In praise of the hi-hats

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
Until yesterday I only ever opened the hi-hat for the 'and' of 1. Then my drum teacher gave me a bunch of exercises moving it to various points in an eighth note groove.

It's amazing the effect moving the hiihat to different places can havein a very simple groove. I feel I've only been playing with three limbs til now; it's like I've been dancing with only one leg.

As you can see, I'm enthusiastic. The hi-hat is my new favourite part of the drums. I'm going back to my kit now :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I share your fascination with the hi hat. it's the only part of the kit you can (normally) play with 3 limbs. That's why double bass hold no interest for me, the hi hat is much too valuable to abandon for a sound I already have. The hi hat is where the funk hides out. Last time I checked, double bass wasn't real funky. I place too high of a value on funk to ever take my foot off that pedal.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
The hi hat is where the funk hides out.
*high fives Larry*

That's spot on. I've been doing real simple 8th note grooves, nothing much more than a boom-cha rock beat and all I need do is put the open hi hat on the 1 or the 3, maybe add a ghost note here and there and it's like the funk arrived.
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
Oh, yeah, I use the hats a hell of a lot, little funky snatches here and there all the time, I often think probably to the detriment of my other work on the kit, but there you go.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i'm gonna come right out and say that the hi hat is the most expressive instrument on the drum kit, if used to it's full potential.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I am still impressed to this day that Stewart Copeland played only hi-hat on "Red Rain" by Peter Gabriel, with Jerry Marotta playing the drum kit.

That says a lot right there.
 

cobamnator

Senior Member
I am still impressed to this day that Stewart Copeland played only hi-hat on "Red Rain" by Peter Gabriel, with Jerry Marotta playing the drum kit.

That says a lot right there.

Wow...I never knew that.

I just learned "Man in a Suitcase" - The Police yesterday, and it has TONS of hi hats flourishes, and open hi hat accents everywhere...especially in the breakdown of the song, about half way through. Stewart = Master of Hi hat Flourishes.

One thing I learned from the song specifically is, when you are playing medium - Fast tempo songs (Ala man in a suitcase), a 4 stroke 16th note triplet starting on the "&" of "4" with an accent on the LAST stroke sounds AMAZING!!! No seriously...amazing.

It took me forever to figure out what that was, but there you go...try it.
 

bolweevil

Member
i'm gonna come right out and say that the hi hat is the most expressive instrument on the drum kit, if used to it's full potential.
Totally agree...I explain to non-drummers that it's the only thing on the kit you play with your hands and feet at the same time (at least it is on my standard, non-monster kit). The level of control and expression comes though huge to me for that reason. Love the hats!
 

wsabol

Gold Member
Yes. hi hats rule. The hi hats are my favorite instrument on the kit, the snare being a close second. And they are the ones I'm most finicky about when purchasing new ones. It so hard for me to buy high hats because there are SOOOOOO many sounds you can get out of it. Foot chick, splash, shoulder, bead, bell, etc.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You can get away with playing stuff on the hi hats, that if you played the same figure on the toms, you would get fired.

A few favorite hi hat uses:

During a round the kit drum fill, play one of the drums parts on the hi hat.

During a drum solo, I try to play my solo against a hi hat foot chick ostinato, it helps me feel like I'm playing along to something..

While riding the closed hats during a verse for instance, opening the hats just a little along with the snare backbeats. That little movement translates into a much more defined pulse. Big return on a small investment

Playing a 16th note groove on the hi hats with openings and accents and a poppin snare backbeat to a groovin crowd....priceless.

The sky is the limit with the possibilities you can do with it.

LONG LIVE THE HI HAT!

The guy who invented it should be duly honored.
 

Spectron

Silver Member
Love the hi hats....

one of my favorite hi hat moves is to splash 'em wide open just before a tom fill and let 'em sizzle throughout the fill
 
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