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Thread: Afraid of learning Heel Up

  1. #1

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    Question Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Hey there, yet Iíve played Heel Down (I donít give guarantee that it is 100% correct because I kind of did it naturally) and my Teacher yesterday introduced me to Heel Up and was really strict about it, that I have to learn it. But Iím actually very afraid of trying to learn it, as the consequences of the last try back in 2015 was, that I was unable to bend my knee for like three weeks and Iím worried that it will happen again, that something more worse will happen or that it is very painful in general.

    Do you have any advice for me how to learn it without getting injured? What do I have to expect? Is it very painful even if youíd do it right?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    what is your age? There are plenty of professional drummers who play heel down. I usually switch back and forth but I cannot play heel up for long either but if I had a situation like you describe I would not do it. Do not ever let anyone make you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or causes injury. Talk to your instructor and tell him/her your concerns. If they are any good they will understand and work with you.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    what is your age? There are plenty of professional drummers who play heel down. I usually switch back and forth but I cannot play heel up for long either but if I had a situation like you describe I would not do it. Do not ever let anyone make you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or causes injury. Unless you have to play heel up to work and the government mandates heel up I think you still have a choice. Talk to your instructor and tell him/her your concerns. If they are any good they will understand and work with you.
    I’m 26, I spoke with him yesterday and he kind of insisted on it and I felt like there isn’t much of a choice, also heel up is taught in any German Musicschool and is seen like the Goldstandard.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    I have played heel down all of my playing life and it has done everything that a heel up player can do.

    The way I look at it is: He (she) can suggest it, talk about what benefits there are to using it ( although I really don't see any), and why he (she) uses it, but to insist that you "HAVE" to use it is BS.

    Tell him no, that you are happy with heel down and if he insists on being adamant about it, go get another teacher.
    YOU MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.

    YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW.

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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    I have played heel down all of my playing life and it has done everything that a heel up player can do.

    The way I look at it is: He (she) can suggest it, talk about what benefits there are to using it ( although I really don't see any), and why he (she) uses it, but to insist that you "HAVE" to use it is BS.

    Tell him no, that you are happy with heel down and if he insists on being adamant about it, go get another teacher.
    Thank you! I find it really interesting, that it would be possible to get speed and volume with heel down. Please tell me more.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Chlistadthipster View Post
    Hey there, yet I’ve played Heel Down (I don’t give guarantee that it is 100% correct because I kind of did it naturally) and my Teacher yesterday introduced me to Heel Up and was really strict about it, that I have to learn it. But I’m actually very afraid of trying to learn it, as the consequences of the last try back in 2015 was, that I was unable to bend my knee for like three weeks and I’m worried that it will happen again, that something more worse will happen or that it is very painful in general.

    Do you have any advice for me how to learn it without getting injured? What do I have to expect? Is it very painful even if you’d do it right?

    Absolutely go with heel up. Listen to your teacher. I've been where you are. I switched from heel down to heel up when I was young. Heel down is not wrong, it's just limiting. If you plan on being an advanced, modern player, heel up will give you more freedom and ability to play not only more powerful with your bass drum when needed but you will have more freedom for speed when wanting to play doubles and very fast 16th's or 16th note triplets. Any pain your feeling is most likely just an adjustment but see a doctor about it if it continues. Make sure you're not sitting too close to your bass drum. The heel up technique, if played correctly, will ultimately feel very natural. With both legs heel up, you'll be like a marionette puppet. You'll be floating freely as your torso is centered. This freedom will enable you to play just about anything effortlessly.

    Do this test: Place your palm down on a table and tap your fingers as fast as you can for an extended period of time (keep your palm against the table). Do you see how limiting this is? Now, lift your palm about 2" from the table and do the same thing by tapping your fingers for an extended period of time. Do you see how this frees you? It is the mechanics of the body placement and that's why most pros swear by using the heel up technique.

    Is it very painful even if you’d do it right?
    No, not at all.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Like Tom said: if heel up is causing you pain, you are probably sitting too close or too far from your bass drum. It may be that you're unconsciously adding a forward kick motion/movement to the stroke instead of floating your leg using ankle and toes/ball of foot and the wonders of gravity.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by noreastbob View Post
    Like Tom said: if heel up is causing you pain, you are probably sitting too close or too far from your bass drum. It may be that you're unconsciously adding a forward kick motion/movement to the stroke instead of floating your leg using ankle and toes/ball of foot and the wonders of gravity.
    It didn’t hurt while doing it but directly after it kind of started burning on shin, right under the knee, on top of the knee and sometimes I even feel it on the spot between leg and foot, it’s not a very huge pain it is light to medium and yet I don’t seem to be really injured as walking works. Would that still be normal?

    I had my toes on the pedal, lifted my leg while toes staying on the pedal and threw my leg down and tried two times.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Absolutely go with heel up. Listen to your teacher. I've been where you are. I switched from heel down to heel up when I was young. Heel down is not wrong, it's just limiting. If you plan on being an advanced, modern player, heel up will give you more freedom and ability to play not only more powerful with your bass drum when needed but you will have more freedom for speed when wanting to play doubles and very fast 16th's or 16th note triplets. Any pain your feeling is most likely just an adjustment but see a doctor about it if it continues. Make sure you're not sitting too close to your bass drum. The heel up technique, if played correctly, will ultimately feel very natural. With both legs heel up, you'll be like a marionette puppet. You'll be floating freely as your torso is centered. This freedom will enable you to play just about anything effortlessly.

    Do this test: Place your palm down on a table and tap your fingers as fast as you can for an extended period of time (keep your palm against the table). Do you see how limiting this is? Now, lift your palm about 2" from the table and do the same thing by tapping your fingers for an extended period of time. Do you see how this frees you? It is the mechanics of the body placement and that's why most pros swear by using the heel up technique.



    No, not at all.
    Thank you, Tom. I’d be perfectly fine with playing Heel Up as long as I can master it without injuries and play it free of pain.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    What kind of music are you playing? That is what makes a difference for me. I teach multiple foot techniques and I always base it on the student and the students needs
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    What kind of music are you playing? That is what makes a difference for me. I teach multiple foot techniques and I always base it on the student and the students needs
    I want to play many different styles such as Rock, Alternative, HipHop, RnB, Pop, Jazz, Country, Blues and Funk.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    If you are happy with heel down then play heel down. If i thought that heel up was "better" i would have switched years ago. Why waste the time learning a different technique if you can do everything you need to do with a technique that you already have. I get the feeling that you don't want to do this so don't. They aren't going to take away your drumming permit if you stay where you are.
    YOU MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.

    YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW.

    VAE VICTIS

    ONCE YOU HIT A CERTAIN AGE, YOU BECOME PERMANENTLY UNIMPRESSED BY A LOT OF CRAP.

    I HIT THAT AGE 20 YEARS AGO.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    If you are happy with heel down then play heel down. If i thought that heel up was "better" i would have switched years ago. Why waste the time learning a different technique if you can do everything you need to do with a technique that you already have. I get the feeling that you don't want to do this so don't. They aren't going to take away your drumming permit if you stay where you are.
    As of yet, you’re right, but the main reason why I personally like Heel Down is, that I’ve never injured myself playing it although I kind of taught it to myself when I started drumming the first time and then still as a self taught drummer I’ve tried to learn heel Up as I saw nearly every drummer doing it and I did it wrong and got injured, wouldn’t I have been injured back then, I perhaps wouldn’t be afraid of it.

    Switching the teacher would be theoretically very easy but like I said, even if your teacher would be a jazz or orchestra based drummer, you’d have to learn heel up as well, I don’t know if it is that widespread worldwide as technique #1 to use, but if I would have to speak for Germany, then it definitely is, I also theoretically could have Skype lessons with a teacher from any country as long as he is affordable, a good teacher and speaks English, but that would language wise cause some problems for me, as my spoken English is very slow, with two different German accents (general and local) in it, they speak very fast and it’s hard to describe things when I have to speak English.

    So not really a clue.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    fine we'll make a trade... you teach me German I teach you drumming. I'm even wearing one of my favorite Deutschland shirts now. Photo on 9-11-21 at 2.54 PM.jpg
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 7pc PDP Classic Concept Maple | 4pc PDP Classic Concept Maple BOP | 5pc Sonor International | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 65 Snare drums and growing!

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    fine we'll make a trade... you teach me German I teach you drumming. I'm even wearing one of my favorite Deutschland shirts now. Photo on 9-11-21 at 2.54 PM.jpg
    Iíll PM you something.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Afraid of learning Heel Up

    You DO NOT have to learn heel up. I'm also self-taught. Never had a lesson in my life and come Dec 14th I'll be playing these damn fool things 65 years and I've done OK without playing 1 song "heel up".
    YOU MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.

    YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW.

    VAE VICTIS

    ONCE YOU HIT A CERTAIN AGE, YOU BECOME PERMANENTLY UNIMPRESSED BY A LOT OF CRAP.

    I HIT THAT AGE 20 YEARS AGO.

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