Hey guys,

I've been playing drums for alittle over a year now. Currently I'm used to a Heel-down technique on my DW3000, however I have a small problem. Every time I try to do triplets (not double bass triplets mind you) I'll do them fine a few times then it'll fall off. I'll start missing them and it all just sounds sloppy.

I blame it on my long legs, any tips? Should I try the heel-up technique?
What do you mean by triplets? Like, 3 notes on one foot? 8th note triplets, two 16ths and an 8th, etc.? A bit more information would be nice. However, I guess your feet just might not be fast enough currently. Long legs/big feet/etc. do not really have much of an impact on bass drum technique, just your overall posture.

As a sidenote, heel down isn't very good for fast playing or double/triple strokes.
Like, in a 4/4th

BP-Bass pedal


It's kinda hard to describe, but I'll try heel up.
Yeah, I still really have no clue... could you provide some sheet music or something?

Also, while heel up is better developing a lot of speed, you won't be able to play the same things at first as with heel down for a few weeks as you haven't developed the muscles necessary for heel up playing. At first I had a lot of trouble balancing and keeping my leg up without getting tired, for example.
Last edited by Steve08 at Jul 21, 2011,
It's one of those things where you need to use both heel up and heel down to really get it.
If you can do the heel-toe technique then it makes things alot simpler.
If not then do this, the first bp hit should be heel down and the following two should be heel up. simplest way i can put it to you, i do it all the time.
Neo Evil11
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It's one of those things where you need to use both heel up and heel down to really get it.
If you can do the heel-toe technique then it makes things alot simpler.
If not then do this, the first bp hit should be heel down and the following two should be heel up. simplest way i can put it to you, i do it all the time.

Heel-toe is probably the most useful technique (or variation of a technique) for those that want to use a single foot pedal and achieve fast speeds. The other variations I just mentioned are the swivel-techniques and the slide techniques (I'm not sure if that is the right name or not). Each one serves the same purpose but does so in a different way. Try them all to find the most comfortable practise for you.

Heel-toe is pretty self-explanatory. You first thrust your heel down onto the lower part of the treadle quite hard - hard enough to feel a bounce and to hear the note strongly on the bass skin. Then you flick your toe down on the upper part of the treadle. At faster speeds it looks like you're rolling your feet over the pedal. It is probably the fastest method of the three, in my opinion.

The swivel-technique is more difficult. I can't get used to it at all, although I do naturally do a very, very simplified version of it. In fact, my technique is a mixture of all three of the more common techniques I listed above. Anyway, the wwivel-technique is where you use your ankle as a pivot and swivel your foot. You need to arch each side of your sole slightly (enough to depress the pedal) as it's striking the treadle so that it has enough force.

The slide technique is where you use the tip of foot and strike the pedal at the bottom and then slide it up to the top as the treadle rebounds from the initial strike. I personally find it to be the strongest and easiest of the three. The swivel technique is not powerful enough for me, hurts my legs and I cannot space it properly. Heel-toe is also not consistent enough for me in the strength of each initial attack, although it is more fluid.
For me, I play triplets on the bass starting... 1st hit=heel 2nd hit=toe 3rd hit=toe. Usually play heel up, so this is easiest for me. And the heel/toe tech kinda tricks my mind and leg into thinking it is its own hit, so im able to follow up with an equally quick "toe" hit (if ya get my drift?). Thats how I learned quick triplets with the foot, can also apply that same idea and get pretty fast and smooth 16th notes.
its better to learn how to do crazy bass drum things heel down that most people only consider possible either heel up or with a double bass, that way, your technique is really pushed to the limit, so that if you do later try heel up or a double bass, you'll be twice as good.

its like...i'm not great at push ups, so it was embarrassing in PE when i couldn't do half as many as anyone else. we were only required to push a little tester thing with our chins. my dad suggested i practice going all the way down to the ground with my chin...i could barely do 1. eventually i could do 10, which still isn't much, and i assumed in PE i'd still only be able to do 10. but when it was time for the push-up test, where my chin only had to go halfway to the ground, i could do twice as many push-ups. 20 push-ups isn't impressive, but at least its not embarrassing

similarly, back when i was into heavy metal but didn't have a double bass (these days i'm not a fan of metal OR double bass pedals/drums), i would always attempt things like blast beats with my single pedal. just couldn't do it. kept trying...learned more and more about bass drum technique...eventually played blast beats with my single pedal, heel down, at a pretty decent tempo. by "pretty decent" i mean not as fast as some heavy metal dummers wit their double bass drums...but still good enough for me. so when i used heel up, or a friend's double bass pedal...i have practically no ego but i really did impress myself

there are techniques like "heel toe" that can help a lot. i do that same heel-toe double hit with a different technique i kinda made up..idk how to explain it, its a lot like a failed heel toe attempt that still works cleanly, accurately, controled, and fast. i think i hit once, heel down, and then flick my toe without lifting my foot to accomplish the second hit. anyway, once you start finding a lot of control and speed in your feet, thee's a lot of crazy cool stuff you can do...not too long ago, i started using my foot or 8th note triplets on the bass, while playing straight 8th note duplets on the ride cymbal, finaly pushing myself into the world of polyrhythms
you need to stop getting so caught up in heel down vs heel up vs heel in the sky, etc. all you need is more practice. slow down what you are trying to do and practice it only slow until you can do it perfect at the tempo you want. this will A. help you wrap your head around it and B. help develop the muscles in your ankles/feet.