Left foot Hi-hat exercises

There are many Meshuggah songs in which Haake plays constant 8th notes with his left foot, on the hi-hat, underneath the main drum pattern. He does this to help keep time during heavily syncopated drum rhythms and adds an extra flavour to the groove.

Some of the songs which are good examples of this are:

  • Rational Gaze @ 2:24 in recorded version from the album "Nothing."
  • Organic Shadows @ 2:44 in recorded version from the album "Nothing."
  • Stengah @ 0:16 in recorded version from the album "Nothing."

This is footage from a drum clinic of Haake playing a section from Rational Gaze. The section starts from 1:29 and ends at 1:56. Notice the left foot playing 8ths notes on the hi-hat.

Drum Key:

This is the 8 bar pattern notated below. Haake plays a Paragon Chinese 19" stacked with a 15" hi-hat on the crotchets.

Using the hi-hat like this is a great technique to use in any style of music. It builds limb independence and can add a unique sound to your grooves. Try adding 8th notes on the hi-hat with your foot to any groove you already know. Generally speaking they must be grooves where you are NOT playing the hi-hat with your hand.

Here are some exercises which will help build your left foot hi-hat independence:

Exercise 1 - just bass drum an hi-hat

Exercise 2 - just snare and hi-hat

Exercise 3 - bass drum and snare together

Exercise 4 - adding the ride

Exercise 5 - various groooves

Copyright Carl Georg 2011 All Rights Reserved


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