Heel-toe technique?


New member
In another thread someone told me:

Shalaq":1obkz8d8 said:
Skytoucher- you're using the heel-toe technique. That technically is playing heel up for the downstroke and a heel down for the upstroke. Do it slowly and say if the motion is similar, only you play it at high speed.
My motion is somewhat similar to what he describes but not exactly. On the down-stroke my heel is UP but is heading towards being 'down'. As soon as my heel hits the pedal it starts moving back up (during the up-stroke).

On the way down my toe is higher than my heel, on the way back up my heel is slightly higher than my toe. It is kind of a forward-backward circular motion where the angle of my foot shifts back and forth.

Playing like this allows me to do a double-hit as if it were a single hit. This makes playing quads (Bass Bass R L) extremely easy for me.

I have 2 small videos showing the technique:


The 2nd video (below) shows the fastest I can go. Normally I do NOT play at this speed as it sounds a little sloppy to me.


Does anyone know of any other drummers who use this technique and if it is indeed the 'Heel-toe' technique? I'd really like to see how other drummers make use of this and possibly add to what I have. I've looked around on the web and haven't found any information on this. I've also asked a lot of drummers I've met about it (usually after they ask me if I use a double-pedal) but so far none of them have seen it before.

Thanks in advance for any information or suggestions.


New member
heel toe indeed. i use this to great extent. and there are tons of other who use this aswell. check out some of the "worlds fastest feet" competitions or some tim waterson vids. with 2 kicks you can use this and get your kicks flying!


New member
Thanks for the reply. I just watched a Tim Waterson video and am pretty excited. I'm definitely going to learn double bass now.


New member
yes, as previously stated, tons of people use this, I learned it in 7th or 8th grade from a drum instructer I had lessons with. It's a great technique and it sounds like you've got it pretty dialed ^_^ As soon as I switched over to using a double pedal I found it harder to do, I think because of the difference in feel of the pedals mostly.

I dunno who did that first, but you can hear John Bonham from Led Zeppelin using it often.


New member
To name a couple,
Chris Adler from Lamb of God
Jason Bittner from Shadows Fall

They dont use it all the time just on complicated bits and pieces, the DVD drum demonstration that comes with SF's "The War Within" has a bit with Jason showing off his heel toe stuff.

It makes it really easy on the ol' leg muscles cos if you play totally heel up or totally heel down, your only using one leg muscle group (though different ones for each technique obvious ly). Where as because the moevment for Heel Toe is so different it tenses more muscle groups for less time, so you have "Happy Feet" hehe, minus the dancing penguins.


New member
I like the heel-toe being sloppy. It is said that the key is to try to straighten the notes, but I don't do it that much. When the notes aren't of equal volume and they're a bit swung then they feel right for me. Everyone says that playing between straight and swung makes that sweet fell that Elvin Jones, John Bohnam, Ian Paice etc have. Why shouldn't we try to achieve this feel on the bass drum? Shurely it won't work if you play death metal(as Derek Roddy said, the more it is consistent in sound, the more it comes alive), but for jazz, funk etc? Why not?