How much air is in between your hi-hats?


Gold Member
I between one and two fingers... ish. I don't really think about it. 1/2" to 3/4" ...

Very little tilt for me too. Maybe 1/8"-1/4" elevation difference between each side of the bottom hat
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Silver Member
Bottom hat tilted toward me about 1/4 inch (6 mm) lower than the back. When at rest, the back of the hats are about 3/4 inch (20 mm) apart; with my foot on the pedal, that distance closes to about 3/8 inch (10 mm) in the back.

With that arrangement the hats can chick, sizzle, bark and splash just fine (though not at the same time!).


Platinum Member
i like my hats just short of touching when I fully release the pedal...just short including what play('wobble') I leave in either cymbal - as a function of how rigidly I mount the cymbals.

i like to have no 'sizzle' sound when i quickly release the pedal from full engadement....but the smallest distance to having the cymbals touch eachother.

From there, it depends on how tight i mount the cymbals...which can vary depending on need.

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
about 1/2 of an inch.

I try to keep it as small as possible while still being able to get a click from the pedal and have it not be too sloshy when playing open.


"Uncle Larry"
About 3 inches apart. I don't like them touching when my foot is off the pedal. Decent tilt, maybe 30 degrees.


Silver Member
I like enough space that they don't touch when the pedal is up. My criteria for adjusting that space is done with consideration of how far I want my left ankle bent when the cymbals are
open. I also like the top cymbal on loosely so it is floppy with the adjustment screw tilting it


Junior Member
Very little space - just enough so if I have no foot on the hi-hat pedal, there's half to maybe three-quarters of an inch of space, and the top hat isn't stiff in the clutch. I prefer a slightly washy open sound so I rarely play them wide-open; in general I don't like the clangy sound that seems to result. That being said, I've never recorded myself playing them that way - it might sound better "from the outside" than I think. Something new to try!


Senior Member
Depends on the song I'm playing. If the song has either an open or closed hat sound for the majority, I pre-adjust the hats to be more open or closed accordingly beforehand. Sometimes distinctly separated, sometimes lightly touching. I find that it reduces the amount of focus and effort necessary for my left foot to operate them as needed. On average though, I'd say they're rarely farther apart than 1/8".


Platinum Member
I guess I'm about average. I can get my thumb in between both cymbals when the hat is open.


Platinum Member
Probably 1/8" to 3/16". Playing double kick I will sometimes keep my left foot on both pedals so I can get some accent work going, and other times I will just let them slosh. When only playing single kick I usually bounce my foot on the pedal. I don't remember if this is why I keep them so close, but I found out very early on I don't like them wide open.


Gold Member
When open, the air ranges from around 1/3" on the tilt side to 1.5" on the open side. Top hat quite loose and clutch? tension is fairly tight, so it doesn't take much effort to open/close.
heavier K Custom dark hats.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
About 1.5 inches (4 cm), a slight tilt with a medium spring adjustment, the footboard angle is the same as the bass drum pedal. It's a 13" K/Z combination, so the bottom cymbal is fairly heavy and the top is medium weight.

Red Menace

Platinum Member
With this thread in mine I check where I had my hats sitting at my last gig. It is open enough so that they don't, I'd say maybe 1/2" apart. I thought I set them much more open that I actually do.