Have to cross sticks for high hat/snare?

Ambergahill

New Member
Hello,

I am having trouble finding the answer to this. I want to play my right hand on the high hats, my left hand on the snare, but not have my sticks crossed at all. Is this a bad habit to get into? If so, why? I am tall with long arms and this position feels comfortable for me and no chance of sticks colliding with each other or my hand.

I attached an image of what I am talking about. Imagine the high-hat stick being held with my right hand. I needed a free hand to take the picture! Thanks!
HighHatSnare.jpg
 

WuHan Solo

Active Member
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, one of my favorite drummers, Sean Reinert (RIP) had his hats in a similar position.
It makes it easy to play the hats with either hand, actually. If it's comfortable and works for you, then go for it. (y)
I've even seen some people reach their right hand forward in order to avoid the crossover.
 

WuHan Solo

Active Member
R.E.M.'s Bill Berry also played this way, as you can see in the opening of this clip--he moves his right hand out of the way a bit to hit the snare, but just a bit:

That's probably a better example, and a great view of the setup.(y)

After thinking about it, Sean didn't use the hats a whole lot to keep time, other than with his foot. He also leads with both hands, and often accents the hats openhanded, so maybe not the greatest example for the OP.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
Hello,

I am having trouble finding the answer to this. I want to play my right hand on the high hats, my left hand on the snare, but not have my sticks crossed at all. Is this a bad habit to get into? If so, why? I am tall with long arms and this position feels comfortable for me and no chance of sticks colliding with each other or my hand.

I attached an image of what I am talking about. Imagine the high-hat stick being held with my right hand. I needed a free hand to take the picture! Thanks!
View attachment 124828
Well, I wouldn’t put the stick inside the high-hats!, but yes, I have been playing this way for 40+ years. I basically put the high hat in front of the snare drum, and then I don’t have to cross over. The snare drum is placed in between my legs, pretty close to my crotch. I could just never get comfortable with crossing over, but I wanted to lead with the right hand. The advantage is the height of your backbeat never needs to change, and you can crush those rimshots. I believe Jason Bonham and Phil Rudd also play this way
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
I used to play that way and found it very comfortable. I stopped because it was too awkward to play on house kits at jams and festivals. I couldn’t always move the hi hat, especially when there was a double pedal. Once I got used to my right hand being out of the way, I couldn’t play crossed over. I went back to the traditional way of crossing over so that I could play on a wider variety of setups. If you never plan on playing any kit but your own, then go for it.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I just hit the thing, it works out fine. When my students have problems hitting their sticks, it's usually a technique thing, like they're using all arm to play the snare drum, or their hands are getting out of position. LH keeps the bead over the center of the drum at all times, RH pivots to the left just enough to catch the cymbal. Articulate your wrists.
 

Hypercaffium

Active Member
I moved my hats a little bit away from me to get a better angle, I still need to cross sticks a little bit but it doesn't bother me. You can try to play open handed, like other members suggested.
I tried to do that recently and immediately felt comfortable, but I'm a lefty ambidextrous playing a right handed kit.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
So you folks never cross your arms playing? Doing the Dennis Chamber's crossover tom fills is too dang cool. I've set up my hats like that so less cross but mostly way far left so my hands cross but at wrists so no interference with my sticks (one wrist on top of other and waving my hands like a butterfly LOL). I play them open handed now some too-a recent addition.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
I think open handed is a better solution, or a combination of remote hats and moving your current hi-hats to suit.
I think there CAN be problems playing this way. Your natural relaxed position is to have both arms and wrists level with each other. To play the hats without crossing over the snare hand you have to pull your left arm back a little, and push your right arm out a little.
That seems unnatural to me, possibly uncomfortable.
I've never had a problem playing loud snare with hi-hat hand crossing over. You just need to have the snare and hi-hats at the right height.
 

caddywumpus

Archnemesis of Larryace
When I first started played, I used to play with my right HAND over the left hand, to avoid hitting sticks. That was because I was using more than just my wrist to play. Now, my hi hat is farther away from me, and my right stick is over the snare stick. But, when I did a bunch of recording sessions about 10 years ago, I raised the hi hats a bit to prevent bleed over between the hi hat and snare mics, and I just kind of grew to like that positioning. My hats are about 8 inches above the snare, and that’s a generous amount of room to not hit sticks.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
To play the hats without crossing over the snare hand you have to pull your left arm back a little, and push your right arm out a little.
That seems unnatural to me, possibly uncomfortable.
Yes, I have never thought about that, but you are correct. But I am not “pushing or pulling”, it’s just where my arms are and it’s perfectly comfortable. When I first started playing this way remote high-hats hadn’t even been invented yet! And once they were, I couldn’t afford one. Maybe someday I’ll get one, but if I did I would probably put it on the right side of my kit
 

GretschedHive

Silver Member
I've always coveted a remote hi-hat, but I believe early remote hi-hats had at least some lag, and maybe lower-priced ones still do. Is that no longer the case, at least with more expensive setups?
 

Hypercaffium

Active Member
Having your hats in a different place (right side of the kit) would be a great solution, but you'll be condemned to always rely on your own kit to play.
I'm basically a lefty ambidextrous who decided to play a right handed kit in order to have the freedom to play any kit in any rehearsal room, studio, etc. I did the same with guitar, but I started as a lefty and switched to right handed a couple of years later. This approach would invalidate that freedom, in my opinion.
 

Uncle_MC

Member
I just hit the thing, it works out fine.
This is it. I don't think I have ever even thought about this topic. What is wrong with crossing your hands to play the drums? It's just how the instrument is played. I feel like the modularity of the drumset lets people ideas run wild, trying to come up with various "solutions" to problems that don't really exist. You don't see these discussions with piano, guitar, and other "fixed" instruments. All of these people with center hi-hats must not be going to jam sessions or sitting in with people much.

Think less, play more.
 
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