Hi hat foot timing

Drm1979

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So I've never been one to keep time on my hihat. I see drummers on YouTube or in concerts where their left foot is a constant metronome throughout whatever song they are playing. For some reason I just cannot do that. My left foot is just stupid. The only lessons I took on a regular basis was for marching band all 4 years of high school. I took a few drum set lessons in college when I was trying to learn jazz. I couldn't get that down either. The jazz lessons did help improve my rock drumming over all but I've never been able to get that left foot independence for time keeping. Does anybody else have this problem? Listening back to some of the records and demos I've made in the past the time stays consistent so maybe its not a big issue. I dunno. It just came across my mind while watching a clutch concert on YouTube and jp has that foot locked down to the tempo.
 

Ickybaby

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I'm going to jump on the "it should come with practice" bandwagon.

Hi-hat played with the foot is a big part of my drumming. If I'm not using sticks on the hats, they are chicking along via my foot.
 

Drm1979

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Yup. I've tried that. Spent weeks upon weeks working on it and it would just totally interfere with the rest of my limbs and what ever I was playing, even a simple pattern would just fall apart. I feel that I have a pretty good internal clock and the only struggle with maintaining time I ever had was when I was about 19 or 20 years old playing in a ska punk band. We had one song that was around 150bpm and for the last 12 bars it double timed until the end. After practicing that I was able to lock it in. Other than that one instance I've never had any complaints with maintaining tempos or keeping time. Maybe I'm worried about nothing, but I do think about it from time to time. I will count into parts with the hihat but once I'm playing my left foot just involuntarily stops.
 

noreastbob

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I wish my left foot were better too. I usually keep on the backbeat and frequently play all the quarter note downbeats, but I can't do the eighth note ride-like pattern some guys do. Guess I could learn...
 
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Nacci

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I am a whiz at this. When I’m playing my left foot is thumping. Thing is you have to start simple. Don’t try to integrate it into your existing playing because that will not work.

Start simple by thumping quarter notes over a simple RLRL pattern on the snare, covering every right hand stroke with a HH pulse then when you get that down every left hand stoke with the HH pulse. Almost sounds like a train when you get it right.

When you get it down, do it, for hours. Building up endurance in that left foot and leg is a thing.

These fellas are right, start simple, get a hand hold somewhere then woodshed the hell out of it.
 

Tigerdrummer

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Your left foot is not stupid. It is your entire self (ok I'm kidding but I got your attention). I started drums in my 60's and I've worked it out. That would tell me if I can anyone can. Find some some studies or exercises for hats and work through them slowly and build. Then do the same with stuff you play now add gradually and work your way up. BTW if you want stupid- lt me tell you about my bass drum foot.
 

Seb77

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One aspect of it is practicing the foot/leg on its own, the other is coordinating the mtoion with what you play with the other limbs. There is no independence from the start, it's always coordination first - figuring out what happens simultaneaously, what happens one after the other. Only when you've mastered coordination, it morphs into seemingly independent limbs.
 

Drm1979

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Bass drum was easy for me of course I broke my leg and then used my drums as physical therapy for that broke leg which I think has made it super strong. Led zeppelin was who I used for that study. I can go really heavy or feather the bass either way. But I just cant get that left foot going.
 

polycrescendo

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Do you ever sit in a chair and just bounce your legs? That's how I got my 8th notes riding with my left foot. Maybe try riding 8ths with your left foot until it feels comfortable and slowly bringing other limbs in to form a beat. Then, as Nacci said, do that for hours. Part of what throws people off early is dotted bass drum patterns over straight 8ths or quarters etc. so those should be tackled early.
Once you get that beat into your muscle memory, your left foot is holding the real tempo for your other limbs to play off of.
 

Joe61

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I do well with my left foot, seems automatic for me . Two problems I have noticed though as an older player is on some tunes I will play double time with out thinking and closing the hats completely.
 

Drm1979

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Do you ever sit in a chair and just bounce your legs? That's how I got my 8th notes riding with my left foot. Maybe try riding 8ths with your left foot until it feels comfortable and slowly bringing other limbs in to form a beat. Then, as Nacci said, do that for hours. Part of what throws people off early is dotted bass drum patterns over straight 8ths or quarters etc. so those should be tackled early.
Once you get that beat into your muscle memory, your left foot is holding the real tempo for your other limbs to play off of.
My legs constantly bounce when I'm sitting, but I never really focus on the rhythm or anything like that. It's more of an involuntary tick kinda thing. I might try what your saying with just my left foot to start and see if I can integrate my other limbs in.
 

Bonzo442

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I use sound edge hats the chick is more pronounced and I think that may help as well
 

Tmcfour

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I'm kinda in the same boat. I can play bass drum patterns with my left and I can do hh barks and open close stuff but cannot keep a straight 1234, or 2,4 on the hats.
 

JDA

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And this one from My Funny Valentine Live (double Lp Cd_1964


get eighth notes (foot hi hat) happening with the right hand that it sounds like seamless 16th notes.
amazing
it's top.
 

Ray Dee Oh King

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Also remember that pumping the hats all the time can be overbearing as well. IMO controlling it, and using it when it's called for and not as a metronome every song is key here. Practice goes a long way.
 

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