Rock Hi-Hats

by Denny Kinne

In the last several years, the hi-hat has come to play an increasingly active role in drum set independence — especially for the rock drummer. The sustained or “splash” sound emanating from the hi-hat is basically the action of the hi-hat foot in the open position while simultaneously being struck with the stick. The hihat foot is quickly raised on the accent, returning immediately to the closed position. In exercises 1-6, the hi-hat foot is raised only on the accented “ans”, where the 0 is marked over the note. See below.
Rock Perspectives 1In exercises 7 and 8 we have two accents where the hi-hat remains open for one full beat. Note also, the bass drum’s reinforcement of the hi-hat accents in each exercise. In example 7 the hi-hat opens on the count of 2 and closes on the count of 3. The stick strikes the hi-hat cymbals in open position on the counts of 2 AN.
Rock Perspectives 2Example 8 utilizes the same principle on the counts of 4 AN.
Rock Perspectives 3These are only a few of the most commonly used open hi-hat variations. There are literally hundreds of other possible combinations. Experiment, and see how many original ideas you can come up with.All of the above practice material was reprinted from “Rock Socks”A Study for Hi Hats in Rock Drumming, by permission of author Denny Kinne.