General Question

andrew's avatar

Should I use my primary hand to do eighth note hats?

Asked by andrew (15771 points ) December 26th, 2009

Before you start thinking I’m cool, I’ve decided to steal my niece and nephew’s copy of Rock Band 2 and teach myself some rudimentary drum skills.

One thing I was confused about when I was learning different beats was which hand I’m supposed to use to do eighth note hats when I’m doing a standard rock kick-hat-snare beat. I seem to remember the drummer in the band I was in crossing his hands while he played (playing snare with his right hand).

My kit is reversed for a left-hander (snare farthest to the right).

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12 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

Standard playing technique for a right-handed drummer is right hand on high-hat, left for snare hits, and crossing so that the high-hat hand is over the snare (left) hand.

When playing anything beyond th snare hits (the alternating quarter notes), you can choose to play the snare with right an left hands. For instance a sixteenth-note fill which would be four sixteenth note snare hits would start with the right hand as in r-l-r-l then continue with the previous pattern of snare and high-hat.

andrew's avatar

Ah! That makes more sense… the silly way the game is set up is that the snare is set up all the way to the left for a righty—with the high hat second to the right—so there’s no need to cross your hands.

What do you do if you’re doing a quick fill from the snare to the tom? (Doing an eighth note snare to an eighth note tom (like h-h-s-h-h-h-s-t). As a righty, do you keep your right hand on the high-hat, then reach with left hand?

jlm11f's avatar

@sndfreQ knows all. So good to have you back!!

sndfreQ's avatar

What is the set up on these drums (left to right or right to left)? My guess is from right to left, snare, hat, hi tom, low tom?

If so just do what feels comfortable. You usually don’t play th hi-hat when playing fills so you would break out of the crossed hand technique and just play what is comfortable. On a full kit where from left to right you have snare, high tom, mid tom, low (floor) tom, you would just play right hand on each tom for straight eighth notes but anything beyond you alternate r-l-r-l as when you would play just snare fills.

@PnL Glad to be back!

sndfreQ's avatar

On that fill the last snare would be left and the Tom would b right (the opposite of what I told you before!) so that hats would still be played by right only, snare left then tom would be right. On eighth notes this is easily done…gets tricky when playing anything faster than eighths, like sixteenth note fills. Also remember the next measure/downbeat after a fill would be kick drum plus a cymbal crash (played by right hand).

andrew's avatar

@sndfreQ Sorry, I used the wrong term. Take the standard H-H-H/S-H pattern and make it H-H-H/S-H/T. Does that make sense? Still play the tom with the left?

DrBill's avatar

Try both ways and see which feels right to you.

sndfreQ's avatar

If the game says to play both hi-hat and tom, then play what is most comfortable; in most songs, the hi-hat is skipped when playing fills; if you watch drummers play actual drum kits, you’ll see their bodies move across the set, away from the hi-hat as they rotate toward the floor tom…does that make sense?

If playing Snare then Tom as two eigth notes in succession as you listed above, I would play them Snare (left) and Tom (right).

andrew's avatar

@sndfreQ Sorry, it’s not a fill I was asking about, but the same drum pattern with a quarter snare, but changing it to an eighth snare and a eighth tom every other measure.

sndfreQ's avatar

if both are played with hi hat then left snare/right hat, and then left hat / right tom; it would look like both hands hitting at the same time, with the second beat having you shift both hands over to the next pad to the right (two double hits in succession).

andrew's avatar

@sndfreQ Ah! So you uncross your arms! Perfect. That’s what I was asking.

sndfreQ's avatar

Well as you described the set up for a righty, you shouldn’t have to cross your arms in the first place…snare is played by left hand, hi hat is played by right hand. Yeah, you’re keeping them uncrossed and just shifting over one drum double-sticking.

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