Drumming with no hi hats

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I'm still new to drums but personally i think so long as i have a ride and a china there isn't much need but i want ur opinions.
I think that's the most important info in your post. You don't have much experience then, so I'd rather go for the conventional ideas, because they obviously seem to make sense. Some years later you'll have the musical and conceptual knowledge to decide what you wanna do. Until then, I'd learn the basics, which very much includes hihat work both with hands and foot.

Another though: If you want to play a simple groove with bass drum on downbeats and snare on upbeats - being featured in so many important styles, you don't want to ignore such a beat I assume - you're going to give yourself a very tough task to make it tight and groovy without the connecting part of the hihat. If you say you're going to play the rim of a drum or something, fine, but why not play a hihat instead. As some mentioned, many more possibilities of sound choice there. And more projection. And more familiarity for every listener.
 

ricc333

Senior Member
Come to think of it, Lars Ulrich didn't have a ride cymbal for a really long time. Brad Wilk played without a rack tom for a while. So did Chris Penne. While stuff like that is uncommon, it's not rare.
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
DMC, while I agree with you just wanted to point out that some guitar players do this. Kieth Richards famously plays a 5 string guitar and 4 string tenor guitars were very popular in the 30's. Now I suppose it helps your case that these are really more for rhythm playing. While Kieth (Richards not Moonie) is a rhythm player that's not to say he's a talentless noisy hack like the other Kieth (Moonie not Richards.)

Calm down you old-timers, I'm kidding.

Easy tiger! Do you think I would give lessons that didn't include hardcore left foot action? The left foot is the most important part of playing drums, as it is where one keeps the time.

Oh snap! Did you just call Moon a hack? :p He had to use his left foot for balance to support the awesomeness of his mega-flailing and generally hardcoreness! :D
 

brady

Platinum Member
Come to think of it, Lars Ulrich didn't have a ride cymbal for a really long time. Brad Wilk played without a rack tom for a while. So did Chris Penne. While stuff like that is uncommon, it's not rare.

But they DID use hi-hats...
 

jmenchefski

Junior Member
Music is an art form - and its up to the artist to take the music in any direction they so choose

That being said, I love hi-hats. Then again, without hi-hats, my company (Billdidit) would go out of business! I kind of like the trend of multiple hats among the metal players. :)
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Music is an art form - and its up to the artist to take the music in any direction they so choose
Yes, if you're in the position to be an artist who can choose whatever he likes to do.
Mostly music is a collective art form, which means everyone is basically playing for the fellow members of the collective, and for the music they play.
So as a drummer in this situation, you unfortunately don't have complete freedom to do whatever you wish.
 

ricc333

Senior Member
But they DID use hi-hats...

True that. Just saying the idea of intentionally excluding something from a drum kit isn't anything new.

I think the general consensus here is this:

Artistically: Go for it.
If you want employed: Might not be your best idea.

Then again.....Futureman might argue, but Futureman is pretty well-known and will pull out a traditional kit if he wants to. This could go in circles almost as long as a convo on playing "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover".
 
Personally, I'd strongly recommended you keep the hihats

Secondly: you say you're "still new to drums." I don't want to speak down to you, but I think it's highly likely that, a few years down the track, when you have some more experience, you'll really regret not having a hi-hat (and it's more than that, if you only just started playing. A few years down the track you won't even know how to play a hihat.). My 'ideal kit setup' has changed so many times that I can't even keep count, and some of them have just been ridiculous. Guess what? Now my ideal kit is a four piece with hats, crash and a ride. Hah, funny how that happens. Don't expect to still idealise your 10/14/15/16/24 setup in another two years, or even another two months.

Finally, and I haven't read the thread too carefully, but I don't think it's been mentioned yet: According to your original post, your argument is this: "I don't want to use a hi-hat because my four toms and two snare drums are more important, and I can't fit it all on the kit." Ask any drummer on this board and I can all but promise they will tell you otherwise. The hihat is arguably the most expressive and versatile part of the kit, whereas having a fourth tom adds very little to your voice.

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I don't see it as talking down, i was looking for answers from more experienced players anyway so it would be hard not to kinda feel like that was going on. As for the "more important" part thats not what i was meaning, not really anyway. I was just saying those are what i prefer. I was basing on want, not importance... which makes the logic sound much worse than it actually is lol After seeing these posts remote hi-hats are a definate possibility. As for now i have hi hats that i use(13 zbt's :/ but i only have one pro cymbal now anyway, price was also a big reason i was asking about it seeing as how short of a big hammerax they'd be the most expensive cymbals), and i'm still learning to use them. And between the hihat and the slave on my dbl bass pedal my left foot stays plenty active. And yeah i def know what u mean about changing, i just downsized the tom sizes like a week ago, it was 8/10/14/16/18/ with 24 bass. Saves like 2k, plus after paying more attention to my current 16ft i figured 18 may well be too big for my style anyway. But it'll still be a long while before i can get that kit, i was just asking while this was on my mind.

And to whoever asked/was curious, my current setup is a black tama imperialstar, sizes 12/13/16/22 with 14x6.5 pearl masters custom snare(an older model but i bought it used so i'm not sure just how old) with sabian AA 16" thin crash, 13"zbt hats, tama 20" ride(yeah its brass, but it actually kinda works for a ride) and lastly my deteriorating 16" mx by cb China/crash, not too bad with an inch and a half crack in it, sounds better the bigger the crack gets, but i gotta stop it before it breaks :/
 

zfzgg

Senior Member
I tried remote hi-hats, too! DON'T DO IT!!! One of my crazy kit ideas actually stuck around long enough for me to drop $500 (Australia...) on a Pearl RH2000 remote hat stand and a clamp that goes with it. Guess what? It went to ONE rehearsal and ONE gig. I have honestly not even set the bloody thing on the kit ever since. It's sluggish, takes forever to set up and makes transporting my kit a nightmare.
If price is a big factor (which it always is), you'd benefit far more from a good quality 5 piece kit and some professional quality cymbals than lots of cheaper stuff. Seriously, don't shoot yourself in the foot by skipping one of the most useful parts of the kit, and don't waste money (like I did :|) on extra bits of kit that, frankly, you don't need.

...I should really get around to selling that bloody stand.
 

funkytomtom

Senior Member
I can see what people are saying...and they may not be "wrong," but don't be afraid to be unconventional. If you're only skipping out on the hi-hats because of the cost or inconvenience, it might be worth it to keep them around, but if you want to make the stylistic choice to ditch them I say go right ahead.

Think about a conga player. They may not (or may, in some cases) have two pedals-or even one pedal-but they manage to be creative. Forcing yourself to think in new ways is a good thing. Sorry but I don't buy this..."All other things being equal, a drummer who plays with four limbs will be more versatile, expressive and capable (better) than a drummer who just plays with three limbs. I can't imagine slicing out one-fourth of my capabilities."

My hi-hats are sticking (ha) with me for the long-haul, but I'd be really intrigued to see how things would go without a set. I imagine you things would become very tom intensive and, dare I say, tribal.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=763677#post763677 This is an ironic simultaneous discussion. I don't know if anyone has posted it already.
 
The hi-hats are a unique and expressive piece of the set. There is so much that we can do and explore with them, my personal opinion.
 

Spinozalove

Senior Member
You say that you are new to drumming so yes, I think you would be crazy to ditch the hats for the sake of extra toms and an extra snare. Also I think it is a good idea to prioritise learning single bass drum and hi hat coordination before you think about double bass. I know there are people who will disagree with me but I don't let any of my students go near a double bass pedal until they have some good hi hat skills. The hats are a whole world in themselves, far too important to sacrifice for double bass.

I am not saying you can't play the drums without hats, just that for someone who is new to the instrument i would definitely recommend a more standard setup until you start develope a personal style.
 

j.son

Junior Member
i am doing this also,only because im with out a set of hats and cymbals at the moment.
its been alot of fun learning new patterns between my limbs and drums..doing alot of kickdrum and rim hit substitutions.i am also getting into a groove of creating space and diggin the textures of resonance and sound decay.although my left leg still bounces up and down like my dog is humping it!
 

wloeb

Senior Member
Alright so i personally don't much care for them in the first place but i don't think i've ever heard a drum track that doesn't use them at some point. I currently do have a set, but i generally only use them in cover attempts. When i upgrade drum sets i plan to go to a 1(10) up 3(14, 15, 16) down with two snares(14, 13 piccolo), 24 bass drum and based on the DW kitbuilder there just isn't room for all of them, so i'm asking accomplished drummers this: Would i be crazy to have a drum set without hats? I'm still new to drums but personally i think so long as i have a ride and a china there isn't much need but i want ur opinions.

I'd give up on one of the snares before losing the hats's. Also I don't see any reason that you couldn't fit hi hats in that setup.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
To me, going without hats would be like a guitarist playing without a string or two. I think the hats are the most expressive part of the set, capable of barks, sssips, sloshes, ticks and more. I would rather play without a snare than without hihats.

Many drummers ignore their left foot almost entirely, unless they are playing double bass, and then the left foot is suddenly very important. It is just my opinion, but I think drummers who ignore their left foot are lazy.

Yep...if I were forced to choose, I'd give up the ride before the hats. They have way more dynamic and sonic possibilities (endless, really.)

I could live on snare, kick and hats, alone...if the world ever became such a cruel and unusual place.
 

zfzgg

Senior Member
I don't see any reason that you couldn't fit hi hats in that setup.

I agree. In fact, I went to DW's kit builder and built the thread starter's kit, just to illustrate the point:



If you're happy to have a 14 and a 16 to the right of your bass drum pedal, I see no reason why you can't fit a 13 and a 15 to the left. Not that it matters, because you'll change your mind long before you actually get around to buying a new kit :p
 
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