Hi Hat tension?


Senior Member
I have a simple question that I just haven't thought about in all my years of playing and wanted to get some input on why tension selections are offered on hi hats. I understand the reasoning for the tension on kick pedals so I get the basics of why tension is needed, but has anybody ever adjust their tension on their hi hats? And if so, why? Just became obvious to me that I've never adjusted mine. Just curious what my fellow drummers have done.

Thanks in advance!


Platinum Member
I've got 4 hi hat stands that were all bought used.
I clean and lube them and then set the tension where it works good for me.

It's pretty much set and forget, unless things start to get gummed up.
That can happen, and it results in sluggishness that really bugs me.


Platinum Member
I find it a little unnerving to have the hihat tension so high that it slams up against the stop when it opens. Some people like that, but when I bought my hihat stand some 25 years ago, I was set on a more gentle action. I found one (DW 5000) and haven't adjusted it since.


Senior Member
I agree guys. Dig my kick pedal tension set high but I've always left my hat tension nice and loose via right outta the box. Seems to work for me set that way so I've never thought about it. Thanks for the reply's


Gold Member
I keep both HH and BD pedals pretty loose; when I get a new pedal, it usually takes a few gigs to get it to where I want, then I just leave it and forget about it.


Platinum Member
I have a few different hi-hats and have them all set to the loosest tension. And actually, I would like it if I could get them even looser.


Silver Member
I like to crank-up the bass drum pedal to get some added feel and a little help from the spring when needed, although like others here, I prefer the hat pedal tension nice and loose. I'm also like keeping the hats somewhat close with one side just about touching and not a mile apart as I've seen on some setups.

I'm also old and eccentric.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I like playing my hi hat with a lot of tension. In some songs an aggressively played loose hi hat creates a great sloppy rhythm pattern.
In other songs whacking the hi hat loudly with it closed really accentuates the groove.
Playing the hi hat with a lot of tension can be a great way to drive the band.

Oh wait. You mean spring tension………….. Never mind.


Trip McNealy

Gold Member
For many, like kick pedals, it's for feel. Also another reason, and one that I like about having it available, is to set it on a tension setting so that after you tighten the top hat with the clutch on to the rod, the foot pedal does not depress from the weight of the hats... this way I get the hats to remain fully open where I set them and the pedal at true rest... when it doesn't do that, it bothers me.