Arthritis in Foot - Looking for Kick Drum Alternatives

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
OK after last gig I've come to conclusion my right foot just can't take a 3 hour gig anymore (4 hours with 3 hours of playing time). Even an hour of practice is becoming impossible. It's not so much the gig it's after the gig and for next two weeks. I can hardly walk my foot is in so much pain. It's in pain for two weeks. There is no medical solution it's how my 62 year old foot now works.

My left foot is fine so no issue with hats. It's just the right and kick drum.

I think I may be able to use something like a Roland Electronic Kick (SPD-1K) and playing it with my heel. I just can't use my foot on a real pedal anymore and after a 3 hour gig I can hardly walk. With the Roland I may be able to keep toes on floor and just hit it with my heel.

Any ideas or suggestions???
 

drummingman

Gold Member
You could use a double pedal and use the slave pedal with your left foot. Set up a few different sets of hi hats, like the drummer from Def Lep, on X hat stand's in varying degrees of open and closed so you don't have to worry about using the left foot on a hi hat pedal.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
What about playing open-handed on a lefty setup? You would have to put in some practice time, but you would still be able to use a regular kit.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
I'm sure most of everyone on here has seen this video already

https://youtu.be/-R6S7QMIH28

They really do need to make an alternative way to play the kick drum. I just recently had a hiking injury to my leg and I've had to stop playing for a while because it's too hard to play through the pain. I sympathize with you man I really do. I haven't been able to find a solution yet, maybe some of these guys on here can come up with some ideas
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I have sympathy for you. I’m 69 and I’m wondering what part of my body will fail first. Drumming is a full body endeavor.

Here is what I would do. Install two trigger pads. One next to the hi hat and one next to the ride cymbal. Set them both up for a bass drum sound. Play the bass drum part with the right hand. It will limit the hi hat and ride cymbal to one or two less beats per bar. But it will be hardly noticeable. It will also limit the fills that can be done. Try it out first on a kit using the toms for the bass drum part. I think it will work for you.


.
 

Highway Child

Senior Member
Is serendipity the right word? My story - after a motorcycle accident in '96 my right ankle has steadily become more and more arthritic. Just like the OP I have problems post-gig but it's not the pedal work, which I find therapeutic. It's the schlepping of gear and luckily for me my lovely band mates always help.
But nowadays it takes me at least 200m of limping before I can loosen up enough to walk almost normally and now the strain is affecting knee / hip. So in the new year I'm in for a total ankle replacement (gulp). Thank heavens for the good 'ol NHS but to say I'm anxious about this is an understatement. Silver lining - I'm working up my left foot Bass technique and getting more confident. If the worst case scenario happens maybe mobility will be worse but I'll be ok on the drums. With a bit more work.....
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I wouldn't give up on the possibility of healing. Athletes who overtain deal with this all the time and there are protocols to both heal and prevent.

Failing that, learn to play lefty.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I assume "no medical solution" means you have been a doctor?
At this point it’s fair to ask: what does your doctor say about your symptoms, exactly? 62 seems bit young to be having arthritis so bad it can’t be treated or rehabilitated, but I’m no doctor. Could it be gout? Is there a prior injury?

Developing your left foot seems like the most logical thing to do. Learning bass drum technique with the weak foot isn’t easy, but people have done it. Your right foot will get a nice breather, if that’s what it needs. You’d need a double pedal and a remote hi hat. The remote speedy hat could also work.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Is triggering the bass drum the answer?

I have no experience with triggering (snowflake!) but I would expect that a trigger would need less force than an acoustic drum.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
1) Examine your seat, seat height, and angle on the foot pedal.

Sometimes just a subtle shift in angle can cause significant problems with nerve endings.

Maybe just a new seat or a different adjustment in seat height will make a huge difference.

2) Foot massage. I was having ongoing issues with my feet, which came to one morning waking up in extreme pain.

Well, a few trips to a local foot massage place and the pain went away. No doctor, no surgery, no actual problems than just tense muscles.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Ankle is beyond repair or medical intervention. I had spinal cord tumor that damaged my rt leg and foot as a child. Triple ankle joint fusion at 30 and redo 15 years later, plus several ligament/tendon procedures. It is what it is at 62 (63 next month).
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Ankle is beyond repair or medical intervention. I had spinal cord tumor that damaged my rt leg and foot as a child. Triple ankle joint fusion at 30 and redo 15 years later, plus several ligament/tendon procedures. It is what it is at 62 (63 next month).
Oof. Sorry to hear it, man, truly. The bad news is that your left foot is probably going to be your bass drum foot. The good news is that the gear that will make this happen is available!

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=Tama+HH905RH+Iron+Cobra+Remote+Hi-Hat+Stand

https://reverb.com/item/2488004-tama-iron-cobra-900-double-p-left
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I used to play a Roland Octopad years ago, and before i was able to hook it to a drum pedal, I would play the kick drum pad and the snare pad with my left hand. It actually worked really well with a little practice.

Maybe if you could mount some sort of pad to the left of your snare and use it for the kick. As long as the songs you aren't playing don't include super-fast tempos or blast beats, you should be ok.
 

Highway Child

Senior Member
Ankle is beyond repair or medical intervention. I had spinal cord tumor that damaged my rt leg and foot as a child. Triple ankle joint fusion at 30 and redo 15 years later, plus several ligament/tendon procedures. It is what it is at 62 (63 next month).
Oh my, your situation is much more severe than mine. Replacement joint therapies clearly not an option and to have been playing at all with a triple fused ankle - I take my hat off to you sir. That will have taken some doing. And so my bet is you'll manage the switch to left foot bass very well in the end. All the best to you, please let us know how you get on.

Richard
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
What about playing open-handed on a lefty setup? You would have to put in some practice time, but you would still be able to use a regular kit.
This.

I have a bud who had foot surgery and had recovery/rehab issues just like you describe.
He swapped the hi-hat position to his right foot & used the slave side of the double pedal and just played open handed until he could use his right foot like before.

He found he liked the alternate set up & just stayed with it. You might like it too.
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
Maybe what I do could be of some help:

I'm a right leg below knee amputee (RBKA), and also have severe damage to my left leg. After these injuries happened, I learned to play the bass drum with my left foot, using a double pedal. (I never had a double pedal before this) I can also use my right "leg" to play the bass drum as well, but it starts to hurt after a while. So, I alternate between:

1. Playing the bass drum with my left foot, and using a second closed hi-hat on my right, by the floor tom.

2. Playing the bass drum with my right "foot" and using the hi-hat on the left, when I actually need to open and close it. (Or using the hi-hat on the right, or the ride cymbal)

I have played entire songs, or even blocks of songs using my left foot, and playing my closed hi-hat on the right. I've also alternated between the two methods within a song, as I need to.

Doing this has brought me from lying in a hospital bed and not playing at all, to playing regular gigs with my band.

Wish you the best in whatever you choose...
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Maybe what I do could be of some help:

I'm a right leg below knee amputee (RBKA), and also have severe damage to my left leg. After these injuries happened, I learned to play the bass drum with my left foot, using a double pedal. (I never had a double pedal before this) I can also use my right "leg" to play the bass drum as well, but it starts to hurt after a while. So, I alternate between:

1. Playing the bass drum with my left foot, and using a second closed hi-hat on my right, by the floor tom.

2. Playing the bass drum with my right "foot" and using the hi-hat on the left, when I actually need to open and close it. (Or using the hi-hat on the right, or the ride cymbal)

I have played entire songs, or even blocks of songs using my left foot, and playing my closed hi-hat on the right. I've also alternated between the two methods within a song, as I need to.

Doing this has brought me from lying in a hospital bed and not playing at all, to playing regular gigs with my band.

Wish you the best in whatever you choose...
This is awesome! Bravo, sir!
 
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