Topic: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat  (Read 3786 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline NY Frank

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2717
Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« on: September 02, 2008, 10:27 PM »
Hey brothers and sisters,

Long time no post.  Some of you know that I did a pretty big number on my right leg, knocking me out of the drum world for many months.

There have been some heart breaking things I missed out on since the break.
One of these recently was - a band opportunity that was a great match for me.

There's a band in the region that gigs regularly.  They contacted me about an audition - the drummer, the son of the leader, is moving on to do his own thing.

The key is that I know the band.  They never heard me on drums, but they heard me on bass several times as we ran into each other while I was gigging on bass.  We jammed together at gigs a couple of times.  I like these folks a lot, and I think they think the same of me.  I'm pretty sure the drum chair would have been mine as long as I was in the neighborhood of what they were looking for.

They just wrote to me again tonight, expressing how disappointing it all was.
They said they had a very good feeling about me becoming a part of their band.  Well, that ain't happening with a wrecked right leg.

But - just how lame would it be for me to explore playing with my left foot,
and loosely locking down the hi hat?  I have to go listen to their set list now to see how much open hi hat work is in their material.

But - what would you think?  Out of the question?  Remotely possible?
Hit me.
+
Frank
Just play

Bionic Ankle    "... we can rebuild him ..."

Offline Mister Acrolite

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 5938
  • I'm not bald; I'm aerodynamic.
    • k e i t h c r o n i n . c o m
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008, 11:00 PM »
A) That's how I play gigs on my cocktail drum. It makes you rethink your parts, but it's totally doable.

B) I assume that's how Josh Freese toured with a broken knee with Perfect Circle. There's a great article in a back issue of Modern Drummer about that. He kept touring, and played his bass drum with his left foot!

C) Go for it!
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Offline Jim Martin (cavanman)

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 1059
  • "And I do the Cha-Cha like a little sissy Girl"
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008, 11:02 PM »
NY Frank,

If Rick Allen can do it with an arm missing, you can do it with an immobilized foot.

I know that's a cliche type of answer but there are some similarities. Def Leppard were dedicated to keeping Rick Allen in the fold. It was a family issue more or less.

The band you're mentioning seem to be folks you have a good relationship with. Sounds to me like that's a big factor. Therefore if they are in your corner about you thriving - and they know you have a good sense of musicality from your bass playing, then they might be able to partner with you in this.

Having said that, to be as Billy Ward says "qualifying good" for the gig,  this may be a ton of work for you. I could see it working out with a left foot solution for bass drum but not without lots of time put in. Possibly more than you want to put in. But maybe not!  8)

I don't know what kind of band this is but I will tell you that all of my subtle hi hat work is lost on many of the gigs I do. Especially Top 40 and rock stuff. It's more for me than the audience and even the band.

On the right kind of gig, I believe you could get away with a two hi hat solution where one was closed and one was open. You could do this with your regular hi hat stand and then an x-hat (BTW: I have a very cool and relatively inexpensive solution I use for x-hat hardware so ask i f you want to know.) You would need two pairs of hi hats but y'know....buy some used old A Zildjians if you don't have any...borrow some maybe?

FWIW: I read an article in MD about Josh Freese that Mr. A. is referring to. After doing some foolish stuff backstage, he broke his leg or foot and had to do just about what I'm suggesting because he was going on tour (Vandals/Perfect Circle ?).
IIRC, he said he came out of it with a very strong left foot. THAT would be an ultra cool upside whether you are talking about double bass pedals or very active hi hat work. It's really the old 'when the world gives you lemons, make lemonade' thing. I for one see it as doable with the variable being how badly you want to do it:  i.e. - How much time are you willing to put into it?

I say do it brother. Just be a Marine on that left foot.  :D

HTH

Jim
"I like-uh....dooo....da cha-cha..."

Offline Todd Norris

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2152
  • Psalm 150:5
    • Fusion Drums
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008, 11:16 PM »
Hey Frank!

Ditto what these guys said!  When I broke my left thumb a few years ago I couldn't hold a stick in my hand for 2 months.  I was using an electric at Church at the time and I programmed the hi-hat pad as closed, and put the hi-hat pedal as a snare hit.  I sat there with my left hand in my lap and beat out the basic beats for 2 months.  Barely anyone even noticed!  (Not sure that's all good, but you catch my drift :-) ) 

In short, give it a shot man!  Worse thing that can happen is that you tried and it didn't work.  so what? 


Offline Chris Whitten

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 6446
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 11:20 PM »
It would depend on the material, but doable IMO.
Next question.....
Apart from playing, how easy is it for you to get around, lug drums around, set up drums?
Last thing you need right now is to try and do things too soon, twist something or put pressure on the break and potentially slow your recovery program.

Offline NY Frank

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2717
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2008, 11:35 PM »
It would depend on the material, but doable IMO.
Next question.....
Apart from playing, how easy is it for you to get around, lug drums around, set up drums?
Last thing you need right now is to try and do things too soon, twist something or put pressure on the break and potentially slow your recovery program.

Chris - very good point.  Right now, I'm only partially mobile via crutches
or this knee walker I am using.  I certainly don't have any ability to
move or set up drums independently.  But - I'm thinking, if this ever played out, that I would draft my teenage sons for the job.    :)

We'll see how it goes.  I mailed the band suggesting that I try this, and
I'll see how they respond.  In the meantime, I'll going to test drive
it all tomorrow after that pesky detail known as - work.

Thanks for all the posts everyone.  Much, much appreciated.
+
Frank
Just play

Bionic Ankle    "... we can rebuild him ..."

Offline David Crigger

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 583
    • www.davidcrigger.com
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 02:53 AM »
Frank -

I don't see the missing hat foot being a deal breaker - if it was me I'd be more freaked about playing BD with the "wrong" foot. :-)

And, of course, the shlep issue - but it sounds like your in-house supply of cheap manual labor could be just the ticket.

So sure, the hihat thing wouldn't be something that would fly on the "open market" but it sounds like these guys feel a connection with you musically and so often that will override tons of other considerations. Meaning the little HiHat compromise maybe a "so what?" for them.

dc

Offline Chris Whitten

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 6446
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 03:07 AM »
Some one legged drumming inspiration for ya:


Offline Louis Russell

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 5905
  • Will Drum for BBQ
    • Retired Pilot Examiner
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 07:50 PM »
I say go for it Frank!  I saw a bass player the othre night with one arm!  I didn't know it for the first two or three songs and he impresses me with his playing. 
No one will believe it's the "Blues" if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it last night!

Offline Robyn

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 1209
  • I love the Drummer Cafe!
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 09:42 PM »
How's that work, Louis?! ???  A one-armed bass player?

Frank, I'm hoping that you're continuing to heal and improve. This sounds like a great challenge that could make you a more versatile player!

robyn
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.           ~Mark Twain

Offline Todd Knapp

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 834
    • Todd Knapp Drums & Percussion
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2008, 08:31 AM »
Some one legged drumming inspiration for ya:



Flat-out incredible.

felix

  • Guest
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2008, 12:00 PM »
Trilok Gurtu?  Uh yeah, "Flat out incredible", "Beyond Amazing" "No one else like him on the planet" all fit here.

He's got nothing on Frank tho'   ;D

Offline Louis Russell

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 5905
  • Will Drum for BBQ
    • Retired Pilot Examiner
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2008, 12:41 PM »
How's that work, Louis?! ???  robyn

He was an excellent musician!  I have asked around a lot and apparently musical instruments are used for rehab more often now.  I found several interesting videos.  And there are lots others on the net, just search around. 






No one will believe it's the "Blues" if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it last night!

Offline Anthony Manning-Franklin

  • VIP / Subscriber
  • Posts: 282
  • Purple!
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2008, 01:52 PM »
I spent a long time playing without the ability to open and close the hats, and had an open set and a closed set. It's very doable, although in my case I was playing in an all originals band so there was a greater degree of flexibility.

If you're really craving that hat action, maybe you could even go so far as to rig something up allowing you to control it, maybe if you've got a remote hi-hat it could fit beside the bass drum pedal, or perhaps rig something up to control it with elbows/thigh/something.
wHeeeee!

Danno

  • Guest
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2008, 09:07 AM »
Frank - it's totally viable.

I sit in on 'open mic' nights around here, and one of the bands' drummers has an artificial left leg, so he just locks the hats down loosely closed. It is AMAZING the sounds you can get just by how you hit them, also by using either the tip or edge of the stick. The first time I played with these guys I thought it was going to suck because of those hats, but I was VERY surprised at how easy it was to work around them.

I also agree with cavanman who said "I don't know what kind of band this is but I will tell you that all of my subtle hi hat work is lost on many of the gigs I do. Especially Top 40 and rock stuff. It's more for me than the audience and even the band."

Offline Chip Donaho

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 3651
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2008, 10:46 AM »
I'm thinking, if this ever played out, that I would draft my teenage sons for the job. 
Why not? I have an audition tomorrow night with a band that knows nothing about me walking with a cane. My 35 year old son has been told he's got to help me. I'll help set up, but he'll carry all the big/heavy stuff. I'm just going to use a small set. But each time I do this I teach him a little more. Then it will be on to a bigger set when needed. I went through the same ordeal as you. Found little ways to help the process. If those guys don't want me "That's Tuff". Next band, etc.... It's taken me 2 years to get back to this level, but I'm ready to rock and get back onto the band scene. My son is needed to help me, so I just tell him...."Pat, I've got an audition Friday at 6, so expect to help me for 4 hours. He KNOWS I intend to make it.  :-X   :o   ;D
Craviotto-DW-Mapex-Slingerland
Paiste-Zildjian
"When you quit learning you start dying."-My Grandfather

Offline Louis Russell

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 5905
  • Will Drum for BBQ
    • Retired Pilot Examiner
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2008, 03:44 PM »
He KNOWS I intend to make it. 

I am sure you do intent to make it Chip and I would bet you do!  Let us know how it works out. 
No one will believe it's the "Blues" if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it last night!

phantompong

  • Guest
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2008, 08:55 AM »
Remote hi-hat, pedal next to the bass drum pedal, and a drop clutch. That would give you practically all the functionality you would have had on a normal kit. It'll cost if you don't already have a remote hi-hat setup (but imagine the possibilities when you regain the use of your right leg!)

In any case, I don't think there'll be much of a problem if you can't use the hi-hat to the max, unless they'll be recording during this time. Losing the use of an open or closed hi-hat temporarily is far less of a problem, musically, than losing an arm permanently.

Offline Rob Richard

  • Copper Member
  • Posts: 1
  • I'm new to the Drummer Cafe!
Re: Viability of playing with locked down hi hat
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2015, 12:12 AM »
I know this is a really old thread, but I wanted to add to it. Has there been any update from the OP on how this worked out from him?

I have Cerebral Palsy and I currently have a worn out right hip. I need to have a hip replacement in June. For years my right hip has been so bad that I've mostly played as an open handed lefty. Though at times I've played with just closed hi-hats and used my left foot on a slave pedal. I'm heading toward needing to play that way again. My CP is spastic, which means my muscles are tighter and in the case of my right leg, I can have spasms, which the bad hip only makes worse. So even keeping the hi-hat closed and doing "minimal duty" is sometimes difficult and if I can play, I get up in pain afterwards.

So what I've usually done in the past is have two hi-hats, one closed enough that I can get some tighter sounds depending on if I use the tip of my stick, or the shaft of my stick on the surface of the hats closer to the bell. I can then use the shaft of the stick on the edge to get slosher sounds to approximate an open note. Then I'll have a second pair that is open either all the way or just enough to get a sloshy sound. I use a DW Incremental Clutch to help dial in the amount of openeness i want.

I agree that some styles of music don't work well with this setup but they're few. Mostly disco and dance styles that require constant opening and closing. But I've found that as long as you play confidently with the setup and find other ways to fill the space that the open hi-hat would normally take up, either with splash chokes or hits, and light hits on the cymbals, most people won't notice or care, and that includes the band.

 

Drummer Cafe RSS Feeds Drummer Cafe on Twitter Drummer Cafe on Facebook Drummer Cafe on Google+ Drummer Cafe on YouTube Drummer Cafe on Pinterest Drummer Cafe on Instagram