Category : Hi Hat Techniques

The study and development of hi hat phrasing, patterns and technique.

Triple Chant in 13 #1

This is the most difficult, simplistic, independent, and synchronistic of chants. Like others, there are numerous ways to understanding the chant. One example: 4 triplets plus one pulse. Another is how the hat and ride stay the same (opposite each other) while the snare and kick shift underneath. The play along track emphasizes the weights of the bass drum demonstrating its simplicity while all other limbs are independent cycles. You can use this chant to work on independence alone. Or you can concentrate on the pedaled hi hat. Whatever methods you choose will help you achieve what few can accomplish and put their minds to.

Triple Chant in 6 #1

One of my top warm ups. I developed this during my Reggae Years in my youth. One afternoon I was doing a sound check with some musicians performing reggae music and I came up with this chant. Today I use this chant as one of my warm ups during sound checks. The basic chant enforces an intense solid pocket with the twist of triple feel snare ghost notes not written in the chart. This mimics the sound of slap back delay on hi hat and snare when ghost notes are played on the snare. Or it can be played exactly as written on the chart without ghost notes for independence.

Cymbal Artistry

Cymbal artistry covers a large area. This lesson focuses on many uses and textural examples using the cymbals in various manners and styles. Every cymbal has its own sound and definition. Even the same exact model and brand of cymbals sound differently than each other. You can use the edge of crashes for “pings” and “chokes”.  At times, the dynamic of the music can change with a cymbal by striking it on its own with nothing in front, behind, or with it. I go into the use of different sounds and dynamics of the ride cymbal, the splash, the crash and the hi-hats. Rock crash riding, open hats, closed hats are all different aspects used in this valuable lesson.

Not Too Busy Hats

This demonstrates keeping the hi-hats driving yet simplistic over all kinds of drums chants. Simple hi hat patterns can drive grooves really hard. Small events such as little fills or pickups become significant as demonstrated at 2:59. “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck is used as an example of playing accented 8th notes over a straight (not swinging) groove in 5 while hitting the bass drum on every downbeat.