We can help to control the spaciousness and intensity of a group by the how tightly we hold the Hi-Hats together. Very tightly gives a very clean poppy, funky, or electronic sound. Loosely gives us a much fuller sound and helps to lift the intensity of the music.
As we gradually reduce the pressure we start to hear the length of the Hi-Hat get longer as the Hi-Hats rattle together.
If we hold our Hi-Hats very tight when playing a repetitive rhythm pattern on the Hi-Hats like in a quarter or eighth note rock beat we create some empty space between each hit. As we loosen the the pressure on the Hi-Hat we can begin to think about how much of the empty space our Hi-Hats take up.
A good place to start is 1/4 of the space, (one sixteenth note) 1/2 the space, (an eighth note) 3/4 of the space, (a dotted eighth) or the full space (a quarter note).
As we continue to loosen the Hi-Hats we create an overlapping sound which we usually describe as a loose Hi-Hat sound. We can use this overlapping Hi-Hat sound to create a very full sounding beats as we are now filling up all the space
We can also gradually loosen of tighter our Hi-Hats as we are playing. This helps to increase or decrease the energy, or intensity of our playing.
Try to do this over these 4 bar exercises.