Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm wondering how cymbals work in Rock Band. The drums that ship with the game only have four drum pads, and I know that you can buy a set of three cymbals, but do the songs actually distinguish between drums and cymbals, or is hitting (for example) the blue cymbal the same as hitting the blue drum pad?

If they are the same, is there any point to having the cymbals?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The old RB2 cymbals are just for show - they don't add anything to the game. Hitting the green cymbal, for instance, is the same as hitting the green pad.

However, the new RB3 cymbals serve a real purpose - they allow you to play in the new "Pro Mode," in which you are required to differentiate between hitting the cymbals and the toms!

(Pro Mode Image)

Here you can see the pro-mode drums being played with cymbals (middle track). The green and blue ovals coming up are cues to hit the green and blue cymbals, respectively. The usual blue rectangles coming down the screen are the cue to hit the blue tom instead.

Note that this image also shows pro-keyboard (left) and pro-guitar (right) as well. (Credit to IGN for the image)

share|improve this answer
no need to credit IGN this is a standard press photo from – Jeff Atwood Jan 9 '11 at 8:20

For Rock Band 1/2, there is no indicator on the screen that says "this is a cymbal hit".

In RB2, during fills, they produce a cymbal sound when hit (as opposed to a tom hit).

As for the point, Rock Band 3 will introduce a drum pro mode which will require you to hit the proper cymbal / tom as opposed to just hitting the right colour. Other than that, it's all for good fun!

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.