Re: Hi-Hat Stepping (Lift & Close on every beat)
One of my relative strengths is my ability to keep time with my high hat pedal. I worked hard at it for a while quite some time ago, and now I don't even really think about it.
This is all about de-coupling your right and left feet.
How I started was with straight 8th notes on the pedal, like someone else suggested above. I started by just doing that during fills. When I got used to doing that, I would start doing it when I play my ride cymbal. A cool beat to start with is quarter notes on the bell of the ride, kick 1 and 3, snare 2 and 4. It sounds good when you have the quarter notes emphasized by the ride, with the 8th's ticking away on the high hat.
Once you get those two things down, start varying your bass drum pattern, but stick with 8th note patterns.. Again, 8ths on the high hat. This way your L and R feet will always hit at the same time, which as you know is the natural tendency, but you are adding extra hits with your left foot in between.
Once you are comfortable with THAT, then go down to quarter notes on the high-hat. You might want to start by just doing it with feet only. You just have to get used to hitting your left foot independently of your right. It's just like when you started learning to play the kit, and you had to do something different with your right and left hands. This is the same thing, only now it's sort of like your left foot is your "riding" hand.