Hi Hat Placement - 9 o'clock, 12 o'clock ??

Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
Anyone else out there besides myself place their hats at the 12 o'clock postion ? I have found that using a DW 9000 remote HH stand and placing my hats at the 12 o'clock position versus the standard 9-10 position has personally brought my playing to a higher level. I place my #1 tom at approx the 10 o'clock postion and it has really increased my speed and accuracy on certain fills. Another advantage I have found with the hats at 12 is that although very infrequent I have yet to have any stick hits especially when playing off time signatures/beats. Obviously my personal preference but curious if anyone else has experienced the same satisfaction from this change. I have been using this set up for probably 2 plus years now..
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
Been centering my hats since 1998, first with a DW 5000 that always seemed a bit sluggish, and now with a DW 9000 that I've had for about three years now with no problems at all.

It's funny how I came upon the idea; I was visiting home in 1997 and when I dusted off the drums there was no more hi-hat (I had been borrowing one), so I set up my toms in a nice little semicircle around the snare, and realized I could stick a remote hat over those and still get to it easily. Shortly after that vacation, I bought a new set of drums and scored a cable hat to go with. I have never looked back. After thirteen years I'm not sure if I could go back to crossing my hands.
 

Sisrfite

Junior Member
Yes I have my hi hat set at the 12 o'clock position as well. I actually got the idea from a more favored drummer of mine(chris guanlao). He is left handed but plays a right-handed kit. So he never crosses his hands! And I notice it gave him a lot of speed and freedom. So I played with it and now I'm in love with the position. On both my electric and acoustic sets I have the 12 position. Like the drummer I mentioned, this position gives us a lot of freedom to move the body and get the eyes on us drummers a lil more. Meaning, I can move my body more while playing. I love it! It very very comfortable and natural feeling. I switched my friend about a year ago and he loves it as well
 
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audiotech

Guest
Someone please post a photo of the 12 o'clock hi hat configuration. I can't get this pictured in my mind. My placements always been at 10 o'clock whether one up or three up rack toms.





Thanks,
Dennis
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Someone please post a photo of the 12 o'clock hi hat configuration. I can't get this pictured in my mind. My placements always been at 10 o'clock whether one up or three up rack toms.
Like Dennis I'm not sure about hats at 12 o clock - to me, that's directly in front of the snare. I used to have my hats at 9, not it's more like 10. It means my arms cross a bit less.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Someone please post a photo of the 12 o'clock hi hat configuration. I can't get this pictured in my mind. My placements always been at 10 o'clock whether one up or three up rack toms.

Thanks,
Dennis
Dennis, I think the guys are referring to a remote X hat style setup, operated by cable to the foot pedal. I'm guessing the hats are positioned directly ahead of the snare & over the toms.

I use an X hat setup to my right, but without foot pedal. It works very well for all manner of open handed stuff, but I think I'd find 16th hat to snare stuff a bit of a non productive learning curve. Who knows, maybe I'll give it a shot sometime :)
 

Cameo

Gold Member
I like the idea, but I'm always 50% aesthetic. You should look up this dude, DogBoots on Youtube, he has a PHX kit and plays openhanded and off set pedals. It's cool how he uses a clear snare batter head to be able to watch the foot work. :)
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
I'd love to see pictures of the hi-hat at 12:00 too. My right arm (hi-hat arm) has been really bothering me lately and I think moving the hats may help with that, but I'm also having a hard time picturing it.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I'd love to see pictures of the hi-hat at 12:00 too. My right arm (hi-hat arm) has been really bothering me lately and I think moving the hats may help with that, but I'm also having a hard time picturing it.
Danny Carey

 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I didn't think he was referring to remote hi hats or he would have mentioned it ... ?

After all, most players who use remote hats put them 12 -1 o'clock so they don't cross hands as much.

12 o'clock with a regular hat stand would require a left leg made of rubber or at least serious gymnastic abilities combined with a penchant for masochism.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
12 o'clock with a regular hat stand would require a left leg made of rubber or at least serious gymnastic abilities combined with a penchant for masochism.
LOL!!!



... I guess a cable hat is a necessity for a main hi-hat at 12 o'clock :))


My main hi-hat is at 10 o'clock and my remote hi-hat is at 2 o'clock :)
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I didn't think he was referring to remote hi hats or he would have mentioned it ... ?

After all, most players who use remote hats put them 12 -1 o'clock so they don't cross hands as much.

12 o'clock with a regular hat stand would require a left leg made of rubber or at least serious gymnastic abilities combined with a penchant for masochism.
??
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I have found that using a DW 9000 remote HH stand and placing my hats at the 12 o'clock position versus the standard 9-10 position has personally brought my playing to a higher level.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Bill Bruford, since the late 80's, was using 12 o'clock hihat. He was all about economy of movement, and challenged conventions. Sans masochism it of course requires a remote , as in the last post. If they a re at 12 o clock though means no hitting hats with left hand when right is doing something else, or also could be difficult for 16th note hat work?
Lots of things make great sense, but are unconventional. I have often thought to get the bass drum out of the way by moving to the right, keeping the pedal there and and using a bass pedal slave (like in a double pedal). Then all you toms right in front of you at whatever level you like.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
After almost 2 decades of playing a normal hi hat stand and become increasingly frustrated with the limitations of crossing hands and/or sticks, I finally got a cable hat and went to 12 o`clock. I loved the set up, but hated the action. That's where my remote speedy hat came into play--since nothing worked to my liking I invented a new contraption with basically zero friction that is ridiculously fast.

Centering the hi hats made everything I already played instantly way easier and opened up endless new possibilities that would not have worked before (or at least would have been very uncomfortable). I'll never go back! When I sit in on a set with a normal hi hat stand I can play fine, but there are tons of things that I want to play but have to edit out because of the crossing traffic jam.

Playing open handed is certainly a step in the right direction, but there are still lots of patterns where you'll run into the same logistics problems (from crossing the other way).

Here are a couple bird's eye view pictures of set up examples:
 

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Otto

Platinum Member
I set up in a way that looks just like Bill's above...

Snare - center

HH - 12 o'clock

Highest tom - 11 o'clock

next lowest - 1 o'clock

next lowest - 9 o'clock

Lowest(of the 4 toms) - 3 o'clock

...using a DW Remote HH that is clamped onto my snare stand.

Doing that since about 1995...one day I realized how silly it was to cross my arms to play a basic beat.

Took a while to get comfortable...but when I did it really shook up my playing.

e.g. I find more single hits to a tom in my playing where before I would tend to chase one hit with a hit from the other hand...a habit that grew from the 'standard' drum set config.

My single bass drum is placed off to the right as if I had 2 bass drums...as it is a bit hard to get HH at 12 and Bass drum centered below it...though I guess it could be done...18" or 20" bass would help...need to replace my 22".

didnt know Bill B. was doing that with his HH....
 
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Boom

Silver Member
I love this thread! I've always hated crossing my hands to play hats but couldn't pull off open handed playing well enough. You guys have given me a lot of things to work on...man Bill's setup looks great (I realize he isn't the first to do it...Bruford etc)

And the remote speedy hat? Not sure I've heard of it. I know the normal remotes tend to lag. Another thing to look into.
 
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