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Hey Peeps! Here I share a bit about the cymbals I use with the cajon plus some very useful tips and some demonstrations of the different sounds, as well as what to look out for when getting cymbals. I run through 5 of my cymbals, their sounds and what I thought was good/bad about them. This video covers all the basics you should know to get you started with playing the cymbal with the cajon! Enjoy!

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  1. Cannon

    You mentioned you use 2 cymbals when you busk. What are your go-to 2 cymbals for busking? I assume one is the 11” AAX explosion splash. Looking to just get started with 1 or 2 cymbals and wonder what the most important ones are in your opinion

    • heidijoubert

      Yes I love the AAX explosion crash from Sabian. Thats the one I would get for sure. As per the others, I play with a number of different cymbals and crashes and splashes, it really depends on what sound you want. The AAX would serve as a great crash, I would get one smaller cymbal, with a shorter delay on the sound for a more to-the-point splash sound. Maybe a small splash. I used a very cheap mini splash for years in combo with the AAX and it gave me 2 very different sounds. The best thing is to head down to your nearest music shop and go and physically try out the cymbals yourself with your hand. It’s quite an adventure and you learn so much from trying it out yourself. 🙂 Hope this helps!

    • heidijoubert

      BTW there’s a video on youtube where I cover the specific cymbals and brands I used when busking. you should check it out when you get a moment. It covers all your questions.

  2. Rob

    I’ve read that Zildjian Ks are very unpredictable due to their cast manufacture – so even some expensive gear needs to be heard before buying.
    ( :

    • heidijoubert

      Hey Rob

      It is always best to try out the cymbals in person if you can!


  3. Ethan

    Thank you Heidi! I am excited to try it myself. Do you recommend a specific hi hat stand?

  4. Ethan

    Have you considered or experimented with a hi-hat or similar setup?

    I like the possibility of having that hi-hat click with a foot pedal, a little bit of sizzle when closed, have a different more splashy sound with it open. But haven’t had a chance to try it in practice.

    • heidijoubert

      Hi Ethan!

      Thats a great idea!!! I actually have tried that since this post, only at home, and it does sound great!

      🙂 Heidi

  5. Cris

    Buenos dias , como se llama el accesorio para dejar el platillo fijo al atril sin tambalearse . en el minuto 4:12 del video por favor ayuda
    saludos cordiales muchas gracias

  6. Sjoerd van Donselaar

    I want to add a crash symbol to my one man band. Where can I get a 8 inch symbol like that ?


      Hey! I bought mine online, its a Sabian Axx Xplosion splash 11 inch

  7. Daniel Ignacio Headley

    Hello Heidi!
    I bought a Sabian AA El Sabor 16″ crash many years ago because it is designed for hand or stick playing. It a thin cymbal with a slightly upturned edge, like a china. I find the 16″ crash has a lot more fullness than a splash. But that’s just my preference.

  8. Mark

    Heidi I have been playing drums for many moons now, and recently purchased the El Cajon due to me seeing you playing it. You have great style.

  9. jorge

    I don’t know much about cymbals but would a 10″ splash would sound good? Or should I just get a 12″ cymbal? I understand its much on what type of sound I like, but any suggestion wouldn’t hurt…
    Thank yoy

  10. Gideon

    AAXexplosion splashes are excellent. Meinl have a lovely 12″ trash/splash. It’s amazing. Give that a try if you get the chance.

  11. Neil

    Great video! I’m new to the cajon and have been trying a few cymbals from my drum kit to see what works best. Your video backs up my conclusion that the splash cymbal goes well with a cajon. Thanks for the good advice and tuition on your website.

  12. Cartherine

    Hello Heidi,
    You have a great website, I really like your approach!!
    The video about cymbals is very interesting. I was very surprised to see that you just play the cymbals with your naked hands… I really thought that a stick was necessary to play on a cymbal.
    I saw on another video that you have a cowbell that you hit with a pedal.
    What do you think about hitting the cymbal with a pedal?
    I have seen it for a one man band and I liked the concept. I would not know how to set it up though (what I saw was very DIY-like with tape and no real stand!!)
    Any idea?

    • Heidi Joubert

      Hey! Ha! I had thought about using a pedal for cymbals but I haven’t tried it yet!!!
      Slapping with your bear hands does require some… guts, but you get used it. ANd nowadays they actually have special cymbals for hand playing…. check them out on google.
      Oh and PLEASE let me know how the pedal and cymbal thing goes, if you get to try it out before me!!! 🙂

  13. joe

    what are the splashes on those 2 bracket stand?i know one is aax and the other one something like Turkish…and what size. details pls. thanks

  14. Susie Breidenbach

    I’m new to the cajon and found your site! How cool. What brand of cymbals do you recommend? What size for a good crash? Thanks.

    • Heidi Joubert

      Hey did you take a look at the video? In the video I explain all the cymbals I use and recommend and their sizes. I personally love the Sabian AAX XPLOSION splash 11 inches.


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