How to Assemble Hi-Hat Cymbals?

June 10, 2022

Setting up the hi-hat stand can be a breeze when you understand the functions and what can happen. 

If you think it’s a simple job, you’re wrong, but in this post, we’ll go through the process step by step and simplify it.

Some Biggest Mistakes

There are a few common errors that people make when assembling hi-hat cymbals.

Beginning with the clutch, some players will notice the lock nuts and the non-loosen nut on the wrong side.

So the lock nuts will be placed on either end of the drum, and then they place the nut that is not loose on the last.

If you do this, the rod has been bent during transportation and will cause a lot of frustration when you play with a hi-hat because it can get stuck at times.

We’ve explained the issue within our “Do’s and Don’ts,” and you can prevent this by simply following the guidelines in the section.

If you’re not cautious, the component that stops it from moving can break. However, it is possible to fix this problem by connecting a wire directly to the hinge’s part.

Do’s and Don’ts

“The “do’s and don’ts” are the combination of strategies to ensure that your hi-hat cymbals are not damaged, and you get excellent sound quality from hi-hat cymbals.

1. Adjust the Legs

When the anchor for the pedal is pressed against the ground in a way that is too close, and the stand is unstable, it becomes unstable and sways in various directions.

The adjustment of the legs must be precise, as you’ll want the spurs to penetrate the floor just a bit without being able to absorb too much of the weight and pressure downwards.

Please don’t set the legs so that they are too far above the floor.

However, if you compensate too much and the anchor for your pedal is not high enough off the ground, the downward pressure you exert when you press down the pedal can cause horizontal movement.

This would place stress on the anchor for the pedal and other components over time, which could cause malfunction.

2. Use the Spurs

DO place the spurs in a position to hold the carpet in place and assist the pedal.

The spurs can be adjusted to fit the floor differently when the anchor’s height is determined. This feature allows for refinement that gives an increased instability.

Do not let the spurs destroy a wood floor.

The spurs are sharp and could cause damage to floors. They are made to hold the rug or carpet, and that’s why you need to keep all your tools in one location.

3. Be Gentle With the Rod

Unscrew the rod, then remove the tube on top to shield the rod and the bottom hi-hat cymbal’s seat from getting damaged.

Keep the clutch on the highest point of the rod, and the best parts of the rod are covered from damage by the tube. 

Don’t cut or cross-cut the threads connecting the top portion of the rod and the internal mechanism.

Be cautious not to thread it with the nut that accepts the rod. The threads are tiny and must be in good working order for the stand to perform for the long haul.

4. Find the Cymbals You Want

This is obvious. The point is that cymbal makers typically make the bottom hi-hat thicker than the one on top.

Specific models are match-matched, and some players will purchase two tops and two bottoms. For example, you can pair an upper Zildjian model with bottom A Custom.

Don’t limit yourself to hi-hat Cymbals.

Any cymbal can be utilized. Many drummers play around with crash cymbals stacks and other non-cymbal objects such as Terry Bozzio’s roto tom pieces. 

5. Tighten the Clutch Nuts

The cymbals’ movement could enhance the sound you’re seeking. There is a possibility of a slight motion, and some players love the sound.

DO NOT let the lock nuts remain unlocked.

If your nuts (the two that are above the top cymbal) are not locked, the movements of the cymbal may be increased, and then loosen the nut that is not fully locked. This happens to everyone at one time or another. 

6. Set the Upper Height Adjustment Tube

DO utilize this system of memory locks to keep the consistency.

After the height adjustment has been completed, use your memory lock to ensure that the height adjustment is consistent each time you put up your hi-hat stand.

If the stand you are using doesn’t include a memory lock, you can use hose clamps, too. However, investing in an excellent stand with an electronic lock is recommended.

Don’t set the hi-hat too low that you cannot reach the playing surfaces easily.

7. Use the Angle Screw

DO tilt the bottom of the cymbal for an improved “chick” sound.

The sound of the foot that’s created when you quickly pull the cymbals is among the primary features in the hi-hat stand.

If air is released rapidly and evenly over the cymbals, it can cause a loss of sound and cause suction. The bottom cymbal should be angled to prevent this from happening.

Don’t forget to place the washer underneath the felt to touch the screw angle.

Sometimes we lose parts that we didn’t realize were vital. For example, the hi-hat stand can function even without the seat washer; however, an angle adjustment is best when the washer is set in place.

8. Add Percussion to the Setup

The addition of a tambourine or rings (jungles placed on top of the cymbal) is a great place to begin since it’s a sound numerous songs use.

Look beyond the safe area and consider the possibility of adding a cowbell or tone block on the side of your drum stand. What about dropping goat nails onto the top of the cymbal to get dirty

Use only tools that won’t ruin your stand.

Certain tambourines can be designed to clamp rods. If you choose to clamp in the middle, there’s no issue.

However, the tambourines with clamps at the edges may stretch the rod, especially when you hit the tambourine when it’s clamped onto the rod.

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how to set up hi hat

How far apart should hi-hat cymbals be?

They have usually spaced approximately the width of a stick apart (about . 550″ – . 620″). People are usually spaced about 3 inches apart.

How do you adjust hi-hat tension?

Turn the spring Tension Knob towards the left and slide it to any desired position to lessen tension.

To increase the tension, move the Spring Tension Knob up. To decrease the tension, you can slide the Spring Tension Knob down. The rod for the footboard’s stabilizer is to be inserted into slots in the frame near the lower part of the hi-hat’s base.

How can I make my hi-hat sound better?

If you’re hitting the cymbals by themselves, it is recommended to strike them at an approximately 45 degrees angle (i.e., not straight across or straight down) using the technique of a “glancing blow” towards the side.

This will create the highest resonance and reaction from the cymbal.

How do I make my hi-hat less harsh?

Hi-hat samples are typically processed too much and have a blurred top end. One solution is to round off the frequency to the high end.

Then, apply a low-pass filter between 14-18kHz, until the hi-hat’s definition is restored. This technique can also work to prevent snares, rides, or cymbal collisions.

Final Thoughts

Hi-hat stands are among the most crucial components of the drum kit.

If they’re not set up correctly, you’ll be hindered by a standing that blocks out your sound and moves unnatural ways or is damaged when you play it.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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