The Drums – Hi Hat Variations

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,657
    Professional drummer Wes Crawford demonstrates how to play hi hat variations on your drum set.

    Wes Crawford

    Wes began his professional music career after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology at Virginia Tech. Soon thereafter, he began performing drumset with the extraordinary Jazz/R&B singer Jane L. Powell, a musical association that lasted eleven years and continues as a managerial relationship. The group toured throughout North America and the Caribbean performing at festivals, universities, resorts, nightclubs, and cruise ships. They opened for such acts as Ray Charles, Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, Lou Rawls, The Crusaders, Joan Jett, Ernie Watts, and Paula Poundstone, and occasionally performed alongside artists such as Tony Bennett, O.C. Smith, and Dorothy Moore. The 1,300 colleges and universities comprising the National Association for Campus Activities voted the group Entertainer of the Year in 1990, their highest honor, and Jazz Artist of the Year for 1990-1992. During these years of touring, Wes also recorded two albums with Ms. Powell as well as for several outside artists. Wes also conducted electronic percussion seminars at VA Tech and at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Gifted. In 1992, Wes settled with his family in the Washington, DC area as an independent artist on drumset and percussion where he currently performs and records with acts such as Shahin & Sepehr (Higher Octave/Narada world music recording artists), Cocktail Nuts (aka “C-NUTS”- Jazz versions of rock classics, on Wildchild/Mapleshade Records), mrudangam virtuoso Umayalpuram K. Shivaraman (including a clinic at PASIC 2000 and a featured performance at Baltimore Drum Day 2000), Squeeze Bayou (1998 winners of the “Best Non-Louisiana-Based Cajun Band Recording” awarded by the Cajun French Music Association), and Night Life (high-energy show band). Wes has also regularly performed and/or recorded with Aisha Kahlil (of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Eva Cassidy, Catalyst Events’ “Beatswork!,” Zydeco Crayz, Mary Ann Borelli, “Oh Susannah!”, Sugar Jones, and Armadillo recording artist Daryl Davis. His other noteworthy performances and recordings include those with the David Bach Consort (2nd place winner in the 1998 BET unsigned band video contest), Hennesy Jazz Search regional winner Jerry Gordon, and performances with Milestone recording artist Ron Holloway. Wes considers education to be an important link to the future of the percussive arts and teaches drumset privately and at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He also performs in public school assemblies with Mosaic, which provided the musical instruction and curriculum for the 2000 Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute. Wes serves as the Director of the annual Drumset And Percussion Camp of the Goucher Summer Arts Institute and as Vice-President of the MD/DE chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. In 2000, Wes started, a site to feature his interactive educational media such as his popular “Drumset Play-Along DVD.” His latest “A Rhythmic Murder Mystery” interactive DVD features a solo electronic drumset concert, which he also performs live. Wes holds Associate Artist relationships with Maryland Drum Company and with Trueline Drumsticks, and he occasionally works as Music Consultant for the not-for-profit Sustainable Environments for Health + Shelter.

    Hi! I am Wes Crawford. As we study Rock Drumming, we want you to notice that we can open the high head some time to create rhythmic interest and you might want to start by this, by starting a very simple rock pattern with eight notes, then first start opening the high head on every end that should count eight notes at each different point one at a time. On the end of one would be one and two, three and four and it should be like one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. So, now we are incorporating the left foot and you will notice as I play this and I will ear drum it, you open on the off beat to hit that in, but then when you close it, your feet are hitting together. Since I am playing the quater notes on the bass drum the foot comes back down on the beat.

    So, its really I am doing this. So, whenever you are opening it on the end your foot will come back down on the beat which might be with the bass drum if you are playing a straight pattern. End of two; one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four. So, there is end of one and the end of two, end of three and four are just like the end of one and two. So, lets try to opening it on the beat, lets try opening on beat one, so then your feet will do this, your left foot has to close the high head on the end of one. It will go one and two, three, four; one and two, three, four. If you open it on two and four with the snare, you will do basically the same thing, but your snare will hit with the open high head, and that gives you an introduction to opening the high head and find your own ways to use this music, with increasing rhythmic interest.