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How Do I Choose the Best Hi Hat?

Hi hats consist of two cymbals that are held a specific distance apart by a stand and a foot pedal which allows the drummer to close them together to change the sound that's produced when they are struck.
A hi hat is just one element of a drum kit.
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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2014
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In order to choose the best hi hat for a drum kit or other percussion setup, shoppers should consider the materials that the item is made from, as well as the overall design, and how it complements existing musical gear. A wide range of hi hats provide various support for musical projects. Good evaluation of products before purchase will help the shopper to avoid problems with incompatible or inferior hi hats.

The best hi hats are made from quality metal materials, and resist cracking. Inferior cymbals can crack easily, so make sure that the dual cymbal setup of the hi hat is well manufactured. Buyers should ask for manufacturer documentation if necessary, and recognize high-quality brands that are known for standing the test of time.

One easy way to buy the best hi hats is to do a “test drive.” Hit the hi hat before buying and test for sound. The best hi hat models give off a clear, sharp ringing sound when open, and a nice, neat tapping sound when closed.

Another issue with finding the best hi hat product is related to the setup and installation in a percussion environment. Check on whether these products come with cases, covers and other protective gear. Practice setting up and taking down as necessary to ensure that the products are well-made and easily transported.

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Along with the top part of the hi hat, including the cymbals and fasteners that come with this product, buyers should also look at the tripod or base. It’s important to make sure that the base is solid and provides a stable, secure foundation for the drum piece. The base should not be too delicate or complicated, since these types of structures can be easily broken during use.

Drummers also recognize another very important part of choosing good hi hats. Many percussion musicians refer to this as “response to foot pressure.” Hi hats use a foot pedal that is attached to the base. This piece should be easy to attach. In addition, when the musician presses down on the foot pedal, the hi hat should smoothly close. Some models provide this response better than others; loose foot pedals are something that buyers should avoid.

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