Playing Fast Highhat Notes


New member
My band and I play some metallica songs and quite a few of them have really quick 8th note high hat beats. Whenever I play them my wrist and arm have a tendency to tighten up and make it really really tiring to play.

So I need some help. Is there like a different grip I could use or a rudiment to practice or something to stop my right arm from tensing up? How do you guys get around it?


New member
practice, biuld your muscles. and play relaxed. let the stick rebound off the cymbals rather than trying to physicaly put every noye in with your wrist and arms. sounds like its time to work the fingers


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What I've found helps me with faster hi-hat beats is wrist movement. I would suggest working on any rudiments that involves double strokes and work on wrist flexibility.


New member
its all about the bounce...its kinda like doing a press roll on the snare...your over working youself way to much...relax...try choking up on the sticks a bit...leave about 1inch hanging out of the bottom of your hand...also try lowering you hit-hats a bit....that way the stick isnt hitting flat on them...and you can get the tip of the stick to hit....if these dont again...i have a few more tricks i can tell ya...or hit me up on my myspace at


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here ya go...look at the placement of the sticks and how he uses the bounce...
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finger technique and moeller<excuse spelling> are good to use mixed with learnin up on that bounce make it solid check out benny grebs stuff on you'll see some good hat techniques in a few of his solos and whatnot


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there is an exercise i was taught that is very good for building chops and will work wonders for what youre trying to accomplish... its called improving.... an instructor of mine was taught this exercise by Ralph Hardaman himself... the exercise works by doing 8th notes and accenting on 1 and 3, you do the exercise on a pillow of something w/ no rebound to ensure youre using your wrist muscles, after a couple of min doing that you want to start accenting on 1, 2, 3 and 4, theyre called bucks... then if your arms havent already falled off you do all up, accent every note...

i hope this helps in any way and remember drummers do it better


New member
I was faced with this problem when I learned Wrath Child from Iron Maiden. Most people play it with two hands,Clive Burr played it with one hand on the hihat!
Use a metronome, or the radio and just keep practicing and using different stickings. If you play a paradiddle starting wtith the left hand, the right hand will be available for the 2 and 4 notes on the snare for example.


New member
Everyone here has great advice. There is a lot that can be solved by learning how to take advantage of the rebound. And the suggestion about practicing on a pillow is great. Do all your rudiments, especially double strokes, on an object with no rebound. If you can play with open single and double strokes rather than pressing, you will sound much cleaner and more metronomic.

Make sure also that when you're holding your stick, you're grip is at or around the balance point, you should almost be able to rest the stick on one finger and have it balance by itself. This will maximise function and speed. Remember that in order to play fast everything has to work in the most econimical way it can.

A couple other tools that help with speed are stick weights. Another is Roland's Rhythm Coach. This is an electric V-drum with a metronome attached to it. It has all kinds of amazing programs to help with time subdivision and speed. Maybe combine the weights with this or the pillow, or hell all three together. Good luck man.
I have that problem sometimes, but luckily i learned to play open handed, and i can go just as fast with my left hand as i can with my right, so that kind of gets rid of the problem, if you feel like learning that, or you can just try and relax a bit more, that used to help me somewhat.


New member
yup I know what you mean, I was in a Metallica coverband and id only been playing half a year back then so i got EXTREMELY tired.. just stay loose though and let the stick bounce, that worked for me atleast.. now my problems dropping the stick cuz i play too loose =p


New member
As a lot of guys have said: relax. That will literally almost double your speed and endurance by itself.

Play, play, play, play, play. Do nothing but play fast. You'll get used to it and believe it or not, everything that you think is fast now will seem normal speed. All this really does is build up your fast twitch muscle fibers. You've got plenty of slow twitch muscle fibers to supply blood to you fast twitch(since they don't have their own direct blood supply), so just work on your fast twitch fibers.
You have to keep this up though since it's muscle building. I used to think blast beats were fast. I played them a lot and they became very easy. I haven't played them in a while and I'm really really slow again. Gotta keep it up.

And my last tip comes from seeing Lars play live... GET PISSED OFF MAN!!! IT'S EFFING METAL!!! Getting pissed off is key to playing Metallica's stuff... just prepare to break lots of sticks, heads, cymbals, lugs, hardware... ok, don't get too pissed off.


New member
I play 10 years now and i have a similar problem with "blackened".My hands are fast but i can't do it at 190bpm for 7 min(wrist playing not fingers).I solve my problem with new sticks 5 A because all the time i play and study with 5 b or bigger.I agree 100% with the previous guys about being relaxed and practice a lot (this is the basic idea and you can't escape). I give you a solution that help me instantly .


New member
the best way to develope chops for me is single stroke type rudiments (roll, 4, 7) and when you practice start slow and build speed i used to do that on one hand to try to play some of john dolmayans one handed hi hat techniques which r stupid fast sometimes and it helped allot

another thing lift weights do forearm exercises itll help your endurance because you muscles can take the strain

use sticks with grips (zildjian dips r sweet) so when you hold the stick at the balance point it wont slide down your hand

and if your on stage and you dont think you can handle it TRY 2 handed hi hat it saved my ass once playing deer dance (all the videos i saw of it he does them one handed and i just seriously couldt handle it so i just did a 2 handed hi hat and it saved me and now i can do them one handed.

pillows rule lol

practice practice practice bring a practice pad whereever u go and whenever u can just work on stuff

Rob Crisp

New member
Good technique is worth practicing on both hands but as you seem to be having problems with stamina to get through songs lets target it specifically.

Try playing 8th notes, at a reasonable tempo and to a click for say 5 mins without stopping. If you feel tension drop the BPM by say 2 bpm. Still tension, drop it again. You want to get to a point you can play for the full 5 mins without tension. As your arms get used to it you'll find you can up the tempo gradually, by 2 bpm a time. Do this daily for a couple of weeks and you're stamina will improve greatly!

Don't sit there and do 5 mins, increse, 5 mins increase. Let your muscles relax and recover.

Good luck!