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How to Adjust a High Hat

High Hat Stand (without cymbals)
Ludwig Drum Company

One of the essential parts of any drum set is the high hat--it's one of the most used portions of the kit. Here's a quick and easy primer on how to adjust your high hat to get the best performance and sound.

High Hat Stand (without cymbals)
Ludwig Drum Company

Things You'll Need:

  • High Hat Stand
  • High Hat Cymbals (Pair)

Assemble your high hat stand, with cymbals, and place it to the left of the snare drum as you're sitting behind the drum kit. Adjust the height of the stand so that the cymbals are 6 to 8 inches above the level of the snare drum.

Once the height is adjusted, place your foot on the high hat pedal and move the high hat so your leg is bent at a 90-degree angle.

Take your foot off the pedal, and adjust the top cymbal so that it's about 1/2 to 1 inch above the lower cymbal. Tighten the thumb screw holding the cymbal, and press down on the pedal so the cymbals close together. They should close tightly.


Many high hat stands have adjustment settings for the tension of the pedal. Adjust this to suit your taste if necessary. If you prefer your cymbals to have a "looser" sound, many stands have a small adjustment screw underneath the lower cymbal that will put it at a slight angle. Adjust this to match your taste.

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