I need some advice...

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Vetis
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Post Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:42 am

Hey everybody,

Im Sean and I play in a heavy metal band which requires me to be playing relatively fast double bass ( 16th and 32nd notes at 180-240bpm ). Lately I have been losing my ability to keep up with the double bass at such speeds. Not only that, but I have a severe case of writers block which is preventing me from doing anything original in our new songs. I used to be able to pull some pretty wicked stuff out of my ass and it would work perfectly with both the guitar and bass line's, but now im reduced to triplet double bass, regular d-bass, or blast beats with very little uniqueness about them.

I figured that it was a simple case of not drinking enough water, so I wouldnt be as well lubricated to play. So I drank alot more water, started excersizing a bit, and nothing is improving. It's like I regressed back to the time when I first learned double bass.

If any of you have ever encountered this, please, for the sake of all that is great, HELP!! I cant get over this.

Thanks!
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Timekeep69
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Post Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:09 am

Practice your double bass wearing ankle weights. Once you get fast double bass with the weights on, take them off and your double bass with fly.

As for writers block, listen to different CDs, even non metal CDs will give you inspiration.

Pick up some double bass drumming books as well. Sometimes they have som cool ideas.
www.pjclevenger.com

www.medicinemandrumsaz.com

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Shalaq
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Post Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:16 pm

Get another band which plays completely different music. That will shurely help develop your creativity.
Mapex, Istanbul Agop, Attack, Vater/O4D.
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Vetis
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Post Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:56 pm

How about working with some other musicians...and not a completely different band. ...
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Timekeep69
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Post Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:34 pm

Vetis wrote:How about working with some other musicians...and not a completely different band. ...



Definately, I jam with as many different people as I can.
www.pjclevenger.com

www.medicinemandrumsaz.com

DML Special: 20% off all drums.

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left!
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TrunJun
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:51 am

Ok heres the scoop... Ive been encountering a lot of the same problems lately as far as double bass, bpm, etc etc... Probably the best advice any1 can really say to you at this point is what you really need are a set of Axis pedals and a Trigger Module... having both in conjunction will basically make you satan. As far as your footwork goes, what I HIGHLY recommend you do is go pick up a copy of Podemskis Drum Method (a snare book) and work through the WHOLE THING just using your kick drums. Dont practice so much double bass that you forget to use your high hat tho, as this is something that annoys me about lots of metal drummers these days.

Derek Roddy also has very helpful and cool videos up on his website (www.derekroddy.com). The ones that I recommend are Fighting the Groove and the 2/3 patterns. The I, Monarch video from Hate Eternal is amazing too. This site is a MUST for ALL drummers of ALL genres.

As far as your writers block goes, the last guys pretty much got it right. Variety in listening is invaluable. I never listen to just one genre in one day. I'll go from listening to Psycroptic to The Mars Volta to Jedi Mind Tricks to The Apex Theory all in one day. Heres a few bands you might want to check out for creative drum output...

Fantomas (new stuff with Terry Bozio)
Hella
The Locust
The Apex Theory
Hate Eternal
Necrophagist
(old) Meshuggah is never ever bad for drummers
Ion Dissonance
Shoemaker Levy 9 (from France)
Murder Comes in Rows (from Denver)

Hope this helps. If you would like to converse with me further, hit up my myspace (myspace.com/priziest_horse)
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BillRayDrums
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:20 am

You are trying too hard. Never play faster than you can think. Slow it all down in your mind and relax.
billwilldrum
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:00 am

Sometimes we forget where we came from and we get hung up on trying to be to unique, we'll, at least I do. I really can't speak for you, but for me that leads to me becoming terminally unique and I loss my perspective. It is not playing something that is unique. it is you the drummer who plays it, that is unique. But stay Humble too. You might be just trying to hard or feel a lot pressure. Even the greats have to take time to develope and reinvent them selfs. And it is the advise above that will help you to keep Evolving you're Double Bass Work.

Try even doing some shuffle beats using your left foot just doing straght 1/4 notes for 15 mins, then switch to the right foot for 15 min's with the ankle weights. then do some paradiddles for 15 and 15. Then do you're Dbl kicking but as stated above... Don't forget your Hi-Hat work! It is rael Immportant to flow man, not break the land speed record. Do you listen to Lars from metalica? Even he breaks it up and uses some slower foot work. Sometime syou got to remember rule number 1... Sometimes Less is more.

Then even though it is old jazz and swing, find some early Louie Bellson <-----(Can't remember how to spell his last name lol) But he was the first to introduce the Dbl Bass set up and master it. Some real interesting stuff to learn and incorporate into Heavy Metal... No shit it's mind blowing! Bill Ward learned his Dbl Bass work from litening to Louie Bellson.

Just keep working at it Dude... You'll get!

Peace!
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ross666dreamcatcher
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:54 am

theres tonns of reasons people can give you for this i personally just think your having a big a dry spell a bit of an off time. maybe you havent discovered any bands or music recently that you have fallen in love with. i find that discovering a new band that i can really get into really inspires me n sometimes it even starts to change how i play all together bands that did this to me recently (the past year or so) are

angra
sonata arctica
dreamtheater
kamelot
epica
dragonforce

before this i was playing more things like

metallica
disturbed

so you can see the difference im sure if you dont know any of the bands above check em out you never know you might take a real liking to em.
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thunderkiss65
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:53 am

I would first try different tension and/or different beater positions on the pedals befor I went out and bought new ones. This usually helps me. The last thing you want to do is compare your skills to what you hear on cd's cuz a lot of that stuff is quantized with protools or some other kind of recording software or punched in on those difficult parts. It's a lot easier to play 8 bars of 32nd notes if that's all you have to play you know what I mean? I have yet to see any drummer that is impressive on cd pull that stuff off live and that goes for Joey Jordison (who usually starts playing a something different to compensate for the fact that his legs are starting to fall behind the music). Charlie Benante from Anthrax is still going strong and just kills. Check this rare S.O.D. clip out! He's almost perfect!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6_2mCIM4yw

The one that really gets my attention though is the guy from Avenged Sevenfold. That City of Evil CD is one of the most precise metal recordings I have ever heard but go on youtube and view some live clips and it's all sloppy. Keep practicing and don't beat yourself up too much. The idea of playing with other musicians is a good one and listen to as much old school metal drummers as possible.

I have an old friend that was actually in a band that opened for Anthrax years ago and he told me about some advice that Charlie gave him that still sticks with me today. That advice was, don't play too hard. Why go up on stage and beat the crap out of your drums when the PA system will give you all the volume you need. This really works! The more controlled your playing, the more stamina you will have for those fast double bass parts. Whatch Charlie closely and see what he's talking about.
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asbleakasbliss
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:25 am

I not a big db-er myself ...
but as far as writers block .... i think most people have felt that ... absolutely try to atleast jam with other people and styles that are out of your norm ... another thing to do is try moving ur set up around ... flip the toms move the ride... stuff like that ... also try playing 3 over 4 .. that can throw out a whole new wold too.. DRUMMING ROCKS!
-Miles
mattkinel
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:56 am

I cant live without my ludwig speedking pedals. Love them for doubble bass. When I get bored with 2x bass I try some more melodic stuff. Using the 2 bass drums as differnt sounds, like Ginger Baker or Tim Alexander. The old jazz drummers started the doubble bass trend, so even in an opposing genre of music, theres always somthing I can learn from the roots of the instrument.

For creativity I also like to rearrange my setup every now an then. I have 2 bass drums and a doubble pedal so I am able to alternate between the pedal and the 2 drums. I love rearranging the set around the snare, either putting it as the cente or on the right of the bass, and trying out differnt tom combinations, like placing them melodically, or just randomly to hit them in odd combinations.

Remember, even with 2x bass metal drumming, there are influences to be found in other genres of music.

-Matt
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Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:52 am

dbl kick playing requires a lot a practice, and by the sound of things it sounds like you're doing this which is great, but you could regain your speed by not playing for a while. you may find your playing will improve if you take 2-3 days off drumming. it will give your muscles, ears and mind some time to recover (in the same way bodybuilders will have a few days off per week to allow themselves to grow over their rest period). you may also find exercising your calves in different ways will strengthen your playing. try calve raises (ball of feet on phone book, heels hanging down then raise heels up slowly and repeat) and work the anterior tibulas (the front of calve (heel on phone book, foot hanging down, raise up foot and repeat)). both those exercises should give you a good burn that can help build the muscles used for dbl kick.
if this works for you it may be all the inspiration you need to get over your writers block.
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punkdrummergirl
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Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:32 pm

so when i can't play something that i used to be able to play...i take a break for a while. like maybe a week. then when i come back to my kit, i can play it again. don't ask me why this worked for me...but i gave the advice to someone else i know who was having trouble with double bass and it worked for him too :D

EDIT: so i just realized the guy above me said basically the same thing i did...so it must work for more than just me...haha