Preventing Hi-Hats from Keyholing


Silver Member
Hey guys, I know the dangers and preventative methods regarding keyholing, but there's never really been any products developed for hi-hat cymbals/clutches. It's almost amazing that no one has realized that the same dangers of keyholing still hold true for hi-hats, and even more so if you're playing them open a lot and they can move around on the metal clutch.

Would something like the Grombal work over a hi-hat clutch? If not, would securing the hole of the cymbal with electrical tape or putting e-tape around the contact surface of the clutch work?

And I guess finally, (even though I should have asked this first), should I even be concerned about keyholing on my hi-hats? I'm asking more in regards to a 15" K Istanbul I just bought on the bay. Should I just avoid playing this in situations where I play a little harder and with my hats open?



Senior Member
I have an old pair of 60s new beats that definitely has some keyholing, though not only in 1 direction. The main thing is to make sure the hi hat can't ever touch the threads on your clutch. Electrical tape on the clutch would probably help but could get messy, or you can cut a piece of plastic tubing to wrap around it.


Platinum Member
I've certainly seen keyholed hats, but for the life of me I can't figure out how anyone actually manages to do it. I've never needed grombals or tape or plastic tubing or any other thing.

Hats sit on a thicker shaft than a cymbal stand, are clamped in top and bottom and are subjected to way less movement than a cymbal. They really don't need anything more. Just play the things mate, they'll be fine.


Senior Member
My guess is that people who played with open sloshy hats on a clutch that had threads under where the cymbal sits could keyhole quite quickly.


Gold Member
Put your cymbals in a cardboard box, tape the top and bottom securely with tape (don't forget the edges), place on a high shelf in a dark closet and you will never have a keyholing issue. :)

I have been playing for over 50 years and have never had a key holing issue on hats. Play 'em and enjoy 'em.


Silver Member
The Remo Quick Lock clutch does not have threads against the hats. I highly recommend it.


Silver Member
If you're so worried, just wrap some electrical tape around your clutch, works for me since I stripped the threads off my clutch with sloshin' hats.


Gold Member
I posted this question last year when I got my A Mastersound HH's. The answers are pretty much the same as they were back then. I would make sure your clutch has a smooth sleeve, not the threaded ones.

What I've done is cut a thin piece of plastic tubing bought from the local hardware store and placed it on the HH sleeve. Unless you get VERRRYYYY thin tubing, it's gonna be tight!
I 1st had to place it in the cymbal hole, then screw the clutch into the cymbal holes.

This would be a hassle if you switched hats often. I just went ahead and got a clutch for each of my HH top cymbals. 3 total. Kinda overkill IMO.


I've never been plagued by hi hat cymbal keyholing problems, but I have seen a few. I don't keep my top hats mounted very tightly, but again, they don't slosh all over the place when being played either.

Sorry, nothing to see here.