The Hi-Hats are a very expressive part of the drum kit. There’s a lot you can do with the Hi-Hats to add a little sizzle to your basic grooves. Open Hi-Hat notes can be heard in songs from any style of music. It’s a great way to add some character to a simple groove pattern and make it sound more upbeat. That’s why we hear it in grooves that have a dancing pulse.
One of the first things a drummer should do with the Hi-Hats is to learn how to add open hi-hat notes to a groove pattern. This will get your left foot moving and coordinating with the Bass Drum in different ways. That marks the beginning of your exploration into 4-way independence which means drumming where both hands and both feet are involved.
In this lesson we’ll be playing open hi-hat notes (marked with an “o”) on the off-beat of each beat. There’s a reason for this approach and that is to pay attention to when you close the Hi-Hats. When we play the open Hi-Hats off the beat, it means we’ll be closing them on the beat; 1, 2, 3 or 4 (marked with an “+”). I’m going to show you 4 different variations and we’ll try each one with a different groove pattern so that I can show you some of the tricky footwork that you’ll encounter.
Download the PDF: Hi-Hat Variations #1 (Open Hi-Hat Exercises)
Your mission is to download the PDF and practice each variation with all of the groove patterns provided. Mastering these exercises will give you a higher musical sense by enabling you to add some hi-hat sizzle to your groove playing.
Open Hi-Hats are played on the off-beat of 4. In this case, the Hi-Hats are always closed together with the Bass Drum on the downbeat (beat 1).
Open Hi-Hat is played on the off-beat of 3. Notice the Hi-Hats are to be closed together with the Snare Drum on beat 4.
Open Hi-Hat played on the off-beat of 2. Notice that there is Bass Drum when the Hi-Hats are being opened as well as when they are closed (beat 3).
Open hi-hat is played on the off-beat of beat 1. Notice that in this case, the Hi-Hats are being closed together with the Bass Drum AND the Snare Drum.
The recommended tempo range is 50 and 120
Tempo: 50 bpm
Crash Cymbal #4
How about taking your skills with the Crash Cymbal one step higher? In this lesson we'll be exploring different ways to play the Crash with 1/8th note groove patterns on the off-beat of 2.
The “Drag” Rudiment
On a roll with your rudiments? Why not learn another one? In this lesson, I'll show what the Drag rudiment is all about. You'll learn the technique as well as how to practice it musically.
Hi-Hat Variations #2
Want to further increase your skills on the Hi-Hats? In this lesson you will learn how to add some basic 1/16th note rhythms to your backbeat.