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Clutches and Flywheels

What does a hi-hat drop clutch do?


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June 20, 2009 3:11AM

A drop clutch is a device that allows a drummer to close the hi-hat with a single stroke of a drumstick so that, while the drummer is using both feet to play two bass drum pedals, the drummer can play his sticks on the closed hi-hat. Without a drop clutch device on the hi hat, when the drummer takes his foot off the hi hat in order to play the second bass drum pedal, the hi hat stays open. The "stuck open" top hi hat does not lend itself to being played repetitively with a stick. The drop clutch, when struck once with a drumstick, allows the top hi hat cymbal to fall down onto the bottom hi hat cymbal by using gravity. Therefore, although the drummer is no longer using his or her foot to keep the hi hat closed, the drummer can play sticks on the closed hi hat cymbals while using his hi hat foot on a second bass drum pedal. When the drummer is ready to open and close the hi hat by foot, stepping on the hi hat pedal re-engages the drop clutch so that the top and bottom hi hat cymbals are held open again.