The Way of the Hi-Hat


Hi-hat patterns and articulations can change the feel of a groove entirely. Because of this, it's important to recognize the feel your hi-hat patterns create — and to use that knowledge to choose hi-hat patterns that match the feel of the song.

These exercises use a basic, four-on-the-floor pattern with the snare drum on beats 2 and 4 throughout. Notice how the different hi-hat patterns and accents change the feel of the groove. Sometimes the change is subtle. Other times it’s dramatic.

After learning these, try applying the hi-hat patterns to more advanced beats that you may play. Listen and take note of how they manipulate the feel of the groove.

Develop your hi-hat technique with Andy Ziker's ebook, Funk Up Your Hi-Hat. Download and print today!

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Publisher of, Alfred Publishing author and veteran Drum! Magazine Groove Analysis video instructor, Nate holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH and is currently undertaking a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Adult Training and Development at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio.