left calf locks up; double bass technique

Post drum lessons here! Share your talents, give some tips, or get new tips and learn to play new stuff!

Moderator: Moderators

left calf locks up; double bass technique

Postby Miketh » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:52 pm

So I'm struggling a little on double bass.

I play heel up, FYI.

My right foot can go on for days, but I have a problem with my left calf tensing up on me. It's not painful like a charley horse, but I don't really know why it does this. Sometimes it's because I'm not balancing right on my throne, but even if I am, it can happen. When it tenses up, it brings my left foot to a standstill.

A few weeks ago, for one day I was randomly able to control this and keep it relaxed, and my double bass was phenominal (compared to my usual).

I find that I have to practically be in a state of meditation to keep this muscle relaxed, which is really hard to do for an entire set.

Is this muscle SUPPOSED to be kept tense, or relaxed? Does anyone else have/had a similar issue? Are there some stretches, or exercises that people do to keep this muscle relaxed?

To throw another wrench in it, it seems to change based on what rhythm I'm playing. I can be playing very fast triplets, for example, and be fine, as long as I start on the right foot down beat. But if I start on the &-beat with my left, it locks up. Wierd, huh?
Miketh
beginner
beginner
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:20 pm

left calf locks up; double bass technique

Help our forum grow and visit our sponsors pages!

Help DML grow and visit pages on left!
 

Postby bass-ackwards » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:17 pm

well you just need to practice with the left. play with it as much as you play with your right so it stays relaxed at high speeds.
Image

Brother_Bong wrote:You are number one so that makes everyone else number two. Like poop.
User avatar
bass-ackwards
drumming adept
drumming adept
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:38 pm
Location: Calgary AB Canada

Postby Funk pipe » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:38 am

Yeah bass-ackwards is right, the heel-up motion just isn't ingrained enough into your left foot, so it needs to be very warmed up in order to reach it's maximum potential. I'm the same dude, my right foot and my hands are always up to par, but I'll need to warm up/practice for quite a while before lefty can keep up. Just keep practicing and try using your left foot when you play to songs.
To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems

- Homer Simpson, legend
User avatar
Funk pipe
beginner
beginner
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:56 am
Location: London, UK

Re: left calf locks up; double bass technique

Postby chocobebear » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:52 pm

Miketh wrote:A few weeks ago, for one day I was randomly able to control this and keep it relaxed, and my double bass was phenominal (compared to my usual).

I find that I have to practically be in a state of meditation to keep this muscle relaxed, which is really hard to do for an entire set.


I've had this similar problem/experience.
I advice you to remember that state of meditation until it becomes natural for you.
And yes! You should always be relaxed.
LET YOUR DRUMS DO THE TALKING
User avatar
chocobebear
drumming adept
drumming adept
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:50 am
Location: Imus, Philippines

Re: left calf locks up; double bass technique

Postby SGarrett » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:00 pm

You're trying to play faster than you physically can. Listen to your body or you'll suffer an injury. :)

So, along with relaxing you'll need to bring the practice tempo way down. Slowly build up your speed and control.
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."
SGarrett
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5167
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:59 am

Re: left calf locks up; double bass technique

Postby Rob Crisp » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:31 am

Miketh wrote:I play heel up, FYI.


I'll put money on it that if you drop your heel down and work flat foot patterns leading with the LEFT foot, you'll be up to speed in no time!

Think things like semi-quavers, triplets, quaver-semiquaver combos (1- / -an-ah) and doubles. Play each one for 5 minutes.

You want to feel the burn and work it, so start at maybe 100bpm SLOWLY up the tempo to where 5 minutes gets your legs working and is just about managable. Then gradually, as you improve keep increasing it.

It sounds a bit backwards, but you need to isolate the lower leg muscles and really work them out by playing flat foot. Then when you go to heel up it'll be more fluid and more comfortable, not to mention as you up the tempos you'll become faster.

I have a sheet of flat foot exercises. If you want them PM me.
User avatar
Rob Crisp
groove master
groove master
 
Posts: 2187
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:19 am

Re: left calf locks up; double bass technique

Postby jnewlon_drum » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:05 pm

Miketh wrote:So I'm struggling a little on double bass.

I play heel up, FYI.

My right foot can go on for days, but I have a problem with my left calf tensing up on me. It's not painful like a charley horse, but I don't really know why it does this. Sometimes it's because I'm not balancing right on my throne, but even if I am, it can happen. When it tenses up, it brings my left foot to a standstill.

A few weeks ago, for one day I was randomly able to control this and keep it relaxed, and my double bass was phenominal (compared to my usual).

I find that I have to practically be in a state of meditation to keep this muscle relaxed, which is really hard to do for an entire set.

Is this muscle SUPPOSED to be kept tense, or relaxed? Does anyone else have/had a similar issue? Are there some stretches, or exercises that people do to keep this muscle relaxed?

To throw another wrench in it, it seems to change based on what rhythm I'm playing. I can be playing very fast triplets, for example, and be fine, as long as I start on the right foot down beat. But if I start on the &-beat with my left, it locks up. Wierd, huh?



let me guess...did u just get the bouble pedal not to long ago?...
ur going to have to built up ur left leg muscle just like ur right leg...alot of drummers havethis problem...and the only way to get rid of that pain is to practice...but DONT keep playing if ur leg starts hurting...u dont wana hurt urself....after feeling that burn for alittle....stop playing for about 5-10 minutes...and message ur calves then play alittle more...but dont over do it

another thing that might help u out is paradiddles (R L RR L R LL) practice ur rudiments with not only ur hands...but with ur feet and u will build those muscles up i promise
ADD ME ON MYSPACE... www.myspace.com/drum_4life
Image
User avatar
jnewlon_drum
drumming adept
drumming adept
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:39 pm
Location: Joplin, Missouri


Return to Drum Lessons

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 11 guests