How to be creative with the hi-hat

maxdis

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In this lesson we will discover a method that will allow us to insert the hihat pedal sound at any point of a rhythm, thus creating original grooves that will have an additional layer of rhythmic complexity than usual.

Download the syncopated sheet from http://www.massimodiscepoli.com/lessons/Syncopation_source.pdf


Feel free to comment, ask questions or suggest topics for the next lessons!


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Morello Man

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In this lesson we will discover a method that will allow us to insert the hihat pedal sound at any point of a rhythm, thus creating original grooves that will have an additional layer of rhythmic complexity than usual.

Download the syncopated sheet from http://www.massimodiscepoli.com/lessons/Syncopation_source.pdf


Feel free to comment, ask questions or suggest topics for the next lessons!


Please subscribe to my Youtube channel to be notified about next videos
Creativity with the hats? Joe Morello.
 

Old PIT Guy

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Something I work on for hi-hat creativity came from snare drum ghost note fatigue and inspiration from David Garibaldi's sound levels study. If you have a good foundation with ghost notes, and you implement dynamic levels within that (pp is important), moving the ghost note hand to the hi-hat opens up a lot of possibilities for groove study.

Ghosting notes with two hands on the hi-hat requires a lot of attention to dynamic levels or it tends to sound like just another two handed 16th hi-hat groove. In order for the ghosted notes to create space they have to be barely audible in some instances, and more so in others.

The best way I've found to develop this is to play groove patterns with both hands on the snare drum, along with whatever BD motif you've chosen, utilizing the sound levels until you hit on one you like. Now move the right hand to the hi-hat, as you normally would, then the left. Some backbeats will naturally want to fall on the left hand, and this is where an aux snare is handy to minimize movement and improve balance and flow. Also, switching hands creates interesting patterns. In doing this, the right hand is now the ghosting hand on the snare, the left hand leads on the hat.

A good starting point would be paradiddle combinations, regular and inverted, with added diddles, six stroke roll sticking etc.

With practice, the sound levels switch back and forth between hands as you explore and search for the most musical combinations. There's a lot of variation and nuance at your disposal once bass drum figures, barks and footed hi-hat chicks are added to the mix. If on playback it sounds too busy, find space after a punctuated note or phrase. This is where imagining ghosted notes is useful, another topic entirely.
 
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maxdis

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very interesting approach!

Something I work on for hi-hat creativity came from snare drum ghost note fatigue and inspiration from David Garibaldi's sound levels study. If you have a good foundation with ghost notes, and you implement dynamic levels within that (pp is important), moving the ghost note hand to the hi-hat opens up a lot of possibilities for groove study.
 

Old PIT Guy

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very interesting approach!
Thanks! I've found that heavy use of ghost notes can overpower a grove without accompaniment. And even in a solo groove context I listen back to stuff I'm working on and the linear string of filled-in notes begins to grate and detract from the feel if overused. A bass player once told me a section would sound better if I lost the "gnat notes."

So the key, I think, is lowering the sound floor of ghosted snare and hat notes to pp. A benefit I've found is when I get them to that low sound level I can extend that to imply the note in my head without actually playing it, creating the space and the internal feel of ghost notes but with dead silence between primary notes. You get the note value placeholder effect of ghosts but without the gnatty notes. I think it's more dramatic in effect and balances out the more audible ghosted notes.

ps: very nice work with melodic percussion / drums on your website!
 
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