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Thread: Foot speed

  1. #1

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    Default Foot speed

    I've been drumming for about six years, and the one thing which I cannot seem to improve is my terrible foot speed, so I've decided it couldn't hurt to ask here. Much of my favorite music has fast and complicated double bass work, but I struggle greatly to play it. I've tried everything i can think of including changing pedal tension, moving my pedals, moving my throne, sitting in different positions, and changing my bass head tension. Despite making many changes and practicing a fair amount I cannot seem to get any better at this. I suppose what I'm asking is for any advise concerning improving my bass drum work. I've grown pretty decent at heel-toe but it feels sloppy to me and I can't get much power that way. Maybe I'm simply physically incapable of playing fast with my feet, but I'm hoping someone can offer some suggestions. Thanks

    Edit: Pedal is a Pearl P122TW. Not an Axis or anything but I doubt all my troubles are because of my hardware.
    Last edited by limzz; 03-10-2009 at 07:44 PM.

  2. #2

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    All the advice I can give is practice, practice, practice, but that usually sucks to hear lol. What pedals are you using?
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  3. #3

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    I practiced my double bass about 6 to 8 hours a day for about 10 years. Start slowly and work your way up to the desired speed. Make sure you learn to play slowly in tempo and smoothly. Anyone can play a blast beat. I put my sticks away, pulled out my high school snare music and played it with my bass drums to a metronome. You have to be willing to sacrifice in order to get where you want to go. Everyone wants what others have, but not every one is willing to do what the others did to get where they are. And yes, you are perfectly capable of being as good or better than the drummers you look up to now. It is all about practice.
    Last edited by Reverend D.; 03-10-2009 at 08:38 PM.

  4. #4

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    Also, you don't want your pedals to be tweaked so much that you can only play your best on your own gear. Nothing stinks more than someone asking you to sit in for a song and having to say you can't because youre only used to your own pedals. It is embarrassing, unprofessional, and just plain sad. Blunt but true.

  5. #5

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    Reverend D has the right idea and isn't kidding when he tells you that's it's all about the practice. The pedals you use certainly can a lot to do with your playing. I use two: Ludwig Speed King and Tama Iron Cobra PowerGlide...both are single pedals and are very fast. I don't have a great deal of time to practice so I devised a triplet exercise where I will invet the "Bonham" triplets and play the 2-strokes on the bass drum. As the Reverend says, I do this at various tempos to make sure that I am playing them evenly and in "Time." I think what really happens is that the "Speed" will come naturally without you even being aware of it until, one day, it strikes you that it's there. keep at it and don't give up on yourself.
    There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value.

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  6. #6

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    This thread is great for me becuase i'm feeling the same way
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  7. #7

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    We just started practicing Barracuda and I can't play the bass part. I have been playing for 2 years and the only thing I can think that would help me is practice.

  8. #8

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    Another thing to watch for. Make sure you first learn to play fluently on a single pedal before jumping to a double pedal. If you start using a double pedal to play single pedal parts then you will always need a double pedal to play what everyone else only needs a single pedal for. Again very embarrassing, unprofessional, and just plain sad.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Foot speed

    Quote Originally Posted by limzz View Post
    I've been drumming for about six years, and the one thing which I cannot seem to improve is my terrible foot speed, so I've decided it couldn't hurt to ask here. Much of my favorite music has fast and complicated double bass work, but I struggle greatly to play it. I've tried everything i can think of including changing pedal tension, moving my pedals, moving my throne, sitting in different positions, and changing my bass head tension. Despite making many changes and practicing a fair amount I cannot seem to get any better at this. I suppose what I'm asking is for any advise concerning improving my bass drum work. I've grown pretty decent at heel-toe but it feels sloppy to me and I can't get much power that way. Maybe I'm simply physically incapable of playing fast with my feet, but I'm hoping someone can offer some suggestions. Thanks

    Edit: Pedal is a Pearl P122TW. Not an Axis or anything but I doubt all my troubles are because of my hardware.

    HOLA como estas Mi amigo LIMZZ Creative artistic open minded drummer artist Cat within aot of aware-ness wisdom knowledge **FORSURE what others stated is as you must be aware of is JUST alot of very disciplined
    structured WORK ** the art of and within FOOT (PEDALS) techniques is
    forsure gaining amazing KNOWLEDGE (CONTROLED SMOOTH -NESS ) within the DOUBLE pedals <AS alot of ARTIST forget that THE HI-HAT(SOCK) is A very amazing Beautiful INSTRUMENT all within its OWN DISTINCT TECHNIQUES of the ACTUAL FOOT TECHNIQUES *so AMIGO Just LEARN (GAIN- THE Knowledge of haveing your feet do EVERY THING your HANDS CAN perform**AND I mean every thing which is A Very UNIQUE DISCIPLINED
    that forsure will give you amazing CONTROL smooth ness ALot of EXTREMMMMMXXX FINESSE smooth EXTREMMMMMXXX SPEEDS and You can achieve this even with ONly 1 -bass pedal and your Hi-hat (SOCK) an then get your double pedals * AS your feet will only be as good as your hands
    so just gain alot more CONTROLED STRUTURED disciplined distinct FINESSE * have been useing doubles my whole life started with 2-bass drums then switched over to single bass and NOW USEING
    THE DUALLIST D-3 TRIPLE PEDALS which are amazing ***what ever works for the CREATIVE OPEN MINDED ARTIST is all great within all their own unique DISTINCT ARTISTIC JOURENYS **
    **and FORSURE its A LIFE TIME AND BEYOND to MASTER as this is a very ancient spiritual art form ANCIENT & BEYOND* GRACIAS ENJOY all your OWN UNIQUE CREATIVE DISTINCT ARTISTIC JOURNEYS GRACIAS
    Last edited by STICKSWIZZARDDRAGON; 03-11-2009 at 03:35 AM.

  10. #10

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    i probably shouldnt be saying this so much, but try regular exercises that use a similar motion that double bass does: example- jogging in place, jump rope, hell even bust out the pogo stick to learn some unorthodox balance. i personally like to sit in an average height chair and just tap right left right left for the entire length of commercial breaks when im watchin tv. it may sound kinda funny, but it has produced some results for me. and another last thing is play heel up so your not using either foot as support. peace and love!

  11. #11

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    Unfortunately...it's practice, practice and more practice. It will come, don't worry. It just takes a bit of time.
    Mapex Drums | Zildjian and Meinl Cymbals | Evans Drumheads | Pro Mark Drum Sticks

  12. #12

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    In addition to what Rev D has said...

    Position: thighs parallel to the floor (might have to adjust your throne)
    Balance: you should be able to move both legs around without using one to balance yourself
    Speed: get a metronome and start playing at the fastest speed where you can keep time. Do that for several minutes. Now kick it up 5-10 bpm, whatever you're comfortable with. Play at that elevated speed until you master it (and it's your new base level) or until you fall off pace (take a break, go back to your base level for several minutes and try the faster speed again).

    I've also found that playing songs that you normally do with your strong foot and playing them only with you weak foot will help even out your capability on that leg. All you have to do after that is get your legs in sync with each other.
    "Life is backwards. Happiness isn't something you seek, it's something that finds you when you are doing the right thing." - Zone47

  13. #13

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    i'm the same, practice i guess...
    Have you got you're ticket for the rock train? You gotta earn that Ticket!!

    Premier Genista - Pearl Masters - Primus custom snare - Zildjian A Custom- DW 5000 pedal - Zildjian Zack Starkey sticks

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  14. #14

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    im lazy but i can somehow scoot by on how little i do practice. id practice 8ths using a single pedal, but faster than 8ths go double.

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