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What size crash cymbal should beginner pratice

close up on percussionist hitting the cymbal with the band out of focus beyond.

When it comes to selecting the right size crash cymbal for beginners, there are several factors to consider. The size of the crash cymbal can significantly influence the sound and playability, making it crucial for beginners to choose wisely to enhance their learning experience. This guide will help you understand the key considerations and offer advice on selecting the appropriate crash cymbal size for beginner practice.

Understanding Crash Cymbals

Crash cymbals are designed to produce a sharp, loud sound with a quick decay, making them ideal for accentuating certain parts of music. They come in various sizes, each offering different sound characteristics. The size of a crash cymbal is measured in inches across the diameter.

Recommended Size for Beginners

For beginners, the most commonly recommended sizes for crash cymbals are between 16 and 18 inches. This size range is considered versatile and suitable for various music styles, from rock to jazz.

  • 16-inch Crash Cymbals: These are on the smaller end of the spectrum and produce a brighter, more cutting sound with a faster response. They are easier to play and integrate into a drum kit for beginners.
  • 18-inch Crash Cymbals: Offering a fuller and richer sound with a slightly longer sustain, 18-inch crash cymbals are also highly recommended for beginners. They provide a good balance between volume and control, making them versatile for different music genres.

Factors to Consider

1. Music Genre: The type of music you intend to play can influence the size of the crash cymbal you should choose. For example, heavier music genres like rock or metal may benefit from the fuller sound of an 18-inch cymbal, while jazz or acoustic styles might prefer the subtlety of a 16-inch cymbal.

2. Drum Kit Size: Consider the overall size of your drum kit. A larger crash cymbal might overpower a smaller kit, while a smaller cymbal might not be heard as well in a larger setup.

3. Personal Preference: Ultimately, the choice of cymbal size also comes down to personal preference. Consider visiting a music store to try out different sizes and see which one feels the most comfortable and sounds the best to you.

4. Budget and Space: Larger cymbals tend to be more expensive. Additionally, ensure you have enough space in your practice area to accommodate the cymbal size you choose.


For beginner drummers, choosing a crash cymbal size between 16 and 18 inches is advisable, as these sizes offer a good balance between playability and versatility across different music genres. It’s important to consider factors such as the music genre, drum kit size, personal preference, budget, and space when making your decision. Remember, the right cymbal can significantly enhance your drumming experience, so take the time to explore your options before making a purchase.

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