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The Sly Hat

Taylor Friesth

Taking the hi-hat beyond open and closed.

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The Sly Hat, by Taylor Friesth, is a book focused on how to have the hi-hat foot to be an addition to your everyday drumming. Traditionally, the hi-hat foot is used for an open hi-hat sound or for keeping steady time under what you are playing, but it is rarely used for being another sound that you can add to your grooves and fills. Taylor will guide you through the very basics of how to use the hi-hat all the way to the advanced concepts of incorporating the hi-hat foot. All of this with the intent to not only serve the music but also to make drumming more efficient, and to allow for new sounds out of the drum kit..

What is in the book / videos?

With 140 pages of what people call the dictionary of how to use the hi-hat foot, along with The Sly Hat Video Series, this material is intended to put as much information out there about this idea to where anyone can master it. Anyone can go through this content and leave with a whole new dimension when it comes to their four limb coordination behind the drum kit.

The Sly Hat book will give you the content necessary for truly understanding how to use your hi-hat foot and the videos will give you the most effective ways to apply this technique. 

Taylor will walk you through the “3 mode” approach to closing the hi-hat, where the first mode will show you how to create a tight and crisp sound out of the closing hi-hat, all the way to mode 3 where you can find a thicker more aggressive sound out of the two cymbals. Following this, you will be guided through the ways in which the hi-hat can influence groove and the over all feel of the song.

Once the basics are set up, that is when the fun begins. After you are walked though the traditional ways of how to use the hi-hat, you begin to look at using the sound of the closing hi-hat as an addition to your playing. This gives you a whole new tool kit when it comes to approaching the drum set.

Think of how much your drumming expanded when you began to learn how to use ghost notes on the snare. Similarly, the hi-hat can create three general sounds; an open hi-hat sound, the sound of hitting the closed hi-hat, and the sound of closing the hi-hat. Through adding the third category of using the closing hi-hat, it is like adding a whole new piece to your drum-set that you can now use.

Towards the end of the book you will find the pièce de résistance, the 3 way flam and the 4 way flam. This technique of closing the hi-hat, and following with a flam between the hi-hat and snare, is something that will allow any drummer to unlock a whole new side to their drumming ability. The book will provide the perfect exercises for you to gain full comfortability with this idea, and the video series will give you a step by step walkthrough of how to approach such an idea.

140 pages | eBook with Video

What is Included

  • Chapter 1: 16th Note Grooves

  • Chapter 2: Triplet Grooves

  • Chapter 3: 32nd Note Grooves

  • Chapter 4: Tom Grooves

  • Chapter 5: Polymeters

  • Chapter 6: Latin

  • Chapter 7: 16th Note Fills

  • Chapter 8: Triplet Fills

  • Chapter 9: 32nd Note Fills

  • Chapter 10: 3-Way Flams

  • Chapter 11: Soloing Exercises

  • Chapter 12: Greatest Hits

The Sly Hat Video Series

  • Introduction

  • Part 1 (The Basics)

  • Part 2 (Melody of the groove)

  • Part 3 (Sly Hat Technique)

  • Part 4 (Polymeters)

  • Part 5 (Advanced Concepts)

  • Part 6 (Making Your Own Ideas)

  • Part 7 (3 & 4 Way Flams)

About the Author

Colorado native, Taylor Friesth, is a performer, author, and educator who has delved deeply into drumming since the age of 6 years. Since then he has performed on stages such as Red Rocks and Folsom Field. His drumming has led him to perform with various groups from GRiZ to New Orleans style brass band Guerrilla Fanfare. His versatility has given him a wide range of musical ability that has resulted in a unique sound of his own.

Taylor has found a love for teaching drums ever since middle school where he began to give private lessons to local kids in his neighborhood. As a 13 year old, Taylor would reach his audience by distributing drum lesson flyers throughout his school and local music shops. Over time his teaching would expand to go online where he started his website TFdrums.com, a website devoted to showing drummers how to expand and rethink how they look at the drum set. His dedication to finding the most effective way to teach each individual student is something he still works on to this day.

In 2016, Taylor released his book “The Sly Hat”, a 13 chapter book focused on how to use your hi-hat foot as a part of your grooves and fills, as opposed to having it keep a steady pulse under what you are playing. The book caught the attention of drummers such as Gordy Knudtson (former head of percussion at McNally Smith College of Music, and drummer for the Steve Miller Band), Rod Morgenstein (former head of percussion at Berklee College of Music, and drummer for Winger), and Skip Hadden (Weather Report), and even received a review in the 2018 November edition of Modern Drummer.

Today, Taylor teaches local drum clinics featured around his book, The Sly Hat, and provides drum tracks/ session work for various artists.

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  1. Gady
    Verified Owner
    I'm not even 10 minutes into the book and I'm loving it!! Cant wait for the rest..will keep you posted.
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