Hihat tilt direction?

bongoman

Junior Member
I’m one of the few people who prefers the snare throw at 3:00. I started that way because my left hand is the one hitting the snare while my right is hitting the hihat, so it just made sense to me to reach for the throw with my right hand so my snare hand isn’t interrupted. I’m sure I could get used to 9:00 with just a little practice.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Like stated before; however you like it :)

I like my hi-hat bottom to be perfectly flat. I even removed the spring out of the tilter because the bottom was always tilted a bit too much. I had some issues with my top hi-hat, but turned out the rod was bent and caused issues (was fixed when i got a new rod). The hi-hat stand is also not tilted it anyway, but i this is what works for me

I have my snare pretty much in the 'factory default position': badge towards the front and the snare throw off is on the standard 7 or 8 o' clock position. Works for me.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
This. Also, with the screw on my side of the stand, I can play on the closed side of the hats.
I figured that the open side of the hat should be closed to the microphone that I have on it and because the microphone is away, on the other side, away from me, I tilt it this way, smaller opening in front of me, big opening between top and bottom away from me, close to the mic. I have a bigger chick in the Mike then.
 

Quai34

Junior Member

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I use the screw and keep my hats fairly far apart on the side nearest me - they're like a clam or oyster opening and closing, with the hinge of clam away from me so I can hit top hat with side of stick (not tip) and get that classic hat sound. If the closed end was towards me or they were flat I could not get that same sound. I play on open end of the hats. But I play mostly jazz and open/ close them a lot. I see most rock or metal or even blues players just keeping rhythm on them and not using the sound you can coax out of them with them farther apart facing the player, and closer/ almost closed away from them.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I do not understand the big dilemma here, this is no Starsky & Hutch episode.

The thumbscrew under the bottom hat should be closest to you. The slant created by the clutch height above is dictated by the style of music.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s 2,000 worth.
I could never play them or get my sound out of them like this with the part I am hitting closing before the part away from me. That negates the classic hat sound. I want some sustain as they are closing to to get the hat sound. if closed end is towards you, you lose that sound altogether. I can hit top hat and then close them and it's like playing an 8th note with pedal without hitting hat again and I get that hat whoosing sound on first hit. I create a jazz swing groove that way. If end is closed towards me I don't get that same finesse and coaxing sounds out of them.

I was in a rush at a major gig in 2019 and set them up with closed end towards me and I really struggled through the set. There wasn't any downtime between pieces so I was stuck with them that way. I could never get a swinging sound out if them I was only able to keep time. Might as well just play them closed with no gap it's about the same.
 
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bud7h4

Silver Member
Top is flat, with the bottom tilted so the open side is facing me (or the sticks). I don't tilt the whole HH.
Snare throw off is about 8 o'clock. (I'm right handed)
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I tilt it so the top cymbal overlaps the bottom cymbal slightly at the point where I play. That way the bottom cymbal doesn’t chew up my drumsticks.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known member
Huh. I love Stephen's videos. The lower screw on my hi-hat is around 10 o'clock, and that results in no "overbite" or "underbite" from the position I usually strike. But, it's about a 1/2" gap, which I like, but I will experiment with a wider gap for the "sucking sound" that Stephen describes; I love that!

My snare lever is at 8 o'clock, which is perfect for me. (Left-handed/ambidextrous, matched grip)

Fascinating discussion!
 

pinstripe

Well-known member
I could never play them or get my sound out of them like this with the part I am hitting closing before the part away from me. That negates the classic hat sound. I want some sustain as they are closing to to get the hat sound. if closed end is towards you, you lose that sound altogether. I can hit top hat and then close them and it's like playing an 8th note with pedal without hitting hat again and I get that hat whoosing sound on first hit. I create a jazz swing groove that way. If end is closed towards me I don't get that same finesse and coaxing sounds out of them.

I was in a rush at a major gig in 2019 and set them up with closed end towards me and I really struggled through the set. There wasn't any downtime between pieces so I was stuck with them that way. I could never get a swinging sound out if them I was only able to keep time. Might as well just play them closed with no gap it's about the same.
Interesting comments. I did a quick sampling of YouTube drum gurus (Rob Brown, Stephen Taylor, and the previously mentioned Stephen Clark) and best I can tell they all have their hats set so the open side is towards them (i.e. screw turned away from them). I wonder if their reasoning is similar to yours.

Btw, quick technical note -- there's supposed to be a large washer inside the hi hat cup that sits under the felt for the lower hat. It's there so the tilt screw presses against the washer rather than directly against the felt, giving it better control of the tilt. I was unaware of this washer but happened to see it mentioned in an old forum comment. I then checked my recently purchased kit's hi hat and sure enough it was missing. It may not be obvious what the washer does and the tilt will still work reasonably well without it. I'm guessing my kit's PO lost track of it and then didn't miss it. I've ordered a replacement. Most people here probably know about this washer but I figured I'd mention it since it was news to me.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
I searched but didn't see this discussed. What is the right direction for the tilt of the lower hat? You can set the orientation of the tilt by where you position the adjustment screw. Right now I have the support collar turned so that the screw is positioned away from me. This puts the high side of the lower hat away from me, and puts the larger gap between the hats towards me. Is this how it's usually done?

Also, where is the snare throw-off usually positioned? Right now I have my snare turned so that it's at about the 10 o'clock position. This makes it workable with my left hand but keeps it clear of my left knee. Is this the right spot for it? Thanks!
For 60 plus years I have played with lower hat fully tilted and screw away from me for Jazz/Swing. I like to keep the top hat somewhat floppy so I can do accent splashes with my foot or to get that cha ching sound with sticks but that is only my preference. When I do go back to C&R I back screw off so bottom hat lies flat. I also tighten top had to almost max so those 1/8 -1/16 stick notes are definitive. Is there a right or wrong way ??
If you really delve into YouTube you will see that a lot of early Jazz drummers used tilted, loose hat cymbals whereas newer players use flat with top tight aka C/R style. I'm betting you will get a myriad of replies on this one.
Cheers
 
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