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Thread: Heel-toe technique and settings

  1. #1

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    Default Heel-toe technique and settings

    Everyone is always asking about this so I figured I'd make a video that hopefully will answer the questions.

    It covers the settings, the technique and all the stuff in between

    It is mostly used in metal so I left the trigger on in the video but can be used on one foot to do a few quick doubles here and there.


  2. #2

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    Very instructional and well-done.................thanks for posting.
    I like your technique.
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  3. #3

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    My band writes crazy stuff that i just couldn't play singles. such as 240 BPM 16th notes...

    I have now adapted this to other types of music but I mostly use it in metal.

    Too bad these days I want to groove, play ghostnotes, and just relax my next project is going to be jazz or funk but I figured I'd share some of this stuff will I can still do it.

  4. #4

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    Just watched your video! Great information.

    Just to clarify because crazy enough I've seen this done two different ways.

    R - Right
    L - Left
    H - Heel
    T - Toe


    You're going: RH LH RT LT correct?
    Versus RH RT LH LT
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  5. #5

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    sorry if I missed that, I slow it down in the video a bit

    This way is RR,LL,RR,LL so rh,rt,lh,lt

    They are actually double strokes. which makes life easy for 240 BPM and up.. I just count 1/8 notes instead of 16 when I play.

    the interlaced constant release was really tough for me to learn. I tried it but this is almost effortless so I stuck with rrllrrll

  6. #6

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    Probably the best video I've seen explaining the heel toe method. I can now see why my heel toe produced the "gallop" as my heel has been on the pedal rather than hitting the floor on the down stroke. Thank you.

  7. #7

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    any time. I have had my pedals apart, skins off, and tweaked and messed around for years getting it "right" I used to watch videos when the technique wasn't as popular trying to figure out how guys did it.

    its 90% settings.. once that is dialed in its VERY easy.

    if you want your bassdrum a bit looser just tighten your springs a bit to compensate.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottyp View Post
    My band writes crazy stuff that i just couldn't play singles. such as 240 BPM 16th notes...
    I have now adapted this to other types of music but I mostly use it in metal.
    Too bad these days I want to groove, play ghostnotes, and just relax my next project is going to be jazz or funk but I figured I'd share some of this stuff will I can still do it.
    Funny but true :
    You are playing with light-to-moderate force with wood beaters and triggers for a metal set.
    I'm playing heavy pop covers with old-style felt beaters and two-ply heads and destroying both.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottyp View Post
    sorry if I missed that, I slow it down in the video a bit

    This way is RR,LL,RR,LL so rh,rt,lh,lt

    They are actually double strokes. which makes life easy for 240 BPM and up.. I just count 1/8 notes instead of 16 when I play.

    the interlaced constant release was really tough for me to learn. I tried it but this is almost effortless so I stuck with rrllrrll
    Awesome thank you for clearing that up.
    When you went slower I almost felt I was seeing that interchange but I'll watch again. I'll keep working on RR LL RR LL

    I'm also excited to make changes on my pedals.
    I also raised my pedal board angle up high as I thought it theory that would make the initial first heel stroke easier.
    I'll also tighten up my batter head for better response. Can't believe I never thought of that. Mine does sit a lot looser on my PDP kit.
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  10. #10

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    I liked the video .
    I started last Monday to work on this , before your video ,and it didn't take me very long to get it . I used it on our Sunday nite gig where I get to stretch out a bit , on the trash can endings , and I still need to work on it a little more . But I think I got this .
    I didn't mess with any of my pedal settings . I learned it on my Iron Cobras at home but on the gig I use the DW 9000 which have a heavier feel . I figure if I just practice with the DWs this week I will be good at the gigs .
    I don't play Metal but it's a good tool to have . It's usefull in other genres .
    Thanks for making the video as now I can refer my students and drumming friends to it . Very well made .
    Rudy .

  11. #11

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    thanks a bunch guys

    you nailed it with at the end of a song.. I love hitting cymbals over an intense bassdrum roll.

    putting the pedal angle up will make the first hit easier, but make the second one harder. and the loose springs help with control and you don't have to work as hard for the double, but that's why I have the tight head.

    .at these speeds you have to play pretty light and efficient. My band decided they wanted some 8-11 minute songs on the next album. I think they are trying to kill me. hitting hard with felt beaters would do it. haha

  12. #12

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    great video, but ive been trying to get this down for quite some time and still no luck. getting really frustrated trying to learn this technique.i have the axis a21 laser pedals and set them up like the video suggests, but the correct motion is still escaping me.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by carbohydrate kid View Post
    great video, but ive been trying to get this down for quite some time and still no luck. getting really frustrated trying to learn this technique.i have the axis a21 laser pedals and set them up like the video suggests, but the correct motion is still escaping me.
    Been messing with this technique for years and could never get it just right I'm going to have to mess with my pedal settings, I never thought of that too much, it's almost opposite of what you think it would be for settings.

    Ck as far as the actual technique I found it best to just start with your dominant foot and you raise your heel then drop it while lifting your toes. Then you just slightly roll onto the toe and lift your heel for the second stroke. I have a video that I bought from an free drumming lesson site that explains it pretty well. I think you can find it in youtube. They don't explain the pedal settings though
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  14. #14

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    thanks topdog. ill keep working on it. im not even in a metal band right now, but i so badly want to get this down.
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  15. #15

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    They way that I've done heel toe with a double pedal is RH LH RT LT. It just feels very satisfying. It's almost like you're taking 2 steps.
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  16. #16

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    Is it possible to get heel toe to sound really solid without triggers? What if one does them as singles: heel, heel, toe, toe.

  17. #17

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    Scotty - I can't thank you enough for posting this. I took your advice and started adjusting my pedal and holy :bleep:! Double strokes just got a whole lot easier! I had no idea. It's like night and day difference.

    I was putting way too much effort into playing double strokes. Now I just have to adjust my technique a bit because I find myself using too much effort and I sometimes play triple strokes. I am going to practice this until I perfect it.

    Thanks again!
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  18. #18

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    Awesome guys.

    LH RH LT RT is tough.. I tried it but I have seen more guys use constant release for this.

    I have done a few videos of heel toe without triggers but my camera sucks.

    I put my axis pedal back on and it HAMMERS the drum. I could use it at the end of the song and it would work amazing if it was tuned low.

    I have about 4 heel toe videos on my channel if your still having issues.

    the A21's should work great for this.. if you wanted to post a video in here I could give you a few pointers. or pm me on Facebook under

    scott patterson drummer. I have helped several people get this technique. It's one of those things that you'll try and its, no, no, no, no, no. MAN THAT'S EASY.

  19. #19

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    Thought I would post this in this thread being that it pertains to the topic at hand. This guy is awesome. This is what I'm currently working on.

    http://youtu.be/tNg_9b8FBhA

  20. #20

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    I have watched ALL that dudes videos. He is nuts

    Both his hand and foot technique I got no where with.. mind you I tried it for like 30 minutes and quit hahaha.

    I like the technique but I don't want to dedicate years to get back to where I am.. I play slow now alot anyways

  21. #21

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    I tried changing all the settings on my DW 9000s and I absolutely hated it hahahaha

    I think I'm going to give up on heal toe and just do what I do.
    I'm not in a heavy metal band.. just a heavy rock and it is working for me how I do it now.


    A little disappointed. but I'll survive.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    I tried changing all the settings on my DW 9000s and I absolutely hated it hahahaha

    I think I'm going to give up on heal toe and just do what I do.
    I'm not in a heavy metal band.. just a heavy rock and it is working for me how I do it now.


    A little disappointed. but I'll survive.

    are the 9000's chain drive? that makes a difference.

    I played the 9000's and they didn't work out that great for me.. I like em for punk or rock but not for this specific technique.

    That heel plate also got in the way a bit.. they are solid pedals though.

  23. #23

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    yeah the 9000's are chain drive.

    I have Axis pedals I play around on at the studio. I'll have to keep trying with those. But I don't get much time to practice when teaching lol
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  24. #24

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    I haven't tried this on chains to be honest.. Both my pedals are direct drive.

  25. #25

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    I made a new heel toe video with my Axis pedals..

    Been tweaking settings and I have them in an ideal spot now so I figured I'd share if anyone is working on learning this.

    https://youtu.be/A2gjb9AzpRw

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