Kick Drum Skills!

foolscapfire

New member
Hey. I've been playing drums for about 9 years now. I'm self-taught and started out playing in punk bands. Something I never learned properly(at least I believe so) was how to use my foot and leg in such a way as to deliver consistent, forecefull beats on the kick-drum no matter how fast a beat I'm playing on it. I've tried sliding my foot back and forth kind of in a bicycle pedal motion. I've tried using my leg more than my foot, I've tried using the ball of my foot more, my entire foot more, just the tips of my toes more. I can't seem to get a system going that works and my drumming is inconsitent because of it. I practice just the kick drum several times a week and just feel that it is an area that I have definitely improved on over the years, but still don't have mastered to the level that I should considering how long I've been playing. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Katie
 

AAXplosionnn

New member
wat kind of pedal r u using? i reccomend DW 9000, very smooth

try wearing very thin and low profile shoes, such as converse, they work great for me and allow me to play fast and hard. When i play, its sorta a wole combination between my theigh;s for power, feet, and ANKLES for speed.

with ur pedal (or even better if u have a double bass pedal), put down ur sticks and place both of ur hands beneath your drum throne and pull up as hard as u can, which will keep ur posture straight. try to stay as straight as possible with your posture, and continously do bass drum strokes (or double bass) as fast as u possibly can. If u do not have a double bass pedal, put ur left foot on ur hi-hat pedal and pretend its double bass pedal. Its always good to have that left foot for strong chicks on the hi-hat and for keeping time wit the hats, and even if u later on go and play double bass. This will improve ur strength tons, and in my opinion, strength matters a LOT wen u want hard, good, thumps, even wen playing fast. keep doing this and u will improve ur kick drum skills tremendously.

hope dis helped, good luck!!!!!!!!!!!
 
this may sound F-ed up,but i drum in Water socks.but i like the feel and the Control abuility it gives me. and i also drum in Converse hi-top and skate.I have seen alot of people using vans shoes now never used them before.
 

Jee

New member
Slide your foot back a little to find the spot that works and pick up your heel. Vans work best cuz they dont slip around. Cons are good too if you like them but vans rock.
 

Gaddabout

New member
I takes a lot of focused practice before getting comfortable with heel-toe or toe-to-heel technique. Keep at that.

I would advise trying to use less leg. You'll get tired, and there are better ways to get power from your kick by using leverage and inertia. Try heel-up around the middle of the pedal and see what you can generate from there without lifting your leg real high.
 

drummert2k

New member
Steve Smith's Drumset Technique: History of the U.S. Beat DVD has a great section on bass drum technique. find a friend who has it and borrow it.
 
Find the sweet spot in the pedal, it's somewhere in the middle of the pedal board. I play stuff that requires quick double bass, I utilize Derek Roddy's flat foot technique for fast double bass. Your heels only come up a couple inches from the pedal board. It's just like bouncing your leg when your nervous or something. I find that it works pretty well.
Also helps that you have the right tension set for your pedals. I keep mine fairly tight, so I get a good bounce off the head and dont have to use as much energy. Let the beaters do the work for you, you just gotta learn how to keep control of them.
Relax the faster you go, dont tense up.
Try using some ankle weights when you play. Wear those for about a week, then play without them. Your feet will do wonders. A little trick adapted by Gene Hoglan of Strapping Young Lad and Death.
 

freddy5g

New member
i tried ankle weights for a while when i was younger and would not suggest them as they restrict ankle movement. That being said, there is no one technique and would not argue that they can't work for some people. I've recently been focusing on exercises that are not single-stroke oriented: paradiddles or double strokes, etc. This seems to improve my technique and therefore, speed.

The most important aspect is to take your time. Playing so fast that it sacrifices technique will hurt you in the long run. Relax, take your time, and focus on technique. I find playing to a click helps me keep the motivation to work on my feet as it provides a measurable system of improvement.
 

drummerfreek55

New member
When I was taking lessons the method that i was told to use was a toe-heel method that allows you to play twice as fast with the same volume and control. I've seen people use this with double pedals and achieve speeds over 1400 bpm maintaining normal volume. this method works amazingly well!
 

Piddywiffle

New member
Play in boots instead of getten ankle weights. Trust me the extra weight you have to pull around helps.

But yea I agree with most of these ppl. Middle of the plate and lift your legs a bit and by ankles alone move the front of your foot down. It might feel ackward at first, but thats cause youve developed the wrong muscles. With time and a lot of burning sensation you'll pick your speed up.

Hell, If you wanna relate it to something think about guitar. You'll play faster if you can learn to work your wrist instead of your arm. Just like they said, think ankles. Not legs.
 

Will

New member
AAXplosionnn":215xfc2j said:
wat kind of pedal r u using? i reccomend DW 9000, very smooth

try wearing very thin and low profile shoes, such as converse, they work great for me and allow me to play fast and hard. When i play, its sorta a wole combination between my theigh;s for power, feet, and ANKLES for speed.
Dont listen to this advice, do not ever rely on gear or shoes to make you think youre good. Rely on technique to know youre good.
 

foolscapfire

New member
Hey, thanks for all of the advice you guys. I think I'm gonna practice using the ankle more as I have been so focused on using my whole thigh since I started drumming and it clearly isn't working for me as far as consistency goes. Hell, my band played a show the other night and on two of our songs it felt like my whole leg and foot had just decided to have a mind of it's own, I messed up some fast kick drum parts BIG TIME. Then I felt like an ass because the other bands we played with had such amazing drummers who seemed to have no problem with the kick drum, and they're guys and I'm a chick so I automatically think that it's because of that. Anyway, thanks again all of you for the tips. I also am watching various vidoes on you tube at some of your suggestions.
 

CDAHoF

New member
if you want to learn it email me and I have to endorders that teach it. it is a skill or technic it is something that is learned as you said it has been difficult ever since you been playing if that is the case then you are missing out on part of the technic and it can be learned with 15 minutes of bass work per day. gripping a pedal? sheeesh guys what are you saying? sox? high tops boots? wow ok well its a boat thing I guess what evcer floats but the slicker the better unless Neil Peart is a liar anyway holler of you need some help I think my email is over there if not relabc3@aol.com
 

nickbaldwin

New member
When I kick a slow beat, I use my quads mainly, with my toes down. To add quick accents, and for quicker beats I use quads (toes down) then ankle. (foot flat)
 

sp4zium

New member
drummerfreek55":2x6dqbuo said:
When I was taking lessons the method that i was told to use was a toe-heel method that allows you to play twice as fast with the same volume and control. I've seen people use this with double pedals and achieve speeds over 1400 bpm maintaining normal volume. this method works amazingly well!
sorry, but record of fastest bass is only 1034 bpm :wink: better luck next time. (http://www.extremesportdrumming.com/wfdrank.php?event=2 if you dont believe me)
 

infiznitch

New member
drummert2k":2ho19wfj said:
Steve Smith's Drumset Technique: History of the U.S. Beat DVD has a great section on bass drum technique. find a friend who has it and borrow it.
YES i know what video you speak of! his technique is ridiculously fast... fluid movement. However, for those of us who ARENT making a living by being a drum legend, I would advise against it. I do seem to remember him saying it took years to master the technique.
Your kick pedal technique has to adapt to whatever style you are playing. There seems to be a trend among double-kick drummers to learn new techniques (cheater techniques if you will) in order to increase your speed with less work. One thing i hear about from doublepedal kings is that they use 'brake springs'. You should be able to find some at any auto-parts store. Just ask the clerk to let you look at some (possibly a box where they keep old brake springs) and look through to find a couple that match your needs. they are very cheap maybe 3 or 4 bux. You can use these to increase the kickback of your beaters so that it takes less movement to get MUCHO POWER!
Another cool technique that many pro double kickers use is triggering... I know i know boo-hiss it's the pussy route blah blah blah. Regardless of your feelings on triggering it is a sure fire way to get your absolute best kick every single time! This is especially helpful for speedmetal drummers, because when you get your beaters inches away from the head you don't get the optimum drum sounds. with a triggering system you get cannons no matter how close you play to the head.
In the end all of these techniques that I and others have mentioned are all good ways to improve you double kick... but there is no right or wrong method... and definately not perfect method. Just experiment with different things til you find something that is right for you!
 

HEVY KEVY

New member
There are tons of bass drum technique vids on You Tube, search drums, bass drum, heel toe, what ever, then you can see what people are doing, how they are moving. Whatever technique you use, think consistancy, think about how the muscles are operating, and when it feels good, feels natural, repeat it over and over. The speed will happen when the movement is right.
 

Jaki

New member
I've been playing drums since I remember, since I left high school. I've learnt that no matter how much you try out other ways or ways to combat agianst energy loss or cramp, anything like that. The only thing I have found that works, is practice and just raw power. It is known that drummers who are extremely good in the kick drum department have fiarly powerful legs. Usually muscly too. I'm not saying you should work out 7 hours a day and then get on ya drums. lol hell no. I'm saying the only way to get better, faster or more powerfully is to just let it develope over time, playing with other musicians, drummers, learning from other drummers. Never ever say that your better than some one else, you might very well be but that is extremely unprofessional and people WILL not like you. lol But anyhowz, practice... practice and practice. Then you can start to learn new techniques.

The sweet spot on a pedal too... where you find it most comfortable to play, Your 'sweet' spot wil lcome natural as you play, forcing yourself to play a certain way will only limit you. Also, if you bounce on your nerves, some hits will be weak and some strong. JUst practice wil lget rid of that though nervs bounces will become just like normal hits...

For those people aginast triggering. The reason wh ytriggers are used is becuase the faster you get, the quiter it will get. triggers get rid of the quiteness and as said in a previous post 'sound like cannons' no matter how much anyone tells people they are shit.. eventually you'll realize that triggers are the way forward. What ever technique you use, your say 16th note kick drum pattern at say 245 bpm will sound like your killing vast millions hehe.

What I mean by fast is BPM's over 220 this goes into death metal, black, thrash and maybe some power metal.

Also, ankle weights have been used for many years. Way before Gene Hoglan from Strapping Young Lad I read in a previous post.
 

Rob Crisp

New member
drummert2k":3gbs0z6b said:
Steve Smith's Drumset Technique: History of the U.S. Beat DVD has a great section on bass drum technique. find a friend who has it and borrow it.
AMEN!!
 

Eiren

New member
sp4zium":omxvztka said:
drummerfreek55":omxvztka said:
When I was taking lessons the method that i was told to use was a toe-heel method that allows you to play twice as fast with the same volume and control. I've seen people use this with double pedals and achieve speeds over 1400 bpm maintaining normal volume. this method works amazingly well!
sorry, but record of fastest bass is only 1034 bpm :wink: better luck next time. (http://www.extremesportdrumming.com/wfdrank.php?event=2 if you dont believe me)
Tim Waterson holds the double bass record at the moment, with 1407 bpm

http://timwaterson.net/drumcanman2k2/index.html

What you put up was the single pedal record.

Having said that, Waterson uses a swivel-foot technique to achieve this... not heel-toe.
 
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