Drum Set Hi-Hat Variations – Part 2

Drum Set Hi-Hat Variations – Part 2

Let’s continue on from the last article, “Drum Set Hi-Hat Variations,” and expand on our palette of cymbal variations. The new patterns in this article should be practiced when the patterns from the previous article are mastered. In review from the previous article, we were introduced to some different hi-hat patterns with the goal of enhancing different sections of a song. One variation was playing quarter notes on the hi-hat, ride cymbal, or bell of the ride. The next one was playing sixteenth notes on the hi-hat or ride cymbal with the right hand. The last pattern discussed was playing sixteenth notes on the hi-hat but changing the sticking to alternating hands.

In a past article we discussed the use of accents. Accents are notated by a greater-than sign on top of a note. An accent above a note tells you to play that particular note louder than the rest. Adding accents into the hi-hat or ride cymbal part can change the vibe. If the accents are played on the ride cymbal, often times, the accent is played on the bell of the cymbal and the unaccented strokes are played on the bow of the cymbal. If the accents are played on the hi-hat, usually they are played with the shank of the stick or shoulder while the bead or tip of the stick plays the unaccented notes on the top of the hi-hat. Following are a couple basic examples of patterns with accents.

Lets move the accents to all of the &’s or upbeats. This utilizes the same technique as before but creates a very different sound. Following are two examples of patterns with accents on the &’s.

This last pattern has no accents but sounds a bit similar to accents on the upbeats. This pattern could be played on the hi-hat, ride cymbal, or bell of the ride cymbal. It consists of playing on only upbeats or &’s. Following are examples of a couple patterns.

When learning any of these, start with just playing the cymbal part by itself until it feels comfortable, and then add in snare drum and bass drum. Work on different grooves by changing the bass drum pattern as well as gradually increasing the tempo in small increments.

– Meg Thomas

Meg Thomas Bio
Meg Thomas Headshot B-W 3.5MBDrummer and percussionist Meg Thomas has performed in musical realms that range from rock to calypso, avant-garde to spoken word, Latin-jazz to punk, and dance ensembles to percussion ensembles. Her drum and percussion set-ups range from the traditional ideas to unique set-ups that incorporate a vast range of percussion instruments. She received her degree in Music from Millikin University and she founded and runs the Chicago Women’s Drumming Group. Meg is a Vic Firth Private Drum and Percussion Teacher and teaches lessons out of her studio in Chicago. She plays recording sessions, performs with an array of bands and ensembles, and has toured the U.S. and Europe. Meg won a Drummie in Drum! Magazine’s 2010 Drummie Awards as runner-up “Rising Star Percussionist,” was named “Musician of the Month” for January 2013 by the Chicago Music Guide, and is endorsed by Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Evans Drumheads, LP Percussion, PureSound Percussion, and Humes & Berg Cases.

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