double BD help and advise please

Naomi McFadyen

New member
Hi all

I got a double pedal a month or so back now and today have only really just started to do things with it properly....
When I first got it I just banged out semi's (or 16th notes for you Americans :) ) which was OK but was the only thing I could do...

So, yesterday I found some stuff online and just had a go a little earlier. I practised for about 30 minutes.
I started with the warm ups of RLRLRLRL LRLRLRLRLR RRRRLLLL LLLLRRRR etc etc etc and then did the examples with HH (or Ride) 8th notes....
Now I got through these OK.... took a while to find that "place" on my left pedal where it's best to play.... but I have a few issues.

1) It could be cos the pedal is new and hasn't been used too much, but the left pedal is quite tough at the mo. Could I use some WD40 or something to loosen it up?, or would this totally go the opposite way for me? lol (dont want it too loose of course).... or should I just play the toughness out of it?

2) When I play single pedal I normally play with a flat foot, but I've found with doing the double pedal work, I've been playing feet up, iykwim.... but I feel like my whole leg is doing the work and I really can't relax at all.... it's a strain.
When I tried to play both feet down it just wasn't happening for me at all. The left pedal wasn't working enough for me and the only way I can balance out both notes volume wise is to play feet up... I don't mind playing feet up if that is what is going to work for me, but as I said above, it's a real strain and I can't relax - I feel too tense.

3) My HH is a pain cos of the legs being fixed, so I can't turn it to an angle to position the left BD pedal properly so it's directly along side the HH pedal.... I'll take a picture later and post it up in the thread in a bit to show you what I mean.... but when I'm playing the left BD pedal, it slides back slightly and then I can feel it rubbing against the HH leg....
Setting it up is a pain and I'm not too sure what to do.... I don't want to have to keep adjusting things in the middle of a practise session, it's off-putting.


I think that's it... sorry for the long winded post and hope someone understands what I'm trying to explain!
 

Rob the Drummer

New member
Ok, lemme see if I can give ya some advice!

1) Have you adjusted the spring tension, beater angle, or height of the beater? Normally, the slave pedal (left side) is less fluid than the main because of the transfer through the shaft. If the pedals are new, you shouldn't have to use any lubricant. Never use WD40, it will gunk up! It takes a while before you get comfortable using your left foot to play on a double pedal, so just practice the right things and over time, you will get better. Now the right things.....

2) You should play heel up. Make sure your legs are about at a 90º angle or just slightly higher. Keep your balls of your feet on the foot board at all times. You shouldn't have to lift your legs much at all, but instead use your leg and ankle together in a fluid motion (similar to walking). You should just relax yourself, make sure you are balanced well on the drum throne and go through the motions. Playing heel down only works the front muscles of your calves and you get very little power that way. Just remember to be patient and take your time with the proper techniques.

3) There's nothing you can really do about the Hi-Hat. In your picture, it's looks like a pretty old stand as well. I would invest in a new stand with either two legs or an adjustable tripod stand.

Hope my advice helps! :)
 

Rob Crisp

New member
I know exactly where you are coming from!

Firstly, to do with the pedal tension, check the springs and see how tight they are. I'm gonna guess you've got them the same tension? Play with tensions til it feels nice.

Bear in mind if you're right footed, your left foot won't have the same conditioning as the right.

I'd keep it really slow to start with, practice getting your foot used to the pedal and technique.

Build up your left leg before you start spraying WD40 everywhere :p

Be patient, it'll take time but you'll get there!

Unfortunately there's not much you can do with the hi hat stand bar getting a new stand. For now, I'd find where the bass pedals sit comfortably under your feet and try to position the hi hat as best you can.

By the way, loved the little Semi quaver/16th reference! Haha!


*EDIT* Just seen Rob The Drummers Post! He's nailed it in one!
 

Naomi McFadyen

New member
Rob Crisp":ugb7cb3x said:
I know exactly where you are coming from!

Firstly, to do with the pedal tension, check the springs and see how tight they are. I'm gonna guess you've got them the same tension? Play with tensions til it feels nice.

Bear in mind if you're right footed, your left foot won't have the same conditioning as the right.

I'd keep it really slow to start with, practice getting your foot used to the pedal and technique.

Build up your left leg before you start spraying WD40 everywhere :p

Be patient, it'll take time but you'll get there!

Unfortunately there's not much you can do with the hi hat stand bar getting a new stand. For now, I'd find where the bass pedals sit comfortably under your feet and try to position the hi hat as best you can.

By the way, loved the little Semi quaver/16th reference! Haha!
Thanks for the reply :)
I have no idea about the pedal tensions, I just left it the way it arrived to me in the post.... I've never been good at adjusting pedal tensions, I tend to mess it up and takes me forever to get it right lol...

Yea, I guessed my left foot would be weaker but it's like I'm having to dig into the pedal to make a sound, and then when I do make a sound it's pathetic lol.
yea I'll practise the left foot up before spraying WD40 everywhere lol... I did a few minutes of playing single pedal with the left pedal only to try and loosen it up and strengthen me up, so I'll continue to do that for a week or so and see what happens....

I suspected the "buy a new HH" would come back at me.... but I'll try and make do with getting it "as good as" for now and experiment.

I couldn't resist making the semi/16th note reference... I thought I should cos I think there's more Americans on here than Brits :p

Thanks again :)
 

Naomi McFadyen

New member
Rob the Drummer":14ovogig said:
Ok, lemme see if I can give ya some advice!

1) Have you adjusted the spring tension, beater angle, or height of the beater? Normally, the slave pedal (left side) is less fluid than the main because of the transfer through the shaft. If the pedals are new, you shouldn't have to use any lubricant. Never use WD40, it will gunk up! It takes a while before you get comfortable using your left foot to play on a double pedal, so just practice the right things and over time, you will get better. Now the right things.....

2) You should play heel up. Make sure your legs are about at a 90º angle or just slightly higher. Keep your balls of your feet on the foot board at all times. You shouldn't have to lift your legs much at all, but instead use your leg and ankle together in a fluid motion (similar to walking). You should just relax yourself, make sure you are balanced well on the drum throne and go through the motions. Playing heel down only works the front muscles of your calves and you get very little power that way. Just remember to be patient and take your time with the proper techniques.

3) There's nothing you can really do about the Hi-Hat. In your picture, it's looks like a pretty old stand as well. I would invest in a new stand with either two legs or an adjustable tripod stand.

Hope my advice helps! :)
cheers for the reply :).....
as I said above I'm no expert with pedal tensions so I'm gonna have to do some research into it I think or find someone who knows better than I do to come here and help sort it out for me....
I'll try out point 2... I didn't realise you had to play heel up so that's fine... I did find it much easier doing it that way so I'm happy. It's just trying to relax more etc but I'm sure it'll come :)
Yea the HH is pretty old... I got the kit 2nd hand 6 years ago and the last owner had had it a while and before I bought it off him it was in storage for 18 months.... as I said above, I'll stick to using it for now and try get a setup as comfortable as I can but will consider getting a new stand in the future.

thanks again :)
 

Howepirate

New member
I'd say hi spring tension and a good 6 inches of beater space as well as a good spacing from your drums and a raising from your throne keeps your back straight and your feet kickin :D
 

Naomi McFadyen

New member
I've just had another 30 min session....

I've found that moving the stool in slightly has helped somewhat, I have fairlyish long legs so tend to sit back a bit when playing foot down - maybe that was a bad habit I shouldnt have got in to but it worked for me at the time.... with the heel being up now I should have known before, that it would have helped to sit in abit - it's helped a great deal! :)

the left pedal has improved a bit already, so hopefully I shouldnt have to do anything with the tension although I will definitly keep it in mind... set up wise, I'm having to put up with a slight angle in the HH to stop the pedal from rubbing - it's not ideal but not too bad at the same time...

Thanks again for the advise :)
 
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