View Full Version : Losing time on the bass drum
I have pretty good internal time but when I listen back to myself I notice the bass is sometimes out of time. This doesnt seem to throw me off the beat but the bass sounds as if it's dragging too much behind the beat.
I think it might be becouse I cant really feel the bass drum like I can the other drums. When I hit the hats and the snare, I get the sensory feed-back through the sticks - the shock in other words which helps me feel the rhythm. I dont get that feeling through the bass pedal.
Is there a way of being able to really feel the impact of the beater against the drum? Would a harder beater help? Tighter/looser skin? Any ideas?
My bass drum technique is my weakest point by far and I'm still trying to get to grips with heel up playing and still messing around with spring tensions. Would heel up be better for feeling? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
03-15-2007, 12:44 AM
i think heel up would definitely give you a better impact feedback.
03-15-2007, 05:05 AM
Live, or in a rehearsal studio, get plenty of bass thru your monitor. For at home without a p.a., you can set up facing a wall or put something in front to direct the thumps back at you. I guess your shoes would matter for feel, skaters = bad, chucks = good for feel.
03-15-2007, 09:32 AM
you shouldn't rely heavily on physical sensation for your time. your stick technique should even be so relaxed (over time) that it does not jolt your hand. sound and internal feel are your reference points. check out the DVD by billy ward for more on keeping time with what he calls 'mechanics'.
the fact is that our weakest limbs tend to slow us down in the beginning. playing simple stuff is easy time wise but as soon as a beat requires two bass strokes right after eachother at say 16ths in an awkward place (across the bar) then, if your foot technique is not strong it will lag and then catch up again.
the solution i'm afraid is patience, persistence and practice. isolate the bass figures you are lagging on, slow them right down and then work each one for ten minutes solid a day for a few weeks.
in my drum teaching experience this beat is particularly a lagger for learners...
I would suggest working on your independance with regards to your bass drum.
The New Breed from Gary Chester is an excellent source of independance exercises between your limbs. Many of the exercises target the bass drum which after lots of practice will allow you to lock that bass drum in solid wherever it sits in the bar.
Hope this helps
Patience and some good independence exercises will definitely help. Don't forget your triplet variations. However, this is a very simple way of tackling this issue that doesn't require complex knowledge.
Find a good slow tempo ( play with a metronone ).
Start slamming quarter notes with your hi-hat and bass drum simultaneously.
Keep doing this until comfortable.
Speed up the tempo and repeat.
Now start mixing it up a bit with 8th notes on the bass drum while retaining quarters on your hi-hat. Flip it now with 8th notes on the hi-hat and quarters on the bass drum. Mix it up more by playing triplet 8ths on the bass and quarters on the hi-hat.
This doesn't have to be done fast to nail down. You will be surprised just how fast you will start to acquire rock solid bass drum beats.
Good luck and please post your progress.
Thanks chaps. I'm going to take all of your suggestions on board and try them. I'm afraid years of air drumming has left me with a patheric right foot. Tapping my foot on the floor just aint the same as using a pedal is it.
The trouble as I see it when you start out with playing on the bass pedal is that there's alot between you and the drum. When you hit a snare,it's only the stick between you and it. With the bass drum,it your socks,your shoes,the peadal,the drive and THEN the beater.
I''ve been using various pedals and I've found the direct-drive ones are better. I suppose direct drive is more akin to the joints in your body where as a chain isnt.
03-15-2007, 11:32 PM
Don't be scared to hit the bass. Even if you hit in the wrong count, you can always try again and perfect it. One of the worst things to do is not play because you aren't sure if it's right (well atleast while practicing.) That's what its all about practice practice. Try to anchor your foot into your hits and use a metronome. Good Luck!!!!
03-17-2007, 12:51 AM
take all the muffling out of your bass drum. pillows and all. my classmate has this bass drum tuned tight without a pillow. it is VERY loud. louder than the snare actually. it will help in your practice though you shouldnt complain about the ring if you want the volume
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