To someone who doesn't play the drums, a cymbal is a cymbal. But we know better than that: there are a ton of different kinds of cymbal, and some of the most important instruments in a percussion setup are its splash cymbals. If you're aspiring to follow in the footsteps of drumming legends like Dave Weckl or Gene Krupa, having some excellent splash cymbals on your rack is essential. In fact, Gene Krupa is the drummer who initially invented the splash cymbal, popularizing it on the jazz scene in the 1920s and 1930s. Although the sound was amazing, it may have been ahead of its time, because the splash faded into obscurity - that is, until Stewart Copeland revived it through the music of the Police.
That led to a well-deserved renaissance for splash cymbals, which have since come into their own and are now available in a ton of varieties, like traditional, china, thin, bell, salsa, rock and even specialty and signature splash cymbals. The good news is that you can have as many splash cymbals as you wish, and if you're like the majority or professional drummers, you'll want to deck your kit out with a few different ones to give yourself access to a wider variety of sounds. All splash cymbals are accent percussion, designed to take hard hits that create bursts (or splashes) of sound. Of course, their exact flavor varies from one cymbal to another. For example, a rock version might have added tapering for a richer sound.
As with any other cymbal, you'll also want to take weight into consideration: lighter cymbals are more lively and responsive, while heavier cymbals give raw, cutting power at the cost of slower lead-in. Just like anything else that you add to your drum set, the right splash cymbals are a matter of preference. The one universal truth that applies no matter which cymbals you choose, though, is that they're a powerful addition to your palette of percussion sounds. If you want to make a lasting impression on the drumming scene, you definitely can't afford to overlook these crucial cymbals.