Hi Hats uneven

Rick H.

Senior Member
hey everybody, it seems that i cant get my hi hats to be evenly spaced apart all the way around. And ive tried everything, i found out its the top hat that is uneven, ive tried new felts for the bottom, readjusting the legs and i cant find anything that works.
I just want my hi hats to be evenly spaced all the way around, has anybody else ever had this problem?

Any input would be great, Thanks.
 

k42c

Junior Member
im not sure what you mean. the top hat should be flat and the bottom have a slight angle. this can be adjusted by a screw under the bottom hat on most highhat stangs.

i hope this helps
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I just want my hi hats to be evenly spaced all the way around, has anybody else ever had this problem?
I'm yet to see perfectly even spaced hi hats. Adjusting the tilter may help some, but to get it millimeter perfect?.......tough ask.......especially when you start hitting them

There's a few threads around on this issue and they all pretty much come to the same conclusion.

Question: What's the big deal? Why do you need perfect spacing?
 

Rick H.

Senior Member
I dont need it, i mean i know what you mean, but sometimes i feel it would help the sound out a bit.
Also, i was just wondering if it was common.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I dont need it, i mean i know what you mean, but sometimes i feel it would help the sound out a bit.
Also, i was just wondering if it was common.
I feel a tilt on the bottom cymbal actually promotes a better sound anyway. It prevents the dreaded "air lock" that can stifle the sound. The tilt makes for a more solid chick and a little more volume and projection when splashing the hats or when playing them semi-open.

Common indeed mate. From a distance many hats may look like they're directly parallel, but in my experience there's always some degree of tilt....how much is up to the player.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Sometimes the rod can be bent enough that things don't line up well. Then you get a kind of mushy "chick" sound instead of a clean one. But in general, it's not a precision thing.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Tilt the hats man! Tilt the hats, and don't lose sleep over it.
The tilt is what makes them play properly.
Pocket gave the answer in both of his posts.
 

ddrumman2004

Senior Member
As an experiment, level your cymbals as close as you can then play the hi hat with your foot. Then tilt the bottom cymbal and see the difference.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You don't actually want them perfectly even.

If the two cymbals were hit each other perfectly evenly all the way around, you would create an airlock, and they wouldn't come apart easily. To play the hi-hats effectively requires a small level of unevenness.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Is the problem an uneven gap between the cymbals as they come together? Or do they not line up right when they are together. I've never seen a hat stand that lines up really well, but as folks have said, you don't want this anyway. A bit of offset gives you a better wash sound when riding them part way. Usually putting in a bit of tilt to get a clean closing sound will end up with a good sounding lateral offset to the hats. Too little tilt and you get airlock. Too much tilt and you get an indistinct closing "chick". Some folks like their top hat fairly solid while others like them really loose and washy. That's a matter of taste. But a dead perfect tight close isn't anything that anyone wants.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
I have a similar problem with one of my hi hat stands, my Tama stand is good the 2 cymbals come together nice, however my practice set has a pulse stand (really nice and heavy duty seems to be built better then the tama) however when the hi hat is closed the 2 cymbals are offset about a quarter of an inch. I have tried adjusting the screw at the bottom, changing felts and nothing works to get them lined up without one hanging over the other... I have been afraid of cracking one of the cymbals because of this overhang. ..All that being said my problem is obviuosly the stand since they are ok on the tama stand.
 

jmenchefski

Junior Member
I remember reading somewhere that the tilt / "uneveness" is necessary in order to let air in and to let air escape. If the hats come together perfectly, you can create a vacuum or a pressure build up that could affect how easily they come down or open back up.

I'm not sure I buy that story - I would think the force of your foot on the pedal and the force of the return spring would be a lot stronger than the vacuum or air pressure buildup - but I definitely remember reading this.

Joe
Billdidit
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I've never seen a hi-hat "vacuum lock" to where it didn't open back up. I don't think there's sufficient sealing to create that kind of vacuum.

But they do make a funny chuff or woomp sound when you close a pair that line up really straight. And you can feel a bit of resistance in your foot as they come together.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Most drummers place the tilter on the far side of the hats so that the pies tilt up at the area that is farthest away from the drummer.
Some of the two leg hat stands like the Iron Cobra can be further tilted by tilting the entire stand using the adjustment on the legs to tilt it.
I tilt my hats down towards me with both the tilter and the stand.
 

Mike Armstrong

Senior Member
Most drummers place the tilter on the far side of the hats so that the pies tilt up at the area that is farthest away from the drummer.
Some of the two leg hat stands like the Iron Cobra can be further tilted by tilting the entire stand using the adjustment on the legs to tilt it.
I tilt my hats down towards me with both the tilter and the stand.
Interesting, thanks.

Is it a 'preference' to strike the 'closed' side of the hats or is that proper technique? Curious to see if I have been playing the HH in an uncommon way.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Interesting, thanks.

Is it a 'preference' to strike the 'closed' side of the hats or is that proper technique? Curious to see if I have been playing the HH in an uncommon way.
There are many ways to play a set of Hi-Hats.
For the most part, the drummer plays the closest part of the hats on the bow of the upper cymbal.
You can play the farthest part of the cymbals and anything in between.
You can also play the edge of the upper cymbal.
You can play the bell of the upper cymbal.
You can play the hats in any stage of the closed, partially closed, or open position.
You can play the bottom hat in any area by reversing your stroke.
You can cup the hats with the fingers of one hand while playing them with the other.

Experiment with your hats and watch the many ways that drummers play them.
The hats are an extremly versatile pair of cymbals that are capable of creating many sounds.
 
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