Double Bass Shuffle: Left or Right foot lead

feldiefeld

Senior Member
I remember that Carmine Appice, in his out of print book on double bass drumming called "realistic double feet," recommended this left foot lead approach. I believe that thinking is out of date with modern drumming. The better approach is to be able to play leading with either foot.

In my practicing, I've been applying the concepts that Jeff Bowders preaches in his double bass literature... Approach your feet like your hands with regard to single strokes, and be able to lead with either foot.

It's just logical to able to do that if you're serious about your double bass playing.
 

mainframe

Junior Member
I saw a video somewhere that explained by using left foot lead (on the down beat) that you are doing something you are already comfortable with playing the hihat. They explained your right foot is much better equipped to play the off beats with precision than your left foot is. That made sense to me and that's the way I try and play it.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies.

I should have been more clear about what I meant by which is the "lead" foot. I'm defining the lead foot as the foot that lands on the even quarter notes. So when I say I lead with my left foot, I mean the left foot lands on 1, 2, 3, 4 and the right plays the "and"s.
By lead do mean first? To me, in my brain, no matter where the two beats on the bass are placed, I'm thinking I start with the RF.
The and is before the 1, just like with one pedal, the and would be the RF
that starts (leads).
Even playing 1 and instead of and 1, I feel I start with the RF.
But I'm twisted and do things bassackwards all the time.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Thanks for the replies.

I should have been more clear about what I meant by which is the "lead" foot. I'm defining the lead foot as the foot that lands on the even quarter notes. So when I say I lead with my left foot, I mean the left foot lands on 1, 2, 3, 4 and the right plays the "and"s.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
On an aside, what's the consensus on Bernard Purdie's thoughts on "No Sneakers!" concerning pedal operation? He didn't really say why but noticing him wearing hard soled boots I kinda assumed those slid better on the footboard.

I can understand that... sorta.
Ginger baker wears boots, Shiela E wears stacked heels! No soft sneakers there.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

Even for tempos as in VH’s Hot for Teacher? Wow.
Wasn't thinking of a shuffle like that. I was thinking of a beat with the bass on the and, and one etc. But I think that song was one of the reasons I started playing quads leading with the LH RH RF LF. To the OPs question, for me , the RF LF doesn't change, only the hands change around.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

I pretty much do it like Joe Franco teaches in his book "Double Bass Drumming". I treat a shuffle as two triplets with the middle note removed. It is two notes on the right, followed by two notes on the left.
While it can certainly be done this way, at tempos above 260 bpm or so, you're not going to get the power, speed, and consistency that you'll get if you alternate the feet.

But if the tempo is moderate enough, you can use one foot, or both feet, any way you'd like. Heck, you can use only your left foot to play all the notes, if the tempo permits.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
On an aside, what's the consensus on Bernard Purdie's thoughts on "No Sneakers!" concerning pedal operation? He didn't really say why but noticing him wearing hard soled boots I kinda assumed those slid better on the footboard.

I can understand that... sorta.

Too much grip doesn't allow me to adjust position on the foot board without making a conscious effort to do so. This contributes to fatigue and can lower your performance ceiling. However I also don't like too little grip, for example socks, but how little depends on the pedal surface and angle.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
On an aside, what's the consensus on Bernard Purdie's thoughts on "No Sneakers!" concerning pedal operation? He didn't really say why but noticing him wearing hard soled boots I kinda assumed those slid better on the footboard.

I can understand that... sorta.
 

AndeeT

Senior Member
I do it the same as isits.

I used to start on my Right and do R-LR-LR

But after discovering R-LL-RR that is now my preferred way as like ‘isits’ says, it’s the same as a continuous triplet roll on the feet, you are just omitting the middle partial of the triplet.

Doing it that way let’s you switch between the two with ease
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

Originally Posted by rebonn
Interesting, never used 2 feet for a shuffle. Even fast BPMs it's just one. However to me, since the first note would be before the beat, I would lead LF so the right doesn't change for the down beat.
Even for tempos as in VH’s Hot for Teacher? Wow.
I'm fast with my feet, but for that beat I would use both kicks because of the emphasis on the second note of each double. No way someone's gonna pull that off with one foot for that length of time and get that particular sound.

As others have said, I too would lead with the LF to keep the down beat on the right.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

I once asked my teacher which side I should start my snare fills on... She said if you can't do it with both sides, you can't really do it. At the time, this didn't apply to my kick drum work since I don't have double kick stuff setup, but it appears it might apply here.
 

lsits

Gold Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

I pretty much do it like Joe Franco teaches in his book "Double Bass Drumming". I treat a shuffle as two triplets with the middle note removed. It is two notes on the right, followed by two notes on the left.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

If you're right footed and don't do it that much there's a great chance it might be easier to stay consistent with the LF on the quarters. It's sort of LF lead, but the RF is doing the most difficult task keeping that second note precise and solid.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

Interesting, never used 2 feet for a shuffle. Even fast BPMs it's just one. However to me, since the first note would be before the beat, I would lead LF so the right doesn't change for the down beat.
Even for tempos as in VH’s Hot for Teacher? Wow.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

Interesting, never used 2 feet for a shuffle. Even fast BPMs it's just one. However to me, since the first note would be before the beat, I would lead LF so the right doesn't change for the down beat.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Re: Double bass shuffle: left or right foot lead?

Same here: left (non-dominant) leading double bass shuffles.

For short 16th or triplet bursts I'll lead left, because I've seen Carter Beauford and Vinnie do it that way...
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
For those who have a double pedal or double bass setup and sometimes use them to play the classic double bass shuffle, do you lead with left or right foot?

I don't believe this forum allows me to post a poll, so please answer "left" or "right" in your reply.

I find that it's much more natural for me to lead a double bass shuffle with my left foot. I think it's just from years of conditioning playing quarter or eighth notes with my left foot on the hi-hat and the offbeats with my right foot on the bass drum. I don't lead with my left foot for any other double bass patterns, just shuffles. For sixteenths or "quads," I lead with my right foot.

Curious what others are doing.
 
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