How far do you open your hats?

Nubs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
148
Reaction score
175
Location
Houston, TX
I recently messed around with my hats and found if I open them wider, I play them better. I'm not sure if it's the feel from the stand or what, but they feel and sound better if I open them up wider (maybe 2-3", haven't measured).

Do you like your hats to open wide or narrow? I would call narrow when they're barely apart from each other when fully opened. Wide is anything above 1".
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,733
Reaction score
2,016
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
I use my left foot and mimic opening and closing and do whatever feels natural for that stand....typically 1-1.5"....
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,812
Reaction score
6,580
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Depends on the work load

never too narrow never too wide- but there's a range for the situation in-between bout 4 or 5 positions

Be flexible
 
Last edited:

Tilter

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
252
Location
New Hampshire
I've always played mine as close together as possible while still retaining the ability to splash them with my foot.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Germany
You get more dynamic options with a wider gap. Learn to control the half-open sounds with your foot; once in a while you can open it fully to get a real barking sound, or a loud foot "chick".
 

Rick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
347
Location
Atlanta
I recently messed around with my hats and found if I open them wider, I play them better. I'm not sure if it's the feel from the stand or what, but they feel and sound better if I open them up wider (maybe 2-3", haven't measured).

Do you like your hats to open wide or narrow? I would call narrow when they're barely apart from each other when fully opened. Wide is anything above 1".
Well if you tilt the bottom cymbal (doesn't everybody?) then I'm assuming you are talking about how wide the more open side is? I measured mine, and it's just over 1/2 inch at the narrowest side and just under 2 inches at the widest side (the side towards where I sit). I can imagine it comes down to personal preference, playing style, and feel for sure. Oh, and probably hi hat stand design too. I play a Tama Speed Cobra stand, which has a design that puts the cymbals exactly on top of each other (instead of offset slightly) when they close.
 

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
1,434
Location
SE Connecticut
Since I'm often using real light hi hat pairs, at least 1-1.5" is needed to get an audible foot sound out of them. If you're running with Quick Beats or heavy new beats, you might only need 1/4-1/2" and they will "chick" just fine.
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
56
Location
Texas
I mirror my hit hat pedal with my kick drum pedal, i.e., The degree of the angle of my right foot needed for a full stroke, my left foot will go down that same degree. Then lock the clutch.
 

deegeebee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
205
Reaction score
161
Location
Canada
I do it completely by feel, usually tweak it after the first song or two, maybe more often. Never thought to measure but would guess it is in the inch and a half range most of the time. Too close and you lose access to some sounds, too wide and your left foot feels like its working too hard.
 

Skeet6

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
243
Reaction score
204
Location
Milford, PA
2.5" to 3" generally, with bottom tilted (tilter away from me)
ETA just measured - it's about 2.5" on the (more open) side facing me on the PDC bop kit in my avatar, 13" pre-split Istanbuls.
Mike B
 

Squirrel Man

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
221
Inch and a quarter maybe, no tilt for now although it tilts on their own sometimes.

The other thing is the tightness of the top hat, play it loose, tight or in between?

I go in between to tight for what I'm working on now which isn't requiring a lot of hat crashing.

The other thing I'm paying more attention to that I didn't years ago is the distance of the hats from the snare and height, I seem to be unable to find that sweet spot of positioning but I'm doing a lot of different things now requiring more hand and arm motioning and I figure it's me, I just have to develop a comfort level with what's there.
 

marc3k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
135
Reaction score
100
Great topic! I find it difficult to find the perfect distance to get the best of both "chick" and "splash".

You get more dynamic options with a wider gap. Learn to control the half-open sounds with your foot; once in a while you can open it fully to get a real barking sound, or a loud foot "chick".
I find it hard to do a "splash" if I have a wider gap, but I like the "chick" sound better - but that's maybe just my poor technique...
 

kdgrissom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
343
Reaction score
341
Location
Florida
I have an Old Stamp IIb on top with an imperfect bell which keeps the cymbal angled. I never have to mess with the angle adjustment screw on the bottom (Intermediate Stamp). Gives me a beautiful crunchy chick every time. I keep the gap at about 1" to 1.5" max.
 

ThomasL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
211
Reaction score
245
Location
Finland
Something like 3/4", but it might change slightly depending on the dynamic level. Bottom hat tilted just enough to get a nice chick sound, top loose.
 

drummingbulldog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
336
Reaction score
249
Location
Jacksonville, FL
I set my hat pedal almost totally depressed so I have a large gap. I have really large calf muscles and if I am toe up for long periods I will get a cramp. Hi hat stand model doesn't matter.
 

Old Drummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
528
Reaction score
404
I open mine about 1 1/4" and have noticed that this is wider than most drummers prefer. I've never had any rational reason for this gap, it's just what I'm accustomed to. However, I've never found a rational reason for a narrower gap. With a wide gap, I can stomp on the hats and get a loud chick, or with slight foot pressure keep the cymbals closer. A wide gap allows you to do small gap things, but a small gap doesn't allow you to do wide gap things. Wider makes more sense to me. But as said, I didn't choose my gap consciously, just fell into it out of habit. When others prefer a narrower gap, I'm not going to criticize. It may be just the habit they've developed or they may have reasons. To me this is like the choice of sticks. It probably matters a tiny bit, but for the most part it's just what a drummer is accustomed to and prefers.
 


Top