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Hi-hat Cymbals

Hi-hat Cymbals


Hi-hat Cymbals - this article is all about cymbals, subjects are: Crash cymbals, Clash cymbals, Hi-hat cymbals, Ride cymbals, Sizzle cymbals, Splash cymbals, Suspended cymbals, China cymbals, Swish and pang cymbals, Finger cymbals.
Hi-hat Cymbals


About Hi-hat Cymbals

Hi-hat or hihat is a type of cymbal and stand used as a typical part of a drum kit by percussionists in jazz, rock and roll, and other forms of contemporary popular music. It consists of two cymbals mounted on a metal stand, with a pedal-and-spring mechanism designed such that the cymbals can either be brought together by pressing the pedal, or raised to a predetermined (but adjustable before playing) distance by releasing the pedal. The hi-hat can be played by striking it with a drumstick or brush with the cymbals brought together ("closed"), or apart ("open"), or by using the pedal to forcefully bring the cymbal together.

The hi-hat stand has changed little since its invention.
When struck closed or played with the pedal, the hi-hat gives a short, muted percussive sound. Adjusting the gap between the cymbals can alter the sound of the open hi-hat from a "shimmering", sustained tone to something similar to a ride cymbal. When struck with a drumstick, the cymbals make either a short, snappy sound or a longer sustaining sandy sound depending on the position of the pedal.
It can be also played just by lifting and lowering the foot to clash the cymbals together, a style commonly used to accent beats 2 and 4 in jazz music. In rock music, the hihats are commonly struck every beat or on beats 1 and 3, while the cymbals are held together. The drummer can control the sound by foot pressure. Less pressure allows the cymbals to rub together more freely, giving both greater sustain and greater volume for accent or crescendo. In shuffle time, a rhythm known as "cooking" is often employed. To produce this the cymbals are stuck twice in rapid succession, being held closed on the first stroke and allowed to open just before the second, then allowed to ring before being closed with a "chick" to complete the pattern (the cymbals may or not be struck on the "chick").
A right-handed drummer will normally play the hi-hat pedal with their left foot, and may additionally use either or both drumsticks. The traditional hi-hat rhythms of rock and jazz were produced by crossing the hands over, so the right stick would play the hi-hat while the left played the snare drum below it, but this is not universal. However, some top modern drummers do not cross their hands over at all, normally playing the hi-hat and also occasionally a second ride cymbal mounted on the left with the left stick rather than the right. In both rock and jazz, often the drummer will move the same stick pattern between the hihat cymbal and the ride cymbal, for example using the hihat in the verses and the ride in the chorus of a song, or using the ride to accompany a lead break or other instrumental solo.

The hi-hat stand was developed from the low-sock by Gene Krupa in collaboration with Armand Zildjian. The low-sock was a pedal which simply clashed together a pair of similar crash cymbals. They were mounted next to the pedal, so playing them with a stick was not possible.
Up until the late 1960s the standard hi-hats were 14", with 13" available as a less common alternative in professional cymbal ranges and smaller sizes down to 12" restricted to children's kits. In the early 1970s heavy rock drummers (including Led Zeppelin's John Bonham began to use 15" hi-hats. In the late 1970s Sabian released their revolutionary 10" mini hats, which were small, heavy hi-hat cymbals intended for close miking either live or recording, and other manufacturers quickly followed. Starting in the 1980s a number of manufacturers also experimented with rivets in the lower cymbal. But by the end of the 1990s the standard size was again 14", with 13" a less common alternative, and smaller hats mainly used for special sounds. Rivets in hi-hats received rave reviews but failed to catch on.

Modern hi-hat cymbals are much heavier than modern crash cymbals, reflecting a continual trend to lighter and thinner crash cymbals as well as to heavier hi-hats. The other change has been that a pair hi-hat cymbals are no longer necessarily similar. More typically the bottom is now heavier than the top, and may also be vented, this being one innovation to have caught on. Some drummers even use completely mismatched hi-hats from different cymbal ranges, of different manufacturers and even of different sizes.

Another recent development is fixed and cable-controlled hi-hats. An extended drum kit will often have a second set of hi-hats, normally smaller than the main ones, mounted to the centre or to the right. These may be fixed closed or connected by a bowden cable to a pedal operated by the drummer's left foot.
Additionally, many drummers use a drop-clutch mechanism to disengage the top hi-hat in order to free up both feet while double bass playing. This results in the hi-hat producing a closed sound until the hi-hat foot is available again. The mechanism is disabled by fully pressing the hi-hat pedal.

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