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How to Play the Hi-Hat on a Drum Set

Learn how to play a hi-hat from drum teacher Jason Gianni in this Howcast drum video.


Now we're going to talk about the High Hat. And the High Hat sort of comprises of two parts. You have the High Hat symbols, which are two of them, and you have the High Hat stand itself. We'll start with the symbols. You have a bottom High Hat symbol, which is typically a little bit heavier than the top High Hat symbol. A little heavier in weight. And that allows for the top symbol to collapse on the bottom one, and create what's called a really strong chick sound. When they close together, it's called chick. And the top symbol is a little bit lighter, and it has what's called a High Hat clutch on it. And a High Hat clutch has a wing nut, and as you screw the wing nut down, it clamps onto the High Hat stand, and that's what keeps it into place.

The High Hat stand here has a few different parts to it. It has the base here, and the legs, which these are called double braced legs. Double braced meaning two braces, or two sections of the legs themselves. It has the pedal on the bottom, and the pedal is controlled right here by it, or connected I should say, by a chain. And it's attached to this post here, or this rod, which travels through the portion of the High Hat, and moves up and down through the stand.

What you would do is you would take your bottom symbol, insert it upside down on the High Hat stand, on what's called a cup here. And it sits on the felt, and that goes into place. And you would take your upper portion of the High Hat, and also set that into place. Now, if it's not clamped down, as you notice the stand, or the rod still goes through the High Hat stand, like this. Controlled either by your hand, or by your foot. If you depress the pedal down, by about an inch or an inch or two, and then clamp down the wing nut, what you have is the two symbols now open up from each other. And then you control the High Hat stand by the pedal. To either move it with your foot or your leg, or to strike it with a stick. Closed. Open. And a combination of closed and open.

And there's your High Hat.

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