Bass drum foot freezing up?

Sambo84

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One thing I've been struggling with a bit technique-wise is my kick foot freezing up, and not exactly doing what I want it to do. I know the timing of what I want to do, but it feels like something shorts out between my brain and foot. For example I could probably play constant sixteenth notes with one foot at 100bpm (at least for a time) but if there are two sixteenth notes together in a groove for a song, my foot just freezes up sometimes. Wonder if my brain anticipates a fast motion and the anxiety somehow throws me off physically. I can play exercises at the proper speed just fine, so I don't believe it is a lack of the 'physical' ability to perform it, but when trying to do it in a song I struggle.

It does seem like it's more noticeable with fatigue, after I've been playing a while. I use a double pedal so sometimes I can switch to the other foot when possible and keep playing fine. Not sure if this really makes sense but wondered if anybody else experiences something like this? Any thoughts whether it's a kind of mental block or something, or something physical like related to fatigue?
 

jptrickster

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I don't know if it will help your situation , My new regiment is B12 and a healthy dose of electrolytes everyday.. No more cramping no more joint fatigue.
 

Deafmoon

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Usually struggles in this goes back to coordination. You can play the bass as fast & steady as you want, but if you are struggling with a limb that won't execute while playing time, then consistency and speed is not time well spent. I would suggest getting a hold of Gary Chester's book and going through some of the systems reading the bass drum. So play time, sing the parts and play the bass drum reading the pages. It's just mechanics and in a few months you will see a major difference.
 

Matched Gripper

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One thing I've been struggling with a bit technique-wise is my kick foot freezing up, and not exactly doing what I want it to do. I know the timing of what I want to do, but it feels like something shorts out between my brain and foot. For example I could probably play constant sixteenth notes with one foot at 100bpm (at least for a time) but if there are two sixteenth notes together in a groove for a song, my foot just freezes up sometimes. Wonder if my brain anticipates a fast motion and the anxiety somehow throws me off physically. I can play exercises at the proper speed just fine, so I don't believe it is a lack of the 'physical' ability to perform it, but when trying to do it in a song I struggle.

It does seem like it's more noticeable with fatigue, after I've been playing a while. I use a double pedal so sometimes I can switch to the other foot when possible and keep playing fine. Not sure if this really makes sense but wondered if anybody else experiences something like this? Any thoughts whether it's a kind of mental block or something, or something physical like related to fatigue?
It sounds like an issue with independence between your limbs. There are several method books dedicated to developing independence (aka 4 way coordination). “Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer” by Jim Chapin is the gold standard.

In addition, I posted a thread in the Teacher’s Lounge section of DFO titled “Comping Workout” with a condensed series of advanced exercises that will challenge and help develop your independence for sure.

Here’s a link:

 
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Supernoodle

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Same here... tried many different exercises, finally got rid of the problem by using Morello's Master Studies, "8th notes with accents", Exercises 1 - 11, with the bass drum doing the right hand part, as suggested by Morello. (Right hand does quarter notes on ride instead, left foot does nothing)

Played these for years as warmup for the hands, so I got very familiar with how they sound. There is lots of unaccented notes in a row... With the bass drum version, go very slowly and controlled first, and gradually try to make the accents pronounced on the bass drum. Hope it helps!
 
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