Something “odd” I’ve been noticing lately while watching various music videos on YouTube: I’m noticing that a lot of drummers have a second high-hat mounted in the vicinity of their ride cymbal, in addition to the high-hat in the traditional location.
Is there a particular reason for having the second high-hat? I suppose it’s significant that most (but not all) of the drummers I’ve seen using the second hat also happen to use two kick drums, but since I’m not a drummer myself I’m not picking up on the purpose.
Cymbals are not all alike…some are heavier than others, cymbals can be made to pruduce certain qualities, etc. The second hi hat is probably a contrast to the other one. Mash on one, finesse on the other, y’know?
I haven’t noticed this, but as an amateur drummer, I could make a guess. It allows you to play an open-handed drumming style song but you continue to play the HH with your right hand, like you’re used to. Watch the drummer on journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” for example. He taps the HH with his left hand through out the song and intersperses snare and tom hits with his right hand. This is tricky if you’re not used to it.
With a HH on the right, you can play more like you’re used to. Right hand keeps tapping, left hand does the punctuation snare/tom hits.
You can also do that with a single bass drum with two pedals, making a lot less kit to lug around. But of course, the sound is different (even if the two bass drums are identical, which is typical).
I’ve never noticed an additional hihat. It might just be that drummers want two different hihat sounds, but that’s pure speculation, and wouldn’t answer if the two have the same cymbals. In the latter case it might be for proximity.
I’m also just a guy who likes to screw around on the drums, but the reasons for two or more high hats would be the ones given: either for the sticking (to keep an open style of playing vs. cross handed) and/or for variations in sound (like you might have a 10" micro hat on one and a 13" hi hat on the other.)
IME the second Hi-hat is usually closed or rarely on a cable mechanism connected to another pedal. It allows the drummer to grab quick Hi-hat beats while working the floor tom side of the kit, IOW s/he doesn’t have to stretch open to play a few notes on the HH. The hi-hat is often critical for song timing as the band will often trigger off of it. These are generally seen on large drum kits.
So I found a picture of Neil Peart and he has two aux Hi-hats, directly over his right shoulder is one that is set slightly open(possibly on a pedal) and over his left, between the ride and china cymbals(skinny silver mic is pointing towards it, this one is closed. Oddly it seems his primary Hi-hat is electronic, as are his snare, kick, the six toms with shallow shell and no bottom head and all of his front cymbals.
Actually, his “primary” stuff is all acoustic. His setup is basically two kits set up back-to-back in a circle. The photo you linked shows Neil sitting behind the electronic portion of the kit, and the high-hat you see over his right shoulder is actually his “primary” hat.
Thanks for posting this, I have to admit that last night I was feeling a little confused as in “NP is mostly playing electronic drums?”. I think I just accepted it under the category of “Drummers do weird stuff” , well, because they do.