Can a subpar hi-hat stand impede your hi-hat skill progression?

JDFaulky

Member
Hey all, I'm new here and I'm fairly new to drumming. It's something I've been wanting to learn ever since I was a little kid but my family could not afford to buy a drum set for me back then. I'm 36 years old and just now finally picking it up and I'm obsessed and play every single day. I've been playing for a few months now and pretty much self taught. Been progressing really well but I still have a lot to learn, obviously.

I started out with a Pearl Roadshow 5 piece set. I replaced all of the drum heads with good Evans heads (Genera HD Dry on the snare, EMAD Heavyweight on the bass drum, EC2s on the toms). I bought new cymbals to replace the awful ones that came with the Roadshow set (I bought the Zildjian S series box set and splash). Cut a port hole in the base drum reso head and put a chrome ring kit around it to make it look cool. Added various cymbal stands and attachments, etc. Been spending cash trying to improve my set overall.

Even though I've been progressing well, one thing I struggle with is the hi-hats. I've played three different sets so far (crappy Pearl starter set, HCS Meinl set and now the Zildjian S set) and I do fine playing them closed, but when using techniques such as playing open hats, pressing down the pedal for chicks in the middle of grooves, etc, I seem to really struggle. I know I need to develop my left foot more, but I also feel like the hi-hat stand that came with the Pearl Roadshow may be impeding my progress. The pedal feels kinda stiff, there's no tension adjustment and I feel like part of the problem is this pedal. It doesn't help that there aren't a lot of good YouTube videos about hi-hat techniques and stand setups.

So I guess my question is for more advanced drummers who have started out on crappy starter hi-hat stands. Is it me or is the hi-hat stand keeping me from developing my hi-hat skills? Should I invest in a more intermediate hi-hat stand with more features, or do I just suck and need to practice more with the one I have? I'm just curious if this starter hi-hat stand is problematic for me.

If I should toss this hi-hat stand and get a new one, does anyone have any recommendations that would fit a newer drummer working on his hi-hat skills?

Thanks!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
few months? give it some time, like a year +
you can't blame your tools ...yet. you need to develop strong foot independence to get good hihat chicks going.
show a pic of your stand, it could be fine.
setup described here
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Even cheap hardware now is pretty good. I use the cheapest Yamaha stand and this is my job-- it's light and it works fine. Just keep practicing. Try to find the tension adjustment and play around with some different things.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
The hi-hat is such a critical and major element of playing the drums. Not only that but the ability to open and close the cymbals while playing them makes the hi-hats the most expressive part of a drum set in my opinion. And for that reason, having a decent quality hi-hat stand is important. It needs to be sturdy yet responsive so that you can stomp on it as fast as your feet will allow for straight sixteenth notes and for opening to create accents. There are lots of options out there. Depending on whether you ever intend to play double bass drums pedals, I'd suggest a two leg stand. It has two legs that support the main "stalk" which acts as the third leg. I have a Pacific which is DW's budget brand. The legs are double braced and it's a nice sturdy stand. Sometimes I notice a little bit of "wobble" while stomping straight 8th and 16th notes at a high tempo but no enough to interfere with my playing. I think it's the Pacific HH900. Sturdy, responsive and reasonably priced.

1598132046966.jpeg
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
few months? give it some time, like a year +
you can't blame your tools ...yet. you need to develop strong foot independence to get good hihat chicks going.
show a pic of your stand, it could be fine.
setup described here
Good video. My only comment is that I angle my hi-hats the other direction with the tilting screw. So mine tilts downward away from me. The reason I do this is because when you tilt it the way he has it tilted, the bottom cymbal edge sticks up just past the top cymbal creating a sharp edge for your sticks to hit while playing. Tilted the other way I don't have that issue yet I still get the benefit of the angle for getting a great chick sound.
 

JDFaulky

Member
few months? give it some time, like a year +
you can't blame your tools ...yet. you need to develop strong foot independence to get good hihat chicks going.
show a pic of your stand, it could be fine.
setup described here
Yep I've seen this video. Rob Brown is great.

Here's a picture of my stand in it's current state:

IMG_5530.jpg

I was looking at the Pearl H930 Demonator pedal as a replacement. Although, if you guys think the stand/pedal I have isn't the problem and I just need to practice more, then I won't waste the money.
 
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rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I've been practicing daily with the Tama Iron Cobra 200 hihat stand for the last year, and haven't noticed any issues. In fact, I think it was by accident as I originally purchased the Cobra as a gig stand. So with me, I guess I can't tell the difference between the Cobra and the stand I've used for 10 years - the Pearl Eliminator H2000 two legged stand.

I do recall an issue with the Pearl stand. It developed a knock sound from the bottom felt/washer, where the plunger enters the tube. Other than that, what I liked about the stand was a strong spring feel, and an adjustable chain cam. The Cobra does not have a cam.

So back to the topic, I suppose I'm happy as long as the spring is healthy and the plunger is smooth (ie doesn't stick).
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I can tell you this. If you learn to play good on cheap or crappy gear then you’ll be even better when you transition to higher end gear.

I too got stuck in the rut of thinking my gear was the issue holding me back. And to a certain degree it is. But man, learning on crappy gear and making it sound great means you can make any crappy kit or crappy back line kit sound good,

Don’t go down the gear rabbit hole this early
 

JDFaulky

Member
Got it. The consensus seems to be use what I got. The hi-hats are the only thing I really seem to be stuck on. I'll give it more time. Maybe I'll use that cash to buy a new throne that isn't painful to sit on after 30min, heh.

Thanks, all.
 

acsunda

Junior Member
I’ve been using the same PDP hi-hat stand that came with the PDP CX series kit I got in high school, that was like 17 years ago.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Your hi hat looks good. Stick with it for a while. When I was a kid back in the 70s, My hi hat stand was an ancient Slingerland that looked like it was made in the 1950s. I played it for ten years.
 
I'm with everyone else--that stand looks fine to me. Are you sure there's no tension adjustment?

In the short term, you might find it useful to have your hats not quite so far apart when totally open like that. When I was first learning, I had enough trouble just opening and closing my hats at the right time--modulating the correct amount to open them was overwhelming. So I had them set so they were maybe half as open when fully open as yours appear to be. Give that a try and see if it helps?
 
Sell those cymbals you've already replaced, keep the stand and find a really good teacher. Lessons cost some money but especially in the beginning they are absolutely worth it to get a solid foundation. Maybe you can even find a teacher who would come to your place once and help you to adjust things.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Throne, pedal and hi-hat was where I put my money first, but unless they're not working as they should I've played what you have any times with no issues.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The only issue I've ever had with HH stands is if they are super slow, or smack open with a sound. Sometimes, the smacking open part can be adjusted. One thing I do see with your setup though, is your hats are tilted toward you. That forces the bottom hat to stick out in the direction you're playing so you'll shred sticks like crazy. I'd spin that around 180. It'll also give you a bit more control since the hat will be touching at the attack point of the stick and not the opposite.
 

JDFaulky

Member
The only issue I've ever had with HH stands is if they are super slow, or smack open with a sound. Sometimes, the smacking open part can be adjusted. One thing I do see with your setup though, is your hats are tilted toward you. That forces the bottom hat to stick out in the direction you're playing so you'll shred sticks like crazy. I'd spin that around 180. It'll also give you a bit more control since the hat will be touching at the attack point of the stick and not the opposite.
I have the “opened” part of the hi hats facing me. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean or not. The angle of the photo may suggest otherwise. However, I can try playing around with that a bit and see if I have better luck. Thanks!

As for top hat height, I’ve tried a bunch of different configurations and the spacing I have now seems to work the best for me at the moment, but again, I’ll continue to play with this and see if I can find a better solution.
 

jimb

Member
I'm fairly new as well and much older than U!, I'm 61 haha, anyway I've been thru all this recently and tend to agree with the above that u need to make that gap as small as possible to start with and maybe reduce the angle too...hell even close it up completely for a while until you've got ur hat groove solid.....then start to open it up a bit. As a standing bass player for years its taken two years for my body to learn to balance with legs splayed and feet tapping pedals and whatnot....felt really weird at first, like I was about to fall over.
 
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