Hi hat foot timing

Rick

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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.
This is an interesting point. I've been playing for 45 years. Had a lot of formal training with concert and marching percussion but very little formal training on drum set. Even though I've had a lot of experience at this point and feel I play pretty well, I'm always looking to improve. One of the things I would REALLY like to incorporate into my playing is that 8th note groove with my foot on the hi hat. I've played a lot of jazz and have the hi hat on 2 and 4 down great. A few years ago, I worked on getting quarter notes with my foot on the hi hat and can do that really well now too. The only thing that eludes me is the 8th note groove. When I try that, everything else pretty much falls apart.

Some great suggestions here! I'm curious what you guys think about the following. I've always been a heel down player. On the hi hat I kind of developed a rocking motion where my heel is down when the hats are open and comes up a bit when I close the hats. I think it would be difficult for me to change to heel up on the hi hat in general. I also play heel down on the bass drum. I can play heel up if I think about it, but can't do doubles nearly as fast or as clean that way. Anyway, it seems that for any kind of speed with an 8th note groove on the hi hat I really need to be playing heel up. What do you guys think about trying to play the 8th note groove heel up while playing everything else on the hi hat with my current technique and the bass drum heel down? Is that practical at all? Specifically, do you think it would be too difficult to balance?
 

Seb77

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What do you guys think about trying to play the 8th note groove heel up while playing everything else on the hi hat with my current technique and the bass drum heel down? Is that practical at all? Specifically, do you think it would be too difficult to balance?
No problem at all. Some great players play heel down on the bass drum only, including rock/pop drummers such as JR Robinson (he uses a heavy beater, I think). That's a good solution for keeping balance while playing hh 8s heel up.
 

cornelius

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This is

This is an interesting point. I've been playing for 45 years. Had a lot of formal training with concert and marching percussion but very little formal training on drum set. Even though I've had a lot of experience at this point and feel I play pretty well, I'm always looking to improve. One of the things I would REALLY like to incorporate into my playing is that 8th note groove with my foot on the hi hat. I've played a lot of jazz and have the hi hat on 2 and 4 down great. A few years ago, I worked on getting quarter notes with my foot on the hi hat and can do that really well now too. The only thing that eludes me is the 8th note groove. When I try that, everything else pretty much falls apart.

Some great suggestions here! I'm curious what you guys think about the following. I've always been a heel down player. On the hi hat I kind of developed a rocking motion where my heel is down when the hats are open and comes up a bit when I close the hats. I think it would be difficult for me to change to heel up on the hi hat in general. I also play heel down on the bass drum. I can play heel up if I think about it, but can't do doubles nearly as fast or as clean that way. Anyway, it seems that for any kind of speed with an 8th note groove on the hi hat I really need to be playing heel up. What do you guys think about trying to play the 8th note groove heel up while playing everything else on the hi hat with my current technique and the bass drum heel down? Is that practical at all? Specifically, do you think it would be too difficult to balance?
For a faster 8th note tempo I would suggest trying a swivel type of technique for your hi hat foot. You can continue to play heel down with your bass drum foot...
 

pwc1141

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One thing I have done - and which might help build 8ths on hi-hat - is playing the shuffle beat with the left foot at slower tempos. I haven't tried at faster tempos but guess practice would get me there ......
 

Drumceet

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I keep time constantly with me left leg, I’ve always done it since the age of 9, and I am always surprised when I see a drummer’s left leg do nothing while they are using the ride cymbal.
 


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