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The World of Hi-Hat Cymbals

Nov 24, 2007
A Hi hat or Hi-hat cymbal is a kind of cymbal used by various percussionists as a part of their drum kit in contemporary for of music. Rock and roll and Jazz are the type where drums are used and so are hi-hat cymbals.

Mechanism behind the working of Hi-hat cymbals

Hi-hat cymbal is formed when two crash cymbals are placed on a hi-hat stand, one on top of the other and clashed with each other with the help of a pedal. The bottom cymbal remains stationary while the top cymbal is attached with a hi-hat clutch. The foot pedal triggers the top cymbal to go up then come down to clash with the bottom one. This causes the sound.

History of Growth

Initially hi-hats were known as clangers. Its design was much simpler too. Small cymbals were placed on top of a bass drum rim and the sound was produced when the arm, which was situated at the base, was stuck. Then came the snow-shows and the low-boy or low-hat.

Till the 1960s, the typical height of a hi-hat cymbal was 14-inch. There were 13-inch sized cymbals too, but they were limited in stock and 12-inch version was targeted for the children in mind.

In the 1970s came the 15-inch version of the hi-hat cymbals. The heavy rock drummers including the likes of Led Zeppelin introduced it in this decade.

Crash cymbals, which are available today, weight quite less than the modern hi-hat cymbals. There are, however, variation in weight and size. One of the major developments in the manufacture of the hi-hat is X-hat. This is a variation on the earlier versions of the hi-hat cymbals. X-hat comes in both half-open and closed hi-hats.

Playing technique of the Hi-hat

When the pedal is pressed the top cymbal goes up then comes down to produce the sound. The sound, which comes out, is short and muted. When the cymbals are half open or close it gives out different sounds. Adjusting the distance between the two cymbals can also produce different sound. Drumsticks are also used to play the hi-hands along with the pedal. Typically, a right-handed drummer uses his left foot to operate the pedal and may use one or both of the drumsticks.

Tips on playing Hi hat cymbals

- Hi hat cymbals are best utilized when different combinations are tried; as in the field of creativity sky is the limit.
- Do not play hi hat cymbals or any cymbals with a stiff stick, as there is the chance of the sound getting damp.
- Take inspiration from the greats in the field and try blending different combinations.
- If the sticks are pushed down the cymbals hard, then the pitch raises. If the stick is taken away and cymbals left open then it produces different sound. Again, when the drummer plays with a half-open cymbal, i.e it is touching but not firm, then it gives another sound.
- Using the shoulder of the stick instead of the tip of the stick makes the sound go loud.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, and synthesizers. You can find the best marketplace for guitars, drums, and synthesizers at these 3 sites: guitars, bass guitar gears , drums, drum sets, hi hat cymbals, and synthesizers, keyboards.
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