Bass drum foot technique

drums1225

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I teach what I call the "Hop and Drop" for heel-up bass drum doubles. It's (kind of) a toe/heel technique with momentum, rebound, and gravity doing a lot of the work. I play it heel-up, but I teach the motion beginning with the heel down, because exaggerating the motion seems to help students learn it more easily. Here's a lesson I wrote on it back in the pre-video days of the internet.

 
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Seb77

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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.
May I suggest practising heel down? It's quieter for sure, but it trains the foot muscles. When I play louder I use the momentum of the leg, but as you say, in the end the foot needs to do the work.
It's a similar concept as with piano: you have to use the weight of the arm for high volume, but the fingers need to articulate.

So many different concepts. it starts with whether you apply rebound or bury the beater. The drumeo clip above employs the latter, whereas the post right above mentions rebound as crucial. This, along with style/sound choices, then goes on to influence decisions about head tension/muffling, spring tension etc.

Re: spring tension: I'm an advocate of letting the beater bounce, but also of using very loose spring tnesion, ust tight enough so the beater swings through the whole pathway/throw.
 

NickSchles

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My suggestion would be for you to go through Gary Chester's NEW BREED book. Go through all the systems paying attention to your technique... Start with the first section, slowly, and then move to the next, so on.

Similarly, aim to not bury the beater upon every stroke. This causes tension on your calf, and you want to keep everything as relaxed as possible. Yes, to a degree this is music-style dependent, however, it's a good benchmark for relaxed strokes: let the beater bounce back after every stroke.

:)
 

claytronica

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Love this thread. Drums are not my primary, but I'm having a blast trying to improve on them while my 8 year old learns.
I'm definitely heel up (hi hat heel down - guess that's obvious?)
But my struggle right now is with the Bonham style triplet kicks (doubles). I'm experimenting with a slide (back to front) and sort of a twist - but nothing has been a revelation yet.
I do understand catching the rebound - but different tempos screw me up - it's as though there's an optimum speed, but slower (and of course faster) is more challenging.
Finally - I can't settle on what I'm wearing on my foot. Sneakers seem to grab the pedal too much and I don't get any slide -- but socks are too slippery. Barefoot is not too bad. Seems most drummers use sneakers. I don 't want to overthink it though -- I guess I just need to keep getting the reps in.
 

cornelius

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May I suggest practising heel down? It's quieter for sure, but it trains the foot muscles. When I play louder I use the momentum of the leg, but as you say, in the end the foot needs to do the work.
It's a similar concept as with piano: you have to use the weight of the arm for high volume, but the fingers need to articulate.
As I was taught, you have a few basic ways to play: Heel Down, Heel Up/Ankle, Heel Up Ankle/Leg, Heel Up/Leg. IME, heel-down and letting the beater come off of the head is the place to start in order to achieve flexibility and strength. From there, this will give you a foundation to move onto other techniques.

If you want a great workout, practice Chaffee's Fatback exercises in his Time Functioning book. These exercises will help you in many ways!
 

Matched Gripper

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May I suggest practising heel down? It's quieter for sure, but it trains the foot muscles. When I play louder I use the momentum of the leg, but as you say, in the end the foot needs to do the work.
It's a similar concept as with piano: you have to use the weight of the arm for high volume, but the fingers need to articulate.

So many different concepts. it starts with whether you apply rebound or bury the beater. The drumeo clip above employs the latter, whereas the post right above mentions rebound as crucial. This, along with style/sound choices, then goes on to influence decisions about head tension/muffling, spring tension etc.

Re: spring tension: I'm an advocate of letting the beater bounce, but also of using very loose spring tnesion, ust tight enough so the beater swings through the whole pathway/throw.
In my view, playing heel down requires more muscle conditioning and maintenance of conditioning than playing heel up. Playing heel up requires more coordination, but, once that coordination is obtained, it requires less time and effort to maintain.

Further, absent some injury or physical limitation, anyone can play with more speed and power heel up than heel down. On the other hand, playing heel down makes it easier to control volume and to allow the beater to rebound off of the head for a longer sustain.

Moreover, it appears that you are suggesting using the weight of the leg to assist in creating power while playing heel down. But, if your heel is resting on the pedal heel plate, then, IMO, the weight of your leg cannot contribute to the depression of the pedal. That’s why heel up can generate more power - assistance from the weight of the leg. Again, JMO . . . sort of.
 

Peano

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first of all ; )
you can't see your foot don't look at it (down there..)
Feel. Kick. Execute.
the pattern or group of notes you want to.
Look straight ahead
play it
with your ears.
the toe leg foot heel..
will follow.
Comes from the Heart.
if you want
readers to. understand
what you're advising
write, Grammatically
complete
sentences Not fragments or
run on Sentences
and
use punctuation. correctly
 

JDA

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if you want
readers to understand
what you're advising
write Grammatically
complete
sentences Not fragments or
run on Sentences
and
use punctuation
it's drums man
Improvise.

Put some Info in your profile So I know who I'm talking to.
 

JDA

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thread direction is where your heel should (can) be (except on the other side) (off the board)
original post.... is the pedal's foot board
play/execute/ with the ball of the foot

 
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JDA

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hi hat
...
foot 002.JPG


Same thing

foot 001.JPG foot 002.JPG

Heel on the Ground; balances you on the stool
GROUNDED...I like to be.
UNSHAKABLE (my middle name.. : )

Try it then you owe me royalties : D
guess you could call me 'Ball of the Feet'
name of my next Lp.
heel on the ground

foot 002.JPG
foot 001.JPG


@Houndog
 
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