ride for a while, but missed the dedicated crash.
Similarly, I tried to get by with just a floor tom, but ended up missing the high tom.
I guess there's a reason why 4-piece with hats+ride+crash is such a popular standard.


Junior Member
With my old band I used to play only my Giant Beat 15” and 24”. I wish I could keep that set up with my current band but it sounds too empty. I need the second crash/ride.


Active Member
I've been thinking seriously about this ...
Here's an older thread I found while looking for info on The Ventures' Mel Taylor - who used one cymbal in the early days:
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Active Member
I’ve played 50+ gigs in the last twelve months with one cymbal, hihat and no toms. Just suits that particular band. View attachment 114350

I too use hats, ride, bass and snare for duo gigs with my guitar player. On a really small stage, I can stand up with this rig.

P.S. I see your Morris Minor. I raced a Mini for 20+ years. Similar cars, similar kits. We must be some kind of soul mates.


Silver Member
Never done that or had the opportunity to do that (meaning i didn't play songs that just needed that).
Having said that, the vid below makes me so envious that i'm just sticking to playing metal xD



Platinum Member
I love playing with hats and just one or two cymbals.
It wouldn't work in my main band, but for anything else I don't miss the "extra stuff", and it's fun!


Gold Member
It took me a lot of years to do a gig with just a ride and one crash . I have not found the cymbal that I could do a one cymbal and hats gig with yet . The closest would be the 20” Paiste 602 Medium ride . The nicest crashable ride I have ever owned .


Platinum Member
If I had one cymbal that could do it all, I could be talked into it. Right now I'd have to do at least two.


Active Member
So, I finally got around to playing a gig with just hats (trusty old new beats) and one cymbal (18" K crash ride). 4 hours - wide variety of material from SRV to Motown to yacht rock. The verdict? It was a fun experiment but I need a crash cymbal - at least my "A" 16 inch thin crash - back up on the kit. The Venture's Mel Taylor provided the inspiration and this configuration would work really well for a night of surf-rock (sign me up for that).
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Yamaha Rider

Gold Member
I could probably do just one cymbal. I don't know that I have the balls to bring just one cymbal to a gig. The blues band I play with I could definitely get away with that. I do have a gig this month with them. I don't know that I have the balls though. What if it's not OK?

Ooo I know, I'll bring extra cymbals for that secure feeling, but I'll just use my ride. Saftey net.
'Softy Net' more like.


Gold Member
it's not that "heavy" of a lift to bring two cymbals- right and left- (and hats) to alleviate possible (cymbal) boredom)

What happened - kinda shocked not to see them +/- ; to the huge Yamaha blonde Army you were rocking... @Ryan Culberson
I'd like full details please ; )

Ryan Culberson

Well-known Member
Hey Joe! Great to see you over here. That other place was just a buzzkill to hang around. I lurk around there sometimes, but no longer log in and participate.

The one cymbal + hats thing wasn’t about weight savings or laziness… it’s more about my recent rabbit hole of listening to and absorbing/embracing the concepts of old soul and country drummers from my youth and before. There just ain’t a lot of cymbals going on in those songs BEYOND hats and ride cymbal. I like that approach, and it suits the music I’m playing.

Yamahas are out, some DWs and a nice Chanute-era Camco are in. Cycle of life for a gear whore like me. 🤪😘 I’ve always been a fan of the polarizing G. Way turret lug. The sale of the Yamahas funded 2+ sets of DWs, the Camcos, and the full set of Giant Beats I now have at my disposal, so I feel like I came out alright.

I’ve had a love/hate thing with DW drums for a long time, but fell into a nice used set with some provenance last year. That set has proven itself in some high-leverage situations so I decided I wanted to head that route on a grander scale. My 50th birthday was last year and to celebrate that, I ordered up the black set that appears in this thread and elsewhere on the forum. It’s a different thing for DW… thicker shells (9-ply) and no re-rings. So far, so good.
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Senior Member
My mobile rehearsal kit is kick, snare, 14" floor tom with hats and a 20" crash/ride. Mounting the crash/ride of the kick lightens the hardware. I've used this same setup on small stages, and 'opening act' slots.

Not sure I could do a hats+1 setup all the time. I like having two contrasting cymbal sounds - brightish and dark/trashy. I'ld probably need to get some larger hats (16s or 17s) to fill the dark/trashy part. With my taste in cymbals (Meinl Byzance), that's an expensive experiment.
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Platinum Member
Years ago, that is why I bought the Sabian AA El Sabor 18". I was doing prison ministry with a keyboard player /singer. I usually took hats, the El Sabor, snare, and bass drum. I have played a few gigs with hats, a crash-ride, and a crash. Peace and goodwill.