Recently, a student asked me to help her work on opening and closing the hi hat during beats so she could start incorporating the “shhhh” sound into her grooves. The attached sheet, “Hi Hat Control, Part 1,” is the set of exercises I came up with for her. The sheet is available for download by clicking on the following link: Hi Hat Control Part One
Here are a few things to note about my approach to this topic for rock drumming beginners.
Efficiency: this topic, like many others in drumming and in music, could be an endless sea of exercises and practice. I wanted to make this worksheet as useful as possible (that is one of the BANG! credos…..we practice “Useful technique” and “Useful Independence”). Therefore the sheet begins with what I think is the most common of simple eighth note rock beats. From there, we simply look at the eight possible places to open the hi hat and apply them to that specific beat. It is NOT exhaustive, however, I think it is extremely useful as a beginning for learning to use the hi hat in rock music.
The Closed Note: I have always believed that since the foot causes a “chick” sound to be heard when it closes the hi hat, it is unnecessary to strike the hi hat with the cymbal hand simultaneously when that note is played by the foot. Further, it sounds sloppy to strike the hi hat with the hand while closing it with the foot. You’ll notice that the exercises here reflect that philosophy. I only point this out because these exercises look different than much of the other work by other authors on this topic. Many times, in other drumming literature, the hi hat foot, and its role in creating the open sound are ignored in the notation and I wanted to correct that …..I think it is an oversight.
For any teachers: please feel free to use this to help your students.
Alright….enough ramblings for one night….have at it!