My shins are on fire! Does anyone know how to adjust the angle of a hi-hat pedal?

The incline of the thing is really steep. Even with the spring tension on it’s lightest setting, I can’t find a single thing online about how to adjust it and decrease the incline.

Is this like noob level basic knowledge that I never got the memo on? Lemmie know. Thanks!!!

I think you’re looking at the 3 rules of Show Business:

  1. Practice
  2. Practice
  3. Practice

Playing drums is quite athletic, so think of it like working out at the gym. How many weeks or months do you have to go to the gym every day (or 3 times a week) and do all your ‘reps’? Also, do you ever use your leg/ankle/foot like you do that hi-hat, in any other activity? Answer is probably ‘no’, so you’re training muscles that aren’t used to working that way. Patience grasshopper. :wink:

Kick is maybe a bit easier, as it’s mostly binary - kick, or no kick. It requires a buildup of muscles too, but isn’t as nuanced and fluid as hi-hat moves.

It’s possible you can play with incline and spring tension to help a little, though it may not make a great difference. I think you just have to train yourself to do it. I played an acoustic drum set for about 8 years in my youth, so I at least remember what it was like. A bit of e-drum more recently, though those play a little bit easier. Think about how long it took you to train your fingers to play piano and keyboard competently. I’m sure it didn’t happen overnight. It takes time to train the muscle memory and build the stamina.

Dude - The question was about the mechanical lever in the stand.

You can’t GET to the spring (or at least I don’t know how). I’m talking about a hi-hat stand. Not a kick pedal haha. It’s stuffed inside the shaft. lol

That’s the question. Not about how to build up strength… I’ll let you know if I can find an answer somewhere. But thanks for trying to help though :slight_smile:

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I’m trying to expand your awareness of the question/problem beyond your hyper-focus on the mechanical dimension. :slightly_smiling_face: Sometimes the initial question is only one dimension. It can help to expand your mindset on the problem. :thinking:

I was contrasting the left foot hi-hat dynamics vs. the right foot kick dynamics (unless you’re a ‘leftie’ - then it would be opposite). The first thing I learned about playing a kit was using the four limbs independently. Each does a different task. Mastering that is the gateway to the other skills. Wax-on/Wax-off, capiche? Think holistically, in that you need to integrate those separate skills into the whole.

My Ludwig/Zildjian kit (the real Zildjian from Turkey) had some adjustment options IIRC. On the hi-hat specifically, I’m pretty sure I could tweak the ‘travel’ from upper height to the bottom (closed) position, relative to the pedal. And the height of the top cymbal relative to the bottom one. But yeah, I don’t recall being able to adjust the spring tension on the hi-hat stand hardware. However, your links says “Step tension adjustment”, so maybe it has that. My experience is far in the past as I’ve said, maybe newer hardware has more options, or maybe it’s the same-old same-old. I just remember minimal ‘travel’ adjustment options, and beyond that it’s “do the work”, which is why I encouraged you to focus on practice rather than mentally-focused tweaks. :slightly_smiling_face:

If all you can do is adjust spring-tension to your liking, and you can’t adjust the angle, then it’s the ‘practice’ thing like I said to work with what you got.

IMO, it’s like the steering wheel or accelerator on your car … you might have some slight adjustment options, but ultimately “it is what is” and you learn how to adapt and work with it. Otherwise, get another car if you don’t like it. :slightly_smiling_face:

“My shins are on fire!”

Your own words. It sounds to me like someone new to the gym, and weight training, complaining about how the weight machines cause them physical trauma. Yeah, that’s the point! “No pain, no gain”, as they say. The theory is that you have to stress your body in order to accomplish gains in performance. This is frequently known as ‘burning muscles’ etc. It lasts a few days, and with sufficent protein in your diet you’ll rebuild those muscles. Things will balance out and your performance will increase. As I said, playing drums is an athletic endeavor. Expect to become a marathon runner or Himalayan climber, or take the off-ramp. :wink:

So for anyone else who might not know - if you have a direct-drive stand, the solution is to go to a hardware store and place a miniature clamp with a washer where my index finger is in this picture.

The higher you place the clamp (underneath the felt piece), the more it will lower the incline of the pedal. After adjusting the stand to an acceptable angle, you simply reset your clutch.

Stan, I’m no expert on drums, but this problem was clearly an issue of ergonomics. Had I been complaining about coordination, dexterity, or control - then THAT’S a practice related problem. Basic intuition suggests hi-hat stands are not supposed to sting all the way into your hip when you execute very basic movements.


Hey Jonathan, I’m no drummer, so I didn’t weigh in, as I really had no idea!.. In any case, I do know enough about drums that there are two different styles of playing drum pedals - “heal up” and “heal down”. I’ve seen drummers use combinations as well (eg. kick ‘heal up’; hihat ‘heal down’)… I was just wondering if that may factor into the equation somehow in terms of the angles that drummers prefer to to have their pedals at?

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Glad to see you figured out a solution!

Yeah, hip pain is not good, I didn’t realize it was impacting you that dramatically.

That’s a good point! I usually preferred heel down, as it seemed to offer more control, but heel up can offer other aspects/styles of playing and can be used to build up leg muscles or for warming up before playing (i.e. stretching exercises).

Yes! Thank you! I have sorta short legs, and I’d set the chair too low to begin with.

I had tried both - Heel down was a problem in the ankle and in the shins, heel up and I was lifting my entire leg at the hip to try and pedal 8th notes.

Added that washer/clamp, and raised the seat 7 inches, everything stopped hurting so I could finally get back to actually practicing and trying to improve.

And with all that settled now, and heel up seems to be a bit more natural for me :wink:

Sure man. No prob. 100% with you that your muscles complain a little when adapting to new movements - but that was crazy! haha