How to Set Up High Hat Cymbals

By Contributor
Set Up High Hat Cymbals

How to Set Up High Hat Cymbals. Setting up a drum kit correctly is the first step in playing the drums. The high hat cymbals--also known as hi-hat--normally sit on your left side. These two cymbals face each other on a stand that you play with a foot pedal.

Find the two metal prongs attached to the pedal in the base. Squeeze the prongs gently until you can slide the ends in the holes of the cymbal stand of your drum kit.

Unfold the legs of the tripod base until the stand stands alone. Tighten the nut at the top of the legs after making certain that the evenly spaced legs provide a sturdy base.

Affix the long tube to the top of the base. You can adjust the height of the stand with the nut in the middle of the tube. A thinner rod should extend up from the tube.

Place the bottom cymbal (often marked as the bottom) over the rod so that the cymbal slides down the rod and rests on the felt washer. Make certain the bell side curving outward faces the floor.

Attach the clutch to the stand. Slide the clutch through top cymbal and add a felt to the inner side of the cymbal. Slide the clutch and top cymbal over the high hat stand, and add another felt on top so that the top cymbal is sandwiched between them.

Tighten the inner bolt of the clutch to allow for about an inch between the two cymbals. Attach another bolt through the rod resting securely on the top cymbal.

Test your cymbals by pushing the pedal. Make certain the top cymbal meets the bottom one. Adjust the spacing and spring tension of the top cymbal by turning the wing screw and lock nuts.


If your cymbals aren't marked top and bottom, find the heavier of the two cymbals. This is the bottom cymbal of your drum kit's high hat. If your cymbals seem glued together and won't play, you probably have air trapped inside. Called air-lock, you can fix it by adjusting the bottom cymbal screw.