Jazz Beginner and Hi Hat Size and Weight?

zendrums

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Hello Community,

I am brand new to drumming. I am interested in learning to play drums for jazz fusion and folk rock. With jazz fusion being top of mind at the moment, I am trying to hone in on the right hi hat size and weight. My drum set is quite small: a Tama Club Jam Mini--just a bass drum and a snare thus far.

I've been inspired in part by Jeff Hamilton's stick and brush work (although he is more of a jazz drummer than a jazz fusion drummer). While I am not necessarily trying to recreate Jeff's sounds, I figured his hihat cymbal specs might be good to mirror. I think he plays:
  • Crescent 14” Hammertone Hi Hats: "Thin Top" and a "Medium Bottom"
I have listened to internet samples of Crescent, Bosphorus, Soultone and Zildjian. While I understand 14" is kind of the standard for many jazz and rock players, I liked 13" the best. I have placed an order for:
  • Zildjian 13" S Family Mastersound Hi Hats: "Medium Top" and "Heavy Bottom"
While they haven't arrived yet, I am wondering if the following might be a better fit:
  • Zildjian 13" I Family Hi Hats: "Medium Thin Top" and "Medium Bottom"
Budget is an issue which is why I am considering Zildjian's "S" and "I" families. Any advice would be helpful!
 

Rock Salad

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There's one guy on here really loves those S series cymbals. I might have gone for the lighter ones but, shoot, got hats is way better than no hats. Plus, you never really know till you have played on them for a bit.
 

Seb77

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The standard answer when it comes to budget cymbals around here is get some used old As :)

The I series sounds quite meaty already, but should be ok for quieter playing, too:

Master sound hats are often quite loud, maybe too loud for jazz:
 

Tama CW

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Your best bang for the buck are some old 13 inch A's from the 50's through 70's. I don't know if the I's or S's can give that cool jazz/fusion sound. The sound videos on those I and S hats sound a little harsh/metallic/high pitched to me. For 14's 750-900 gm / 950-1280 gm. For 13's about 15% lighter than 14's.
 
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Ghostin one

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zendrums, the classifieds here at drumforum are a gold mine (bronze mine?) of good deals - probably something appropriate there in the same price range as Zidjian S and I series.
 

larold

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Dream Bliss hats are a great choice for jazz or folk-rock. Thin, washy, a little trashy and very affordable. Similar to pre-New Beat Zildjians, but with the handmade vibe.

For fusion, Dream Contact hats are heavier and have more cut.
 
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zendrums

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Your best bang for the buck are some old 13 inch A's from the 50's through 70's. I don't know if the I's or S's can give that cool jazz/fusion sound. The sound videos on those I and S hats sound a little harsh/metallic/high pitched to me. For 14's 750-900 gm / 950-1200 gm. For 13's about 15% lighter than 14's.
Thanks for the advice. Very helpful. For 14's, 750-900 gm / 950-1200 gm. For 13's, about 15% lighter than 14's--so, 638-765 gm / 808-1040 gm.

Are there weight classifications that the industry agrees upon? If so, might you be able to direct me to a webpage with a table of all the classifcations? For example, the I and S hats are just labeled Thin, Medium Thin, Medium, Heavy. Zyldjian doesn't seem to publish the actual weight in grams.

TPC mentioned TKillian’s 13” Sabians for sale. The top is 830 gm and the bottom is 1296 gm. Would these be considered "Medium Top" and "Heavy Bottom"?
 

Tama CW

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The verbal classifications should get you close enough for ones made in the past 10 yrs. I would think thin or med thin OVER a medium or heavy bottom are you logical choices. I would call 830 / 1296 to be a medium thin top over a heavy bottom. A 466 gm weight spread like that is typical of zildjian new beats. You'll get both a somewhat lighter (deeper) sound with the thinner top, and excellent projection with the heavier bottom.
 

jansara

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Ask 100 drummers for opinions on gear, get 100 different answers. Stay with what you bought, don't second guess yourself. Learn the basics on whatever you have before you start fine tuning. The choices can make you crazy.
 

deegeebee

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Buy used, always buy used.

Drums and cymbals depreciate roughly 50% as soon as they are bought and used but almost not at all after that if they remain undamaged.
 

Kcmcc

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Killian's groove hats in the for sale section for sure. Legit, more or less top of the line instruments that are dirt cheap because 15"s happen to be in fashion now. Those groove hats will be almost perfect fusion hats
 

pgm554

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Killian's groove hats in the for sale section for sure. Legit, more or less top of the line instruments that are dirt cheap because 15"s happen to be in fashion now. Those groove hats will be almost perfect fusion hats
Just like bell bottom pants and the super deep toms.
 

Seb77

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nolibos

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For learning jazz, you want a solid chick. When i am working on left foot independence i put the heavier hat on top.
For performance i want the lighter guys.
 

deegeebee

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this cymbal weight calculator will tell you if a a cymbal is light, medium, heavy, etc. https://www.budstein.com/cymbalweight/
Not sure how useful this really is, considering how much sound vs weight can vary betweent brands, models and era. I fell like once you know the weight. Your next stop should always be youtube to hear some examples of a similar weight.
 

Monday317

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Your best bang for the buck are some old 13 inch A's from the 50's through 70's. I don't know if the I's or S's can give that cool jazz/fusion sound. The sound videos on those I and S hats sound a little harsh/metallic/high pitched to me. For 14's 750-900 gm / 950-1280 gm. For 13's about 15% lighter than 14's.
Speaks the truth! At one time, the 13” K/Z pair were THE hats to have and sounded bigger than their diameter suggested. You can score great deals on old, used hats on eBay.

If you are married to Ziljian, the K/Z pair would be great, or an older pair of 14” New Beats. IMHO the current product is a little lively for straight jazz. Fusion might be OK.

For myself, I went off the deep end a few years ago and got some Bosporus Masters series 16” hats. They have a great, sloshy, dark sound, perfect for oldies, big band, and even ragtime, as they aren’t much different than lo-boys. I can also play contemporary stuff, but have to adjust my stand and pedaling to make them “quicker”. If I had to gig regularly in that mode, I’d snag some 13” or 14” hats in the same line.
 

Seb77

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I wouldn't want to use the K/Z hats for jazz. The bottom is too heavy and stiff.
One aspect you don't hear with soundfiles and videos is the volume. That goes for many cymbals these days. With any line advertised as "darker sounds but updated for contemporary styles" or the like, this mostly means higher output (by means of larger bells, heavier weights etc.) to compete with amplifed instruments. If you're starting out with jazz, keep in mind it's about playing with unamplified acoustic instruments in the first place. Bos Masters and similar series might be the only ones where I would check if they're maybe too soft, in most cases it's the toher way round.
 

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