How difficult is it for you to keep the Hi-Hat chick going?

lrod1707

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I've noticed some players keep the hi hat chick going steady throughout songs they play. I have trouble with this particular independence. If it's a steady beat, I'm fine but when it gets complicated, I lose it. I also find that it's impossible to do it heel down. I can only do it heel up and eventually it gets tiring. Anybody have this issue and do you always do it thru most songs?
I'd like to improve this because I see that it adds accent to some dull sounding parts, like on some rolls. What do you guys think and do?
 

ThomFloor

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How long have you been drumming?. It takes awhile to develop the muscle there (for heel down), the stamina and this habit in general. Certainly during a complicated fill or change many drummers interrupt the hihat chick.
On the other hand, I find that some drummers do too much non-stop 'chicking' (OK insert jokes here_____)
 

polycrescendo

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I love to chick most 8th notes heel up. I've drilled it into my drumming so much that it can be hard to not do that especially during quick stops in songs as ThomFloor mentioned. It certainly adds a lot of texture to a groove and for me it acts as the metronome for when I'm working on any new pattern/groove/fill. Also chicking on the 8ths lets the hi-hat open for some quick funky patterns but stays tight on the 1.
 

Johnny D

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It's a big part of my somewhat limited drumming vocabulary ;) I've been doing it for almost as long as I've been playing, and don't even think about it anymore. I play my hi hat heel up too and over time, you'll develop those muscles so there's no fatigue. I do it for pretty much any song where I'm playing the ride cymbal. Often times I'll do it while I'm playing 8th notes on the hi hat (ala Charlie Watts).

Besides adding accents, I find it's a useful tool in keeping steady time and it also cues the band during sections where the drums "rest" and they need to still feel the pulse. A great example is Carly Simon's "Anticipation" (which we play). Listen to Andy Newmark's second big drum break at 1:53 and you can hear him playing 8th notes on his hi hat to keep the pulse for the rest of the band. Listen to Bonzo's quarter note hi hat pulse throughout "Good Times, Bad Times." That would be a good song to practice. Keep working on it and you'll get it. Good luck!
 

lrod1707

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How long have you been drumming?. It takes awhile to develop the muscle there (for heel down), the stamina and this habit in general. Certainly during a complicated fill or change many drummers interrupt the hihat chick.
On the other hand, I find that some drummers do too much non-stop 'chicking' (OK insert jokes here_____)
Like 35 years. Came back last year after about a decade break. I never did it years ago so I guess it's a developmental thing as you say. I was a rock drummer and didn't care about technique or anything like that. Now I'm older and want finesse. I guess with age that happens as my musical tastes have also expanded. I want to bring it in at the right time and not be the annoying drummer that does it constantly. And I guess your right that during rolls, most guys get off of the pedal.
 

Bonzo442

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I found playing live with a band sort of made it just come out naturally. I don’t remember doing it as much before I played live. Then again I’m mostly self taught.
 

Johnny K

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Wierd. I am a relatively new drummer and the Hi-Hat chik on 2&4 is about the only thing i can seem to do without thinking about it. Maybe its from all the years of tapping my left foot playing guitar.
 

lrod1707

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I guess it's just practice like anything else. I find some stuff plain without it and it's like you guys say, it keeps time as well. I'd like to figure out how to do it heel down. Doing it heel up, I feel like I'm beating the crap out of the hi hat throughout the song. I have little control so I stomp. It's like my brain thinks I'm on my left bass pedal. Also, when I try heel down, my shin muscle burns. When I use it for double bass it's fine. But that part I figured out, on the bass pedal my leg is stretched forward and on the hi hat it's not since the hi hat is close to me and off to the side.
 

lrod1707

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Wierd. I am a relatively new drummer and the Hi-Hat chik on 2&4 is about the only thing i can seem to do without thinking about it. Maybe its from all the years of tapping my left foot playing guitar.
That's very possible. I've also learned that some people are naturals at certain individual things. They try to learn something as a whole but they are fantastic at something particular.
 

lrod1707

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The New Breed by Gary Chester will systematically fix your left foot problem. Start going through those systems, like really playing them for like 30 minutes at a time, and you'll be chicking like a pro in no time.
Cool, I'll check it out. Problem is time. I've got so many books and stuff and I use them when i can. I need to figure out a way to incorporate steady practice time.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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For jazz, you just gotta do it.....both for time and as part of the sound of the music. I don't think about out to the point that when I am gigging with my band (Ok, the band that LETS me play with them!), and they play all sorts of stuff but not jazz, I have to think about it sometimes otherwise my left foot just wants to play on 2 & 4 whenever I am not keeping the HH closed........
 

Radio King

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I can't NOT do it. It's just ingrained at this point. I copped it from listening to Aynsley Dunbar many years ago, and it stuck with me. If my right hand is on the ride, my left foot is usually doubling it (unless I'm intentionally doing a different pattern, like a slow blues), and especially when doing rolls. I find my left heel is often bopping on the footplate even when hi hats are in closed position. I almost feel like it's a metronome for me.
 
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stevil

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4-Way Coordination is another good book for establishing independence. It'll melt your brain first though.
 

CherryClassic

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I learned drums in school back in the dark ages. We didn't have a drum set at school or even a dedicated drum instructor so I'm basically self taught on the kit as a, I guess what I would call a finesse style drummer. I used my feet the same way I did when listening to music when patting my foot on the floor, so I did alternating beats on the pedals the same way; heel down. Of course that varies now days, my right foot is much more active than the left. I really learned while playing with bands; I guarantee is not the best way.

Heel up or down is a personal decision. Your using double pedals on the bass now and I wouldn't change your style if I were you unless your bent on doing it.

Finesse playing using the bass and hi-hat...you might want to listen to the song Bandy The Rodeo Clown. Using your feet ONLY; it's a simple 1/8 note beat, bass on the down beat, RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLR all the way through the song with a slight break with feeling at times. I like it when some bands play it a little faster than the original and the bass player is killing it right on the beat. Turn up the music; close your eyes and just play bass and hats as soft as possible...just keep it in the grove. And you don't want the cymbals space too far apart.

Just a thought, try it,
sherm
 

blueshadow

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47 and been playing set since I was 13 and in the last two or three years have just discovered splashing the hi hat, I don't know if anyone else even hears it but I enjoy it :) I bought a double pedal to use on my electronic kit at home about 5 years ago, just for fun but it's really developed my left foot.
 

lrod1707

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For jazz, you just gotta do it.....both for time and as part of the sound of the music. I don't think about out to the point that when I am gigging with my band (Ok, the band that LETS me play with them!), and they play all sorts of stuff but not jazz, I have to think about it sometimes otherwise my left foot just wants to play on 2 & 4 whenever I am not keeping the HH closed........
I really don't play much traditional jazz. I do play smooth jazz sometimes. Maybe I should try throwing some old school jazz in the mix.
 

lrod1707

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I learned drums in school back in the dark ages. We didn't have a drum set at school or even a dedicated drum instructor so I'm basically self taught on the kit as a, I guess what I would call a finesse style drummer. I used my feet the same way I did when listening to music when patting my foot on the floor, so I did alternating beats on the pedals the same way; heel down. Of course that varies now days, my right foot is much more active than the left. I really learned while playing with bands; I guarantee is not the best way.

Heel up or down is a personal decision. Your using double pedals on the bass now and I wouldn't change your style if I were you unless your bent on doing it.

Finesse playing using the bass and hi-hat...you might want to listen to the song Bandy The Rodeo Clown. Using your feet ONLY; it's a simple 1/8 note beat, bass on the down beat, RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLR all the way through the song with a slight break with feeling at times. I like it when some bands play it a little faster than the original and the bass player is killing it right on the beat. Turn up the music; close your eyes and just play bass and hats as soft as possible...just keep it in the grove. And you don't want the cymbals space too far apart.

Just a thought, try it,
sherm
Will do, I'm gonna give that a shot.
 

lrod1707

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47 and been playing set since I was 13 and in the last two or three years have just discovered splashing the hi hat, I don't know if anyone else even hears it but I enjoy it :) I bought a double pedal to use on my electronic kit at home about 5 years ago, just for fun but it's really developed my left foot.
Same here! I want to develop it because I too have recently discovered it. I knew it always existed but never incorporated it into my playing.
 
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