#1
Hi everyone!

I'm a single pedal player and I really want to improve my foot. I feel that I'm not in control of it. I've been trying to improve my control and speed for weeks now!

I play heel up and have been trying to implement these things into my technique:
  • Playing with my foot lower on the pedal
  • Accentuating certain beats and building up to them
  • Keeping my heel about an inch or two from the pedal and not too far up


But, it's still difficult for me. My goal is just to play a figure of four sixteenth notes with a tempo of about 80 bpm. I don't believe I'm asking too much of a single pedal played heels up. But I just don't know how I should get it down. Just going to the kit and trying to do it with the above things just feel like it isn't working out, and I also feel as if my leg is becoming tired of it.

Any ideas please?

Thanks in advance,
Joshua
Last edited by JoshuaS at Mar 12, 2012,
#2
Learn heel-toe.

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#3
Quote by s-o-u-l-f-l-y
Learn heel-toe.

This. I started learning basics from Rock Band like this and moved on to Youtube tutorials on a real set, still like this. I personally like it better for faster fills and such and sometimes, I just naturally go to heel up to play slower parts.
#4
Erm... heel toe for 16th notes at 80 bpm? Really? I use heel toe (well, not heel toe but a form of double strokes) for 16ths at 250-260...

TS, some general principals:

I would recommend you try and play almost on your tippy toes, or pretty much with just the ball of your foot on the pedalboard and with your foot in general totally flat, not just kinda lying on the pedal or whatever... helps much more with control.

Secondly, if you are unaware of the concept of balance, learn it. Basically, you don't want to be leaning forward or anything to play heel up, you should be able to sit up straight and comfortably lift both of your legs up and suspend them in the air without training (this is hard at first, you need to develop core strength). And also, whenever I am playing, I always have my foot in a position where it merely goes down to perform a stroke on the pedal-- I find many drummers often have their foot at rest, then lift it up, then bring it back down... which is entirely inefficient and will impede one's dexterity, especially at higher tempos.

Beyond this, I would recommend you try practicing bass drum exercises without any pedals at all, by just doing the heel up motion on the floor, tapping your foot basically. This lets the muscles develop in isolation and also makes sure your technique is the same always, and I feel in general ensures better control as you are playing with no rebound whatsoever when doing that, just the own power of your body.

Now finally, speed/control does come easily but that doesn't mean it comes quickly. What I would recommending doing is to pick a tempo that is easy for you and that you can sustain 8th notes at for a long period of time (say 5 minutes) without becoming unduly tired/sloppy... and then just simply do that, 8th notes on your right foot for 5 minutes straight without ever actually stopping, once a day, every day. If the tempo you choose doesn't present any challenge to you whatsoever then increase the tempo you're doing this at by 5 bpm or so every day until you find a tempo you can't do it at, then back it down once more and keep doing it until it becomes easy. Repeat this process ad infinitum and your speed goals will be met. Also, for developing speed, I recommend playing softly at first to build control-- in my mind, power comes after speed is developed and solidified, not the other way around.

As far as control goes, the exercise I mentioned above should be fine but if you play very slowly for extended periods of time, your control will be highly benefited, especially if you're using proper technique and doing it on the floor and not the pedal. All these principals and exercises (well, exercise, really) are things I have applied to my own playing and found great success in so there's no reason why it shouldn't work for you, also.
#5
"I've been trying to improve my control and speed for weeks now!"

Dude i'm sure you hear this all the time but it's true for all instruments. You have to practice practice practice practice.

Stuff like double kick isn't really interesting to me per se but playing fast single kick without effort probably took me about 4 years of playing (on and off).

If you really worked on it you defo can do it in less time than that. If you have ever watched someone like Zach Hill play he uses heel toe a lot. It takes just a lot of practice to play fast enough.

I can't really give much advice ^ is what i would concentrate on. For me it just came with years of playing so you will definitely get there. What i would agree on is just working at slower tempos and being able to play that solid - in perfect time in total control - so not that your leg is running away with yourself.

Play like slower beats like have you ever heard Scentless Apprentice by Nirvana?

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/n/nirvana/scentless_apprentice_drum_tab.htm

That first bar, look at the snare and bass drum - and look how the bass drum looks from the second half of the first bar and the start of the second - it's almost continuous bass drum. If you even work on something like that slowly and eventually build up till you can play it in perfect time then it will help you improve.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzpZ_LVy760 - first 5 secs or so it is very clear.

Good luck!
Drummer of 7 years, Bassist of 5 years, Guitarist of 4 years.
Last edited by Alowishus at Mar 12, 2012,
#6
Not sure how much help this heel-toe lesson will be to you but yeah, watch it anyway
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMGCT-J-_N0

Once you get that, or the slide technique, then just play around with it.
Neo Evil11
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#8
Quote by Skinny91
Don't think there is much more I can cover that the others haven't, but I recommend you check out this video, it helped me a lot and its a good exercise to work on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-3GU6Nry0Q&feature=g-vrec
That DVD is sick! Weckl is the man. Backed hard

Also, as a matter of fact Zach Hill uses slide... and IMO slide is far more natural and easier to apply compared to heel toe. Heel toe is only more advantageous for retarded speed where slide is no longer viable due to the motion getting too big.
#9
^ Oh really, thanks for that! I was nearly certain i saw him use heel toe before though...
Drummer of 7 years, Bassist of 5 years, Guitarist of 4 years.
#10
Quote by Steve08
That DVD is sick! Weckl is the man. Backed hard

Also, as a matter of fact Zach Hill uses slide... and IMO slide is far more natural and easier to apply compared to heel toe. Heel toe is only more advantageous for retarded speed where slide is no longer viable due to the motion getting too big.


I haven't got the DVD, but from what I have seen on Youtube it definitely seems like a good purchase
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