Bass drum foot technique

Houndog

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I don't think it's coming from the heel but the motion if that makes sense.

And I agree with you now, the shoe doesn't matter that much maybe but this is now something in my regiment arsenal.

Great tutorial to work on, thanks for sharing it. All good stuff!
Yeah it’s the motion , you gotta really look close . I blew right past it a few years ago even though he mentions it ..geez how do I manage in life ???
 

Squirrel Man

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Yeah it’s the motion , you gotta really look close . I blew right past it a few years ago even though he mentions it ..geez how do I manage in life ???
Roll with it, don't make it a chore. You're supposed to enjoy what you're doing. If you can't do it do something else you can do until you can.

Look - I think about this a lot lately. Think about the end result too much and maybe not more enough about the journey. Do what you do well and work on what you don't on the side. Otherwise you'll be miserable. All about perspective if that makes sense.

I'm nowhere near your accomplishment point but I'll get there maybe. Until then I have to be at peace with where I'm at now and I am. I just need some bandmates now in a bad way. Life goes on, enjoy it, it's short.

Peace, friend.
 
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Tornado

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I really don't like heel-toe. I don't think it produces even enough doubles. Not for me, anyway. I like Larnell Lewis' technique.


It's all heel up, a lot like the slide technique, but each stroke is more intentional than "slide and pray".
 

Rock Salad

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I have a couple ideas. I'm working on the same things.
First thing is like JDA says, you gotta understand what you're trying to play. A lot of faster and more syncopated bass drum has swing feel, but not all. So having the foot learn to differentiate what sort of notes it is playing is really crucial to a relaxed technique.
Then on the pure technique side, I like to warm up with unison triplets. Moeller style all limbs doin down, tap, up. There is a certain small amount of strength and conditioning yes, but more of there is lots of useless tension that can be let go of.
I'm no teacher! It is working for me though, and it is based on what real teachers have posted here and elsewhere. Like for example, Ed Soph,. if you listen closely to his words, he tells us his is a heel up technique, just not way up, that's how much tension he has been able to let go of.
It is also hard for the brain to let go of bass drum being the down beat. Some time focusing on just that has helped too.

I have lots of ideas. So glad to be able to share them! Especially when someone shows me that some are just wrong
 

Houndog

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I really don't like heel-toe. I don't think it produces even enough doubles. Not for me, anyway. I like Larnell Lewis' technique.


It's all heel up, a lot like the slide technique, but each stroke is more intentional than "slide and pray".
I’m not sold on heel toe either .
 

Matched Gripper

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Switched to heel-up last year and it feels comfortable, I don't have a problem with general kick play but I'm trying to up that game for me, speed and control. So the kick routine I've been doing for the last few weeks is a lot of repetition. I know this isn't exactly an accurate notation but stuff like BBS, BBBS, BBBBS in 4/4, slow to faster and rolling around the kit SSBB, TTBB, TTBB. FTFTBB trying to get my foot in shape.

I know most of it is muscle memory and conditioning and I have to keep doing this over and over again and I'm patient but I think about technique - am I making this harder by not considering it? I know there are tons of videos out there and I've studied many of them but a lot of them talk more about the pattern and repetition rather than technique moreso.

So I try the initial strike with my upper leg and do the rest wtih my ankle/foot, ball of my foot somewhere between the middle and top of the pedal. Really focusing on doing this with my foot more but I find my upper leg tiring very quickly, cramping in the muscle from my knee up. I also have fairly long legs (size 34) and I tried various positioning. I tend to sit back a little from the kit and sit high on the stool otherwise I look like a frog ready to leap.

Pedal spring is at medium+ tension, beater is on a 30 degree or so angle and the batter head, I didn't measure it but it's not down too low or up too high, probably at the length most people keep it at.

As always your input is greatly valued and appreciated, thanks.
In my opinion, heel up pedal playing should be mostly ankle bounce (ideally all ankle bounce), not muscling the pedal with the leg. It takes some time and focused attention to let go of the leg, so to speak. If you want the beater to come off the head, play with the ball of the foot about 1/3 down from the toe stop. If you want to bury the beater, slide the foot up close to the toe stop.

One convenient thing you can do to work on your foot technique is to tap your feet on the floor when practicing on the pad. I would suggest single strokes, 16ths, 8th note triplets (when playing triplets with the hands), and 8th notes, with the feet depending on the tempo. For example, if you are practicing single strokes with the hands, open/closed/open, you can start playing 16ths with the hands and feet together, reversing the lead hand with a diddle every 2 measures or so, keeping R foot lead with the feet throughout. As you increase speed, at some point your feet won't be able to keep up with the hands and you can switch to 8th notes. As you reduce speed, you can switch back to 16th notes when you are able. This is an excellent foot workout and helps to syncronize your hands and feet. I suggest practicing all hand stickings with both R and L hand lead, but, keeping the feet going with a R foot lead. Does that make sense?

Another thing you can do is to practice the Comping Workout exercises I posted in the Teacher's Lounge. It was intended for single pedal jazz, but, you can modify it any way you like. Example, substitute LF (left hand on snare, right foot on bass), for RL (double bass). Here's a link if you are interested.

 
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polycrescendo

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I've been on the foot technique hunt for a while now, currently favoring the floating ankle technique. Sometimes you have to even the playing field in order to focus on balanced and symmetrical feel.
IMAG1947.jpg
 

Matched Gripper

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I really don't like heel-toe. I don't think it produces even enough doubles. Not for me, anyway. I like Larnell Lewis' technique.


It's all heel up, a lot like the slide technique, but each stroke is more intentional than "slide and pray".
Man! I love the way he comps on the hihats, rather than a continuous ostinato, at the end of the video.
 

Houndog

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In my opinion, heel up pedal playing should be mostly ankle bounce (ideally all ankle bounce), not muscling the pedal with the leg. It takes some time and focused attention to let go of the leg, so to speak. If you want the beater to come off the head, play with the ball of the foot about 1/3 down from the toe stop. If you want to bury the beater, slide the foot up close to the toe stop.

One convenient thing you can do to work on your foot technique is to tap your feet on the floor when practicing on the pad. I would suggest single strokes, 16ths, 8th note triplets (when playing triplets with the hands), and 8th notes, with the feet depending on the tempo. For example, if you are practicing single strokes with the hands, open/closed/open, you can start playing 16ths with the hands and feet together, reversing the lead hand with a diddle every 2 measures or so, keeping R foot lead with the feet throughout. As you increase speed, at some point your feet won't be able to keep up with the hands and you can switch to 8th notes. As you reduce speed, you can switch back to 16th notes when you are able. This is an excellent foot workout and helps to syncronize your hands and feet. I suggest practicing all hand stickings with both R and L hand lead, but, keeping the feet going with a R foot lead. Does that make sense?

Another thing you can do is to practice the Comping Workout exercises I posted in the Teacher's Lounge. It was intended for single pedal jazz, but, you can modify it any way you like. Example, substitute LF (left hand on snare, right foot on bass), for RL (double bass). Here's a link if you are interested.

You should make a video of this .
 

A.TomicMorganic

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Age has nothing to do with it .
I not too sure about that. When I was in my late 30s I could almost play anything with my foot that I could imagine. Now that I am 81, even an eighth note pattern causes discomfort before the the end of the song. As long as I am playing with just my ankle, it's not too bad, but my upper leg gets very tired very quickly.
 

Houndog

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I not too sure about that. When I was in my late 30s I could almost play anything with my foot that I could imagine. Now that I am 81, even an eighth note pattern causes discomfort before the the end of the song. As long as I am playing with just my ankle, it's not too bad, but my upper leg gets very tired very quickly.
At 81, I’d be happy to play about anything .
Wow ...I’m 56 and have never been able to do what I want Foot wise ...
 

Roch

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I try and do a page or two of my Colin Bailey foot control book every second practice or so... and any sticking exercises or rudiments I'm always playing along with my feet some how...sometimes I do sticking exercises and also try and fit in a line or two of Syncopation exercises with my kick...I try and work speed the odd time but it's not a priority. I am more concerned with endurance to get through the night and still have strength into the last set...lately I have been getting multiple bounces when I play heel up as I don't like to burry the beater..I didn't realize I did it until we were listening back on a recording a few weeks ago..
 

dsop

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If I can’t play Swingtown or Mule type beats after all these years of trying how’s that book gonna help ..?
By getting you to work on simple exercises that get progressively more intricate. There are no shortcuts. You gotta do the work.
 

Squirrel Man

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Shoes don’t matter at 8:40

So I was on the kit this afternoon, gave this a try. Nope - not now lol, can't even begin to work those mechanics and that's ok, I'm not frustrated or anything, not surprised either.

I think the recipe for me at least is what I expected and what many say, repetition. Worked on my general routine and I see results though it tires me out. Hour and a half today and I'm beat.

Keeping this tabbed, I think my foot needs more independence from my leg, right now my leg is doing too much of the work. That has to happen before I tackle this and I think it will happen but I can't rush it.
 


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