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


Senior Member
Just received my brand-new Remote Speedy Hat from Bill Bachman last week, and reset my newly-restored acoustic kit with the hat at 12:00. My setup is now similar to Bill's upper photo above. I'd been playing my electronic kit set up this way for some time, as the E-kit hat pedal and trigger are completely independent of one another. I hadn't found a cable remote hat that I could tolerate, though, so the A-kit languished in the traditional 10:00 configuration that I'd played through the 70s and 80s- and basically gathered dust.

The Speedy Hat is just that: speedy. The action is completely indistinguishable from even the best straight stand. This is nothing like any of the bicycle-cable remote stands. Despite having played the 12:00 configuration on the E-kit, I still can't get over how much it liberates my hands on the A-kit: the A-kit and E-kit have always been such different beasts. This configuration definitely does open up possibilities for wholly different structures for fill patterns.

One other thing that I really love about the 12:00 configuration, with the rack toms low and somewhat flat (and moved off the bass drum and onto an independent rack), is that it really lends itself to a very close-in setup, similar to what can be achieved with an E-kit. Every instrument can be addressed with only minimal motion. The hat can be played with either hand by barely shifting up from the snare, the rack toms sneak in under the hat on each side, and in general there is vastly less motion and effort wasted in trying to reposition for the next instrument.

It makes for a much more natural flow, for me anyway, and that is _key_. Given that I've managed to tear the rotator cuffs in both shoulders in the past decade, this is just flat-out a lifesaver for me. This "getting-old" thing is getting old, man. I never imagined what it would be like being a 50something drummer... (;-) The fatigue from those old injuries was one reason that I have played primarily the E-kit for the past many years: thrashing around to reach all those things so far away, and crossing over, was just downright painful. I put 4 straight hours of practice in on the A-kit yesterday, for the first time in over 10 years, and I'm in freakin' heaven. *No pain*.

I realize that nobody knows me from Adam, but allow me to strongly recommend that any interested student at least give the 12:00 configuration a try. It literally can be a life-changing experience. Also, standard disclaimer applies: I have no relationship with Legacy Percussion and Bill Bachman other than as a *very* satisfied customer... And now, I'm gonna step away from the pooter, go down to the studio, and put in another few hours on my new old friend. Who knew?
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Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Mark Herron also played 12o'clock hats with Oceansize. His setup was quite weird.

I like to have secondary hats not out in front but to my right, just above my ride. To me it's a bit more natural because you're not having to reach and it leaves the space in front of you open for your other hand to move, should you want a rack Tom there.

My ex hats don't have a pedal though I'm not really interested in playing 2 hi hat pedals at this stage, I'm already having too much fun with all the new possibilities as it is. I definitely love having 2 hi hats, it's twice the fun.



Gold Member
I used to have a setup like Peart with a set of remote hats to the upper left of the ride, but found that over time it was just two more cymbals to lug and a weird, spindly Pearl RH2000 to pack as well. Sold it and just play standard overhand as I have for nearly 40 years.



Gold Member
I have a TD12 and so should be able to move my hats closer to 11 oclock at least. I can't wait to give it a go. I've never really found a happy position for my acoustic kit hats so this should be a fun experiment.

Thanks for the heads up.



Gold Member
You'll love it Davo...

I have E Drums and have the hi hat at around 11pm if I sit forward facing the toms....but sit off to my left so the hi hat ends up practically at 12pm...

I used to REALLY struggle with hi hats I think through a combination of my size and height, and also bad practice....I'm now literally 100% comfortable behind my kit.


Gold Member
Oh what fun.

Here's my revised set-up. It's so different and really versatile ... I can just reach the hihat under the snare (as there is no stand) and even having the smallest tom to the left adds to the options.





Junior Member
I've been playing drums off-and-on for about six years now and I'm still struggling with the placement of those damn hats. I've tried to put them as far to the 12 o' clock position as I could, but, not having a remote hihat pedal, I didn't get too far. I play trad exclusively, which I don't think helps matters either, as it puts a stick on top of the bottom hand and on the bottom of the top hand, whereas with matched you at least have a hand in between the sticks. A remote hat may very well be my next purchase...


Senior Member
I just recently got a Remote Speedy Hat and have been playing with this setup question, and I must say that I love it. I don't have a lot of basis for comparison (being something of a newbie), but certainly the Remote Speedy Hat feels as tight and responsive, if not more so, than the traditional DW stand that I had before. But the best thing is that pedal placement and hat placement are now separate things, so I can put them each where it feels most comfortable.

Honestly, it's amazing to me that this type of thing isn't the standard. I mean, here it is, 2012, and the vast majority of kits are still constrained to have the hats straight above the pedal. Why? We have the technology to separate them. Is it tradition? Do people feel that straight above the pedal is really the ideal position? Obviously, to each his or her own, but personally, I think it makes sense to separate the two, and I'm benefiting from having the freedom to place the hats wherever feels best (and for me, that's not straight above the pedal).

- Bobby


Silver Member
hey guys, how do you get the Hats at 3 o'clock (lefty) and not have the Hat pedal change your sitting position? Seems If I do that, my left leg position is good, but hihat pedal is bringing my right leg 90 degrees or less. I guess I'm confused about the configuration.


Gold Member
Ronyd, I thinking they're using the snare drum as the main point of reference. Otherwise variables such as the bass drum facing forwards with you sitting to the side, or you facing forward with the bass drum pointing to the side a bit cloud the issue.

It boils down to having the hi hat where the hands and/or sticks cross or where they do not cross.

Here's an example of playing with the hats at 12 o`clock with the remote speedy hat:



Platinum Member
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.
To be truly thorough with this approach, you'd really have to setup a full mirror or you'll always end up with crossing. Two identical rides, two of each cymbal, full drum mirror on both sides with identical tuning between sides. Sounds like a lot of work, and I don't mind crossing that much that I'll just keep my kit small and lean, easy to setup and easy for others to play as well.

Last night I actually had my first go on a kit with two hats one either side, and two floor toms on either side... The hats I could take or leave, it was kinda fun, but I didn't feel any more "free"... More like I just used the two different hat sounds creatively when it struck me. The floor toms on either side was awesome though. Never did like two floors side by side, too much twisting.