New drummer - question about hi hat position

Voldemort

Junior Member
Hi everyone!

First off - this is an amazing forum and an awesome resource for drum-related information on the web.

I'm a fairly new drummer (only been playing for a year or so), and I have a quick question on hi-hat position relative to the drumkit. I've noticed on most educational and other videos by drummers here on Drummerworld as well as Youtube, that the majority of drummers play cross-handed, i.e. right hand playing the hi hat cross the left hand playing the snare (if you're right handed of course.)

I have found this crossing over of the hands a little uncomfortable, and my sticks tend to hit each other if I do some in-between strikes with the left hand on the snare while keeping the right hand going on the hi hat.

So what I started doing is to move my right hand more "forward" and away from my body, and bringing the snare a little closer so my hands no longer cross and this way I can play snare and hi hat independantly without the sticks constantly hitting each other.

Is this "ok" to do? Since I'm still fairly new to the drumset, I don't want to develop bad habits that will inhibit my drum playing later.

If you're uncertain what I mean exactly, on the Vic Firth educational site there is a video by Brian Ferguson titled "Setting up the set: basic considerations" in which he explains this hi hat position. Here is the link for anyone interested:

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/drumset/ferguson.html

Thanks so much!

V.
 

drumguyfromWI

Senior Member
there is no wrong or right way to set up your drum kit.

whatever feels good to you, go with that. after all, it's YOUR kit.
 

Bonz0

Member
there is no wrong or right way to set up your drum kit.

whatever feels good to you, go with that. after all, it's YOUR kit.


Yeah his right, you have to go with the most comfortable position you feel...just in case i can advice you that maybe you have the hi hat a bit low so thats why you mess up with the sticks, but again is your choice..
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
Oh, and by the way, welcome to the forum! You will like it here. In fact, you should post pics of your kit in the "Your Gear" section.
 

Voldemort

Junior Member
Hey thanks for the responses!

The way I play now is pretty comfortable to me, so I think I'll just keep it up for the time being. Oh one thing I forgot to mention is that my hi hat is also placed more "forward", i.e. if the snare drum is at 12 o'clock, then I have the hi hat at approx 11. This seems to work for me.

I'm glad that their is no one "right" way to set up a drumkit, I realize it's a very personal thing.

805drummer: thanks for the words of welcome! I don't have my own kit at the moment, I use one at our church for practicing. I live in an apartment too, so accoustic kit would be out of the question for now, but I'm seriously considering to get an electronic kit (maybe Roland V-drums?) at some point.

Cheers!
V
 

DrewTheShoe

Senior Member
While there is no right or wrong way to set up a kit, there is an ergonomic way and a not ergonomic way.
Just make sure that your set-up is comfortable, relaxed, and easy to work with so you won't develop some serious problems.

Welcome to the forum, you're going to love it here.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
Hey thanks for the responses!

The way I play now is pretty comfortable to me, so I think I'll just keep it up for the time being. Oh one thing I forgot to mention is that my hi hat is also placed more "forward", i.e. if the snare drum is at 12 o'clock, then I have the hi hat at approx 11. This seems to work for me.

I'm glad that their is no one "right" way to set up a drumkit, I realize it's a very personal thing.

805drummer: thanks for the words of welcome! I don't have my own kit at the moment, I use one at our church for practicing. I live in an apartment too, so accoustic kit would be out of the question for now, but I'm seriously considering to get an electronic kit (maybe Roland V-drums?) at some point.

Cheers!
V

Well, I'm sure we'd love to see the one you use at church as well. Pretty please?
 

Voldemort

Junior Member
Well, I'm sure we'd love to see the one you use at church as well. Pretty please?

Sure! I'll take some pictures and upload for you.

It's inside one of those perspex cages, so I kind of get the "fishbowl" feeling whenever i'm playing. Our church building is very old (built in the early 70's) so the acoustics aren't the best at least as far as the drums are concerned.

The kit consists of Pacific Drums (not sure which series, I'll see if I can find out), with Zildjian (mostly A custom) cymbals.

Drums - bass, 2 x rack tom, 1 x floor tom (not sure about the exact dimensions.)
Cymbals - hi hat, 1 x 14" crash, 1 x 16" crash, 20" medium ride.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
Sure! I'll take some pictures and upload for you.

It's inside one of those perspex cages, so I kind of get the "fishbowl" feeling whenever i'm playing. Our church building is very old (built in the early 70's) so the acoustics aren't the best at least as far as the drums are concerned.

The kit consists of Pacific Drums (not sure which series, I'll see if I can find out), with Zildjian (mostly A custom) cymbals.

Drums - bass, 2 x rack tom, 1 x floor tom (not sure about the exact dimensions.)
Cymbals - hi hat, 1 x 14" crash, 1 x 16" crash, 20" medium ride.

That's cool...thanks. I'm guessing it's not a PDP 805...haha.
 

sciomako

Silver Member
So what I started doing is to move my right hand more "forward" and away from my body, and bringing the snare a little closer so my hands no longer cross and this way I can play snare and hi hat independantly without the sticks constantly hitting each other.

This is also what Billy Ward described in his "Big Time" DVD.
 
Try anything and everything. You're never locked into any specific configuration, and to my knowledge most drummers evolve through several different setups anyway.

Oh, and welcome!
 

Davidb59

Senior Member
Voldemort says " Our church building is very old (built in the early 70's)" QUOTE

That's not old! Only in America.

This is an old church:- Bradwell

Oldest church in England

Here, we are on the edge of the world. The land is flat, the wind races over the Essex fields and the marshes echo with haunting bird cries. A long stretch of Roman road leads east from the village, becomes a track and then a path. At the end of this path, where the sea meets the sky, is the oldest church in England. St Peter's Chapel, Bradwell-on-Sea, was built to mark the spot where St Cedd landed in 654, on his mission from Lindisfarne to lighten the Dark Ages of the heathen East Angles.

Using bricks and stone from the ruined Roman fort of Othona, the Saxons created what was almost a cathedral, 50 ft (15.2m) long, 22 ft (6.7m) wide and 25 ft (7.6m) high. The people of Essex worshipped here for 600 years or more, but, so remote was this spot, that congregations soon dwindled and the chapel eventually passed out of knowledge, which is probably how it has survived. In 1920, a passing rambler noticed the noble proportions. He started to excavate and soon realised that he was looking at sacred ground. So St Peter's Chapel was restored as a place for peace and reflection. It is still a long way away from the rest of the world, but well worth the pilgrimage.
 

Voldemort

Junior Member
Voldemort says " Our church building is very old (built in the early 70's)" QUOTE

That's not old! Only in America.

Hi Davidb59,

True, a building from the 70's is not really "old" in the sense you describe above.

However, what I really meant was that when the church was built they probably didn't have in mind that one day there will be drums as part of the music and therefore didn't make provision for it acoustically.

In our case we have too many hard surfaces (wood etc.) and not enough acoustic dampening, so the sound of the drums "bounce" all over the place.

I think a lot of "older" church buildings have this problem - many sound engineers I know at churches struggle with the mix. The drums are so loud and overpowering that it drowns out the rest of the mix, which in turn leads them to crank the volume of the other instruments, which in turn cause people to groan - going to church shouldn't be the same as going to a rock concert, right?

Some churches remedy this by using electronic drumsets that can be mixed much more efficiently, and you also don't need the accoustic isolation drum cages.

Hope that clarifies what I meant with "old"!

V
 
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