Offbeat 8th Note Open Hi Hat Decoration

A guide on how to use open hi hats as decoration in grooves with a constant 8th note right hand.

Before proceeding with this lesson it is very important that you work through our Hand Foot Independence – Controlling Hi Hats exercise.

This lesson will demonstrate how adding open hi hats to a groove can create some cool sounding patterns. We have already discussed constantly playing open hi hats but in these lessons we will be opening the hi hat on select beats as an embellishment, or accent. These patterns require some control over your left foot so make sure you've worked through the lesson linked right at the top of this page. Feet patterns from all rudiments that involve using the left foot will also help prepare you for these patterns.

The patterns given in this lesson involve the right hand playing eighth notes and the left foot lifting up on a certain beat. In a groove it isn't always necessary to show hi hat foot notation when a hi hat is opened and closed. It is more common to see hi hats with the 'o' and '+' sign above, indicating that the left foot is to be raised and bought back down. For the exercises shown in all of our lessons this is the method of notation you will most commonly see. The Left Foot Hi Hat notation is only really used in this context when the hi hat is to be closed at an explicit point.

All of the grooves in this lesson will have one open hi hat added on an offbeat 8th note. An 'offbeat' note in this case means it is played on an '+' count. If it was a note 'on the beat' it would fall on a numbered count. In a bar there are four '+' counts which tells us we have four positions our open hi hat can potentially fall using this concept. Written below are examples of these four positions. First of all the hi hat part is shown on its own, then a groove example is given below. Further groove examples will be given on the next page. Two bars of each example are given to show how the part is played when repeated.


Hi Hat Example 1

The Hi Hat Part for example 1

Hi Hat Example 1 With Groove

The Hi Hat Part for example 1 with groove added in

TASK

  1. Learn the groove above and get a feel for how the open hi hat fits in.
  2. Using the Hi Hat example as a template, create your own groove.

Hi Hat Example 2

The Hi Hat Part for example 1

Hi Hat Example 2 With Groove

The Hi Hat Part for example 1 with groove added in

TASK

  1. Learn the groove above and get a feel for how the open hi hat fits in.
  2. Using the Hi Hat example as a template, create your own groove.

Hi Hat Example 3

The Hi Hat Part for example 1

Hi Hat Example 3 With Groove

The Hi Hat Part for example 1 with groove added in

TASK

  1. Learn the groove above and get a feel for how the open hi hat fits in.
  2. Using the Hi Hat example as a template, create your own groove.

Hi Hat Example 4

The Hi Hat Part for example 1

Hi Hat Example 4 With Groove

The Hi Hat Part for example 1 with groove added in

TASK

  1. Learn the groove above and get a feel for how the open hi hat fits in.
  2. Using the Hi Hat example as a template, create your own groove.

Have a look at this lesson with More Groove Examples using this concept.