Are remote hi hats/aux hats worth it?

Jml

Senior Member
Following my same question on bop kits, I’m looking into remote hi hats and aux hats. So the question is...are they worth it? It’s extra gear to take (if you’re using two sets of hats), extra cymbals to take, the lingering doubt that they’ll hold up during gigs, the additional cost in the gear and extra hi hats, etc. Is the answer to just work on technique so my hands and sticks don’t hit each other when I’m crossing over (using my right hand hitting the hi hats on the left). Or is the extra hassle and cost of these gadgets really worth it? Would love to hear your takes. I’m sure some of you tried and hated them, and others tried and loved them. Any pros and cons I’m missing?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Never had them, never needed them, and never wanted them. My style of drumming doesn't call for an alterative hi-hat sound. For me, auxiliary hats would just represent additional equipment to purchase, maintain, and transport. I don't want remote hats either. I like mine in the traditional spot.

"Is the answer to just work on technique so my hands and sticks don’t hit each other when I’m crossing over (using my right hand hitting the hi hats on the left)?"

Your sticks shouldn't be hitting each other when you cross over. Refining your technique will resolve that problem.
 
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organworthyplayer337

Well-known member
How low are your hats/how high is your snare?

Also, some people just play open handed more naturally. I'm no expert/teacher, and I don't know your exact situation but I wouldn't assume that what your experiencing is purely a technique problem. Could be that you are one of those open handed people, could be a set up/comfortability issue, etc.

I will admit that I have wondered if my playing would be more comfortable or creative if I played open handed. :unsure:
 

BGDurham

Well-known member
When I resumed drums a few months ago I decided to go open-handed and so far it's working out but it definitely takes practice. The aux/remote hi-hat would be sweet but as others have mentioned it may be a little hard to revert to a left-side hi-hat w/right hand crossing on a shared kit. But if you play your own kit that is not a problem. Ideally everyone would just use a remote hi-hat on the right side.

This video is a good discussion of it:

 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I want a remote hat. I like where my pedal is, but want the hats slightly closer. Had them centered a while also, a remote hat would have been fantastic for that.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I’m asking because I gerry-rigged a cymbal arm into a hi hat arm, and clamped it on my ride cymbal stand - between my snare and floor tom. Playing “open handed” was very liberating. It’s like everything seemed closer and easier to hit because my arms weren’t crossing. I don’t use other people’s kits, so that’s not a real concern, but having to buy another pair of hi hat cymbals and carrying the extra gear seems like a pain.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
If I understand your question right you're asking about having two sets of hi hats. Usually Drummers that play a lot of double bass like metal players for fusion players use two sets of high hats. That way they always have a set of hats to go to in the closed position without having to drop their main hat to play dbl kick. I have an auxiliary hat that I've not used in a while but when I was using it, it opens up some new opportunities that a single hat can't do. You can use them in cojunction with each other. I have a tambourine on my main hats which can be played with my foot while I'm riding a sloshing auxiliary hat. They can both be accented at the same time making it bigger more pronounced. There's lots of little things that can be done with two hats. But if I'm not playing metal I don't use two. I just use the basic 4 or 5 pc. kit 2 crashes and a ride. For a long time I wasn't in a band and I kept a large kit set up at with lots of cymbals. That's when I was using 2 hats. Now I'm playing in 2 bands and neither band needs 2 hats. I'm 61 and don't haul any more gear than I need to.
 

BGDurham

Well-known member
I’m asking because I gerry-rigged a cymbal arm into a hi hat arm, and clamped it on my ride cymbal stand - between my snare and floor tom. Playing “open handed” was very liberating. It’s like everything seemed closer and easier to hit because my arms weren’t crossing. I don’t use other people’s kits, so that’s not a real concern, but having to buy another pair of hi hat cymbals and carrying the extra gear seems like a pain.
Jml, check out the video I posted above--I think it's exactly what you are considering. He plays open-handed by using a remote hi-hat to his right.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Jml, check out the video I posted above--I think it's exactly what you are considering. He plays open-handed by using a remote hi-hat to his right.
Yeah I checked it out. But lots of additional steps - setting up “lefty”, buying a lefty double pedal so the dominant right foot still hits the bass drum, etc.
 

Jml

Senior Member
The easiest solution is buying a durable, gig-worthy remote hi hat, but most are cable driven, described as “sluggish” compared to regular hats, and cost $300-400.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
1BB980E2-FBD7-4ED3-B72A-7AB74F93BE3B.jpeg

I ran with this cable-hat configuration for several years. It’s a touch sluggish but that was never a concern. Eighth notes with the foot were easy up to about 130bpm. The rig takes about 2 extra minutes to set up. This took about 6 months to get used to. After decades of having the hats on my left, I had to retrain myself with regards to its position.

86AF99C6-8EE5-4BF5-9D6E-D7BBC3933304.jpeg

This is similar to my current set up with an x-hat under the ride. This allows me unfettered access to 3 toms with my left hand. Because it mounts on a cymbal stand using a clamp, positioning requires another two minutes to dial in.

I’m not one to permanently stick with a configuration. I frequently change gear as needed for a gig or recording.
 

Jml

Senior Member
View attachment 103335

I ran with this cable-hat configuration for several years. It’s a touch sluggish but that was never a concern. Eighth notes with the foot were easy up to about 130bpm. The rig takes about 2 extra minutes to set up. This took about 6 months to get used to. After decades of having the hats on my left, I had to retrain myself with regards to its position.

View attachment 103336

This is similar to my current set up with an x-hat under the ride. This allows me unfettered access to 3 toms with my left hand. Because it mounts on a cymbal stand using a clamp, positioning requires another two minutes to dial in.

I’m not one to permanently stick with a configuration. I frequently change gear as needed for a gig or recording.
Nice. It seems an x-hat may be easier and less expensive, as opposed to full remote hi hat. Has anyone used the DW claw hook hi hat mount on their bass drum? Seems pretty good and only $80.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Following my same question on bop kits, I’m looking into remote hi hats and aux hats. So the question is...are they worth it? ..... It seems an x-hat may be easier and less expensive, as opposed to full remote hi hat.
If you've already got a second set of hats already ..... then a Aux. hat is REALLY affordable.

My first foray into this scene was with a Gibraltar aux. hat. My primary hats were Paiste 2002's, and my aux. were Sabian AA's. A little more bark and bite. For when I wanted to "dig in" a little bit more, but not quite ready for the Ride or China yet. I was gigging a 1 up, 2 down kit, with a Pearl DR-100 rack ..... so already a goodly amount of kit .... the aux. hats were hardly a noticeable add. I ran them between and above my two floor toms.

Later, I got into a Yamaha cable remote hat, because I wanted a center hat position. I had Off-Set bass pedals (and later a Sleishman) so I had already committed to a centered bass drum .....

And the 3rd part of my journey was getting a DW 9550 shaft drive remote hat. And man that thing has great feel. Again, I use it for a centered hats position.

I buy everything used ..... so if I "experiment" and it goes south, I can usually sell that something off, and not lose any (or much) money. And especially something like the DW 9550. New, those are $450. I paid $250 for mine. But for now. it's a keeper.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I used a stack at one time in lieu x-hats. Got nearly the sound I wanted.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
If you've already got a second set of hats already ..... then a Aux. hat is REALLY affordable.

My first foray into this scene was with a Gibraltar aux. hat. My primary hats were Paiste 2002's, and my aux. were Sabian AA's. A little more bark and bite. For when I wanted to "dig in" a little bit more, but not quite ready for the Ride or China yet. I was gigging a 1 up, 2 down kit, with a Pearl DR-100 rack ..... so already a goodly amount of kit .... the aux. hats were hardly a noticeable add. I ran them between and above my two floor toms.

Later, I got into a Yamaha cable remote hat, because I wanted a center hat position. I had Off-Set bass pedals (and later a Sleishman) so I had already committed to a centered bass drum .....

And the 3rd part of my journey was getting a DW 9550 shaft drive remote hat. And man that thing has great feel. Again, I use it for a centered hats position.

I buy everything used ..... so if I "experiment" and it goes south, I can usually sell that something off, and not lose any (or much) money. And especially something like the DW 9550. New, those are $450. I paid $250 for mine. But for now. it's a keeper.
I did the same, I had my Meinl Byzance Sand Hat and found a super deal along at the same time as the Meinl on a Sabian Click hats. They are really doffern so, I bought the Gibraltar X-Hat which is great and just under one of my ride at 1pm, the ride at 1 pm above the 13" Tom and above the second ride that is above the Florr Tom, so, X-Hat between the two ride and between the rack Tom and the Florr Tom...I love it, so funny of paly hat in both hands or to play on handed, I like it so much that I ordered a remote hat, Pearl one, I think I got a 20% on it, thranfered from another Long and Mac Quade store...I will put it between the 13" and 12" on, under the front row of cymbals...and I will have the Meinl Foundry reserve on it...if I prefer a remote instead of the X-Hat, it won't be a bid deal because the X-Hat is cheap...And maybe I will keep the 3 of them permanently?? Yeah, a bit crazy but I really like the sound of hats...
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I used to use an aux hi-hat a lot. But the aux hi-hats sounded nothing like my main hats.

And I mostly only ever used them when playing double bass.

I can't say I've used them in a long time. Though I still own them.

Worth it? That entirely depends on why and what you are trying to accomplish.
 
Yeah, a bit crazy but I really like the sound of hats...
That's me too. I love crash cymbals—I have far too many—but hats...man, they just drive me wild. Rides are fine, but I probably play hats 10x as much as ride, and if I had room (and money), I'd love to have a set or two of x-hats, for the variation.

Now I'm feeling all swoony over the very idea...
 
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