Practicing feathering bass drum?

CAMDRUMS

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Can anyone recommend specific exercises or approaches to practicing feathering the bass drum? I have seen the videos explaining why it is important and the concepts behind it, as well as the benefits of a soft beater. Looking more for efficient methods of develop the technique. Thanks.
 

Steech

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Can anyone recommend specific exercises or approaches to practicing feathering the bass drum? I have seen the videos explaining why it is important and the concepts behind it, as well as the benefits of a soft beater. Looking more for efficient methods of develop the technique. Thanks.
Following because I have always buried the beater and want to unlearn that.
 

Steech

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Feathering's not necessarily the opposite of burying it though. You can lightly play the bass drum while keeping the beater against the head. It's more of a dynamics thing.
Good point. But I’ve found that experienced featherers also know how not to bury the beater. I view it was a mainly jazz vs rock thing but I know that’s an oversimplification.
 

Tornado

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Good point. But I’ve found that experienced featherers also know how not to bury the beater. I view it was a mainly jazz vs rock thing but I know that’s an oversimplification.

In my humble opinion, you should be able to do both. For many genres like R&B, funk and rock, burying it is part of the sound. Some will disagree, but almost all the greats you've heard playing these styles bury it. But there's plenty of occasions where not doing it is the most appropriate thing. By all means, work on it. But I don't think there's anything in particular that's going to get you there beyond simple repetition.
 

bigbonzo

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Just plain practice. Plus a different bass drum beater will likely be needed.


Or

 
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JDA

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Looking more for efficient methods of develop the technique.
You got to listen to the music. Go back. And Listen to gene Krupa Trio.
That comes forward- into modern jazz.
You got to go back to come forward
All the early Miles Davis 1949-1950

Don't need any videos. Need your ears on that music
 

JDA

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Here's the old 30s style of feathering pretty heavy..

and here's the new style "felt"

Listen to both eras You'll get it. Just quick examples off top of my head.
All Duke Ellington too.
It's a floor up thru the leg thing; you're 'kicking the floor ..for the dancers for the band.
It's felt that you forget it. it's your anchor. it's your bottom anchor. subterranean.
@CAMDRUMS
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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Feathering like others have said is something that takes practice , especially for those that like to jam the beater into the head and leave it there .
First practice releasing the beater as soon as it strikes the head . Similar to the open stroke in the open close stroke method with hand technique .
Once you get used to this , start releasing it to a smaller and smaller amount . In other words let the beater come off the head gradually by smaller amounts till it is only off the head by a small amount . This way you will not be striking the bass drum batter with as much force. Ideally when feather time bass drum the sound is felt more than heard. Eventually this will become second nature .

John Rimeybhas a good video on this topic .

 

Steech

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Feathering like others have said is something that takes practice , especially for those that like to jam the beater into the head and leave it there .
First practice releasing the beater as soon as it strikes the head . Similar to the open stroke in the open close stroke method with hand technique .
Once you get used to this , start releasing it to a smaller and smaller amount . In other words let the beater come off the head gradually by smaller amounts till it is only off the head by a small amount . This way you will not be striking the bass drum batter with as much force. Ideally when feather time bass drum the sound is felt more than heard. Eventually this will become second nature .

John Rimeybhas a good video on this topic .

Very cool lesson, I’m a big fan of John Riley’s.
 

piccupstix

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Kind of related to this...Years ago my band (rock/r&b/funk/oldies/etc.) shared the stage with a jazz band. For some reason I was to use their drum kit. Before the the show and at soundcheck I sat down behind the kit and it was tuned rather high in the toms and bass drum, you know, for jazz. The bass drum had very little muffling, a big soft felt beater, and rang beautifully. I instantly became a great jazz player because of the tuning of the kit - especially the bass drum. I was inspired so much by the sound and I couldn't stop "being" every jazz drummer I've ever admired. Oh yeah, I was totally heel down and didn't bury the beater. That came later when our band did its set.
 

multijd

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Try playing lessons 1-4 from Syncopation on the bass drum (top line). Do it with bd alone. Experiment with the dynamics. Play bad person (mezzo forte) then decresc. To p and back. Try all p. Then do it with the ride cymbal. Then try it with hihat. You may have to do the feet alone then add the ride cymbal in.
 
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Seb77

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There was a nice video on yt on Mel Lewis' feathering style, that he kept the beater on the head. Unfortunately I can't find the link at the moment.
Articles:
 

bigbonzo

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Just plain practice. Plus a different bass drum beater will likely be needed.


Or

I just happened to think, if you don't already, you will likely need to play "heel down".
 

komodobob

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I just happened to think, if you don't already, you will likely need to play "heel down".
This.

When I was learning to feather the bass drum, I found that playing heel down made it much easier, because I was so much more relaxed. This and lots of practice.
 

glaze148

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I’ve always played heel down, and feathering just comes naturally to me. The problem is, when playing jazz tunes, I’m not always sure when to do it. I know some piano, bass players think it’s un hip.
 

CAMDRUMS

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Try playing lessons 1-4 from Syncopation on the bass drum (top line). Do it with bd alone. Experiment with the dynamics. Play bad person (mezzo forte) then decresc. To p and back. Try all p. Then do it with the ride cymbal. Then try it with hihat. You may have to do the feet alone then add the ride cymbal in.
Thanks, this is the sort of suggestion I am looking for.
 


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