Hi hat foot timing

Drm1979

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Also remember that pumping the hats all the time can be overbearing as well. IMO controlling it, and using it when it's called for and not as a metronome every song is key here. Practice goes a long way.
This is kinda what I already do. Marching band really instilled a great sense of time into my playing. I can set a tempo with my right hand and pretty much keep that same tempo locked in with my right hand. Should there be a break in the song where the drums stop I'll set the tempo back in with like a 4 count with my left foot on the hihat.
 

pwc1141

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I am someone that really struggles to clap on the on 1 & 3 and so the 2 & 4 are ingrained in me and I use the hi-hat to both keep my internal clock ticking as well as accent the 2 & 4 on my jazz gigs. On some tunes it might swing more by playing all 4 beats but I have never had to play 8ths with my left foot and therefore am wondering where that might be applicable ? .....
 

Rock Salad

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For me it is getting used to the sound of the hat back beat. So sometimes when I listen to back beat music I sing "chick!" (& think foot,) with the snare hits. It's helping.
 

Markkuliini

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These are the 4 variations I make my students practice, if they are struggling with this issue. And they always have to master one, before moving on to the next one.
It's quite simple exercise, but most of drummers seem to have difficulties with one part or the other, especially when trying to change between them, or if the bass drum is playing anything more complex.

But these are basically the patterns I choose from when playing 4/4, and I often keep a tambourine on top of my hats to make the patterns better heard.

I filmed this to one of my students, so it's a hidden video, only this link have access to it.

Pardon me, I speak Finnish in the beginning but the demonstration starts at about 20 second mark. :p
Hope this helps.


 

jazzmetal

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Try Gary Chester's 'The New Breed', substitute the HH for the BD ..real slow and precise.
 

pwc1141

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^^^ left foot clavé on Bossa Novas work with hi-hat and I sometimes do that when playing latin with brushes .....
 

frankmott

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How can one play a standard disco beat (barks on all four "ands") without keeping time with the hi-hat foot?
 

Ludwigboy

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I think you are getting some really good advice with all these DFO posters...IMHO, the only thing I found that helps me is to play to songs like "Brown eyed girl" by Van Morrison and just play the song over and over and just play the hi hat on 2 and 4 ; don't play any other drum or cymbal. You will probably get sick of it but you will probably improve; keeping it simple helps.
 

Drm1979

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Yeah I intend to try and incorporate some of this into my practice and playing. Probably gonna start simple though with just the hi hat on 2&4 for now and if u can get that comfortable I'll work up to all four beats on the measure.
 

Ludwigboy

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Yeah I intend to try and incorporate some of this into my practice and playing. Probably gonna start simple though with just the hi hat on 2&4 for now and if u can get that comfortable I'll work up to all four beats on the measure.
I encourage you to do this and good luck...I hope whatever you do, it works out well for you!
 

ARGuy

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Lots of great ideas so far. Here's something that came to me overnight - how are you playing the hi hat? Heel down, heel up, rocking motion? If you're using a technique that is throwing your balance off even just a little, it's going to feel uncomfortable. If you're a heel up bass drum player, you might be unconsciously using your left foot as an anchor for stability, so any attempt to use the left foot for something different might be upsetting your balance. I went through a similar situation a few years ago. What I did was to go back to playing the most basic patterns over and over until my body centered itself. Keep adding more patterns and stay with them until they settle in.
 

Drm1979

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Lots of great ideas so far. Here's something that came to me overnight - how are you playing the hi hat? Heel down, heel up, rocking motion? If you're using a technique that is throwing your balance off even just a little, it's going to feel uncomfortable. If you're a heel up bass drum player, you might be unconsciously using your left foot as an anchor for stability, so any attempt to use the left foot for something different might be upsetting your balance. I went through a similar situation a few years ago. What I did was to go back to playing the most basic patterns over and over until my body centered itself. Keep adding more patterns and stay with them until they settle in.
I play my bass drum heel up and typically keep my hi hat foot flat. So there maybe something to what your saying. It's worth mentioning that when I was 17 I broke my right leg in a car wreck. Both bones clean it 2. I also got my first drum set while I was still healing. Once I got the cast off the bass drum was my physical therapy. I would play along to led zeppelin, black sabbath and Aerosmith records and was really focused on rehabbing my right foot. So my focus was strengthening my right leg. I was between marching seasons and wanted to make sure my leg was ready for my senior year. I also never took any formal lessons or received any training for drum set, I just made up my own technique as I was playing. I never really noticed the hi hat thing until much later in life. It's never really bothered me before. But lately I've been wandering if it would be helpful now. I mean so far I've never had any complaints about my timing.
 

green glass drum

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One of the best hi-hat guys was John Guerin with Tom Scott and the LA Express. Check out the song “Spindrift”. Very advanced hat work.
 

kdgrissom

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Take a walk at a steady pace. Your right foot will be on beats 1 and 3. Your left (Hi Hat) will be on 2 and 4.
Play a simple rock pattern with your hands on your chest or stomach as you walk.
If you stumble and fall, see a doctor.
 

cornelius

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I like to play Wilcoxon solos while keeping my hi hat foot going - Quarters, Upbeats then Eighths... I found splashing the hi hat was a little easier to start with, then move onto a foot chick. I move between 2/4 and 6/8 solos while keeping the same hi hat ostinato.
 

Rick

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I am someone that really struggles to clap on the on 1 & 3 and so the 2 & 4 are ingrained in me and I use the hi-hat to both keep my internal clock ticking as well as accent the 2 & 4 on my jazz gigs. On some tunes it might swing more by playing all 4 beats but I have never had to play 8ths with my left foot and therefore am wondering where that might be applicable ? .....
Check out this clip with Joel Rosenblatt. Specifically, at the 1:08 minute mark pay attention to the 8th note groove he has going on the hi hat with his foot and how he goes over occasionally with his left stick to make the groove even cooler...

 

Tornado

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I read a line in John Riley's "The Art of Bop Drumming" that changed the way I look at "independence". Riley says that independence is the wrong goal, it's "interdependence". It's an important distinction. I found that by concentrating on when the limbs are playing together and really focusing on getting them clean with no flamming, and by drilling those motor patterns into my brain ad nauseum, my 4 limb coordination went to another level. An added bonus by going through his book, all the 2&4 on the hats for swing easily translated into upbeats playing rock. All that said, there's no getting around the fact that if you aren't putting serious time into it, like A LOT of time, it's not going to happen.
 

Seb77

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...how are you playing the hi hat? Heel down, heel up, rocking motion? If you're using a technique that is throwing your balance off even just a little, it's going to feel uncomfortable. If you're a heel up bass drum player, you might be unconsciously using your left foot as an anchor for stability, so any attempt to use the left foot for something different might be upsetting your balance. I went through a similar situation a few years ago. What I did was to go back to playing the most basic patterns over and over until my body centered itself. Keep adding more patterns and stay with them until they settle in.
This. Put the sticks away and start just playing quarter notes on the bass drum the way you're used to. Then add hi-hat chicks at the same time, heel up (you'll need heel up technqiue for faster playing). Feel how your body is balanced on the seat (height and distance might need to be adjusted). Alternating (1,3 on bass, 2, 4 on hh) is much easier because you can always rest one half of your body. Playing both at the same time requires abdominal muscles etc. to keep you balanced.
 

JDA

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Hi Hat foot close/ integral part (on 4) of the Beat.
Grazin in the Grass.
2:37 min coordination exercise:

 

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