28th May 2019 Wil Wainwright

Hi-hat Accents Part 1

Hello and welcome to a new series that will help you develop freedom in your right hand and give you the facility to play different accent patterns on the hi-hat.

1) First up, we are just playing a basic 1/4 downbeat accent through 1/8 notes.  Try and get the shoulder of the stick to hit the edge of the hi-hats on the accent and use the tip of the stick on top of the cymbal for your unaccented notes. 

2) In the second example, we are just adding the basic bass and snare on the quarter note.

3) In 3, we are just playing the same groove with a 1/4 note hi-hat over the top.  I wanted you to play this to help your ear hear what we aiming for with the right hand.  The unaccented notes in the other exercises should be subtle and the accents should be clear and really emphasising this 1/4 note feel.

4) We are now adding in an extra bass and snare on the “and” of 3 and 4.  This will feel odd to start with.  Really focus on keeping the volume of the bass drum and snare drums consistent whilst also maintaining the accent pattern.  You may find that second note of the bass/snare “double” is quieter than the first.  To help with this I recommend looping the individual beat concerned.  So, loop beat 3 and focus on just the bass drums, then beat 4 focusing on the snares.  Once you feel like you have the dynamics down, go back to the full measure and work on making it sound cohesive. 

5) In 5, we have a nice variation where beat 3, an accented hit note, doesn’t have a bass drum to help give the accent weight.  Watch your right hand here as it might want to modulate to the “and” of 3.  When playing a groove such as this I often play the accent of beat 3 slightly louder than I would otherwise so that overall there isn’t a drop in the weight of the 1/4 note pulse.  It is a subtle thing so just take your time and make it feel smooth.

6) Finally, we have added in some ghost notes.  Just make sure they are a nice low dynamic and your right hand is consistent. 

I hope you got something out of that lesson.  I would highly recommend that you really work on making these patterns feel relaxed and comfortable as we will be adding to this basic concept over the coming lessons.


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