Double bass trouble

drumhelp

Junior Member
I have been trying to get better at heel up because my legs are strained and ache whenever i try to go faster and go for a long while with my heel down.Sometimes i can get it with heel up and go for a short while but then i start hitting at the same time and it just sounds stupid and frustrates me greatly can anybody give me some advice i have looked everywhere for help on this and absolutely no one pulled this up so im guessing im one of the unlucky few who has this problem thanks
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I have been trying to get better at heel up because my legs are strained and ache whenever i try to go faster and go for a long while with my heel down.Sometimes i can get it with heel up and go for a short while but then i start hitting at the same time and it just sounds stupid and frustrates me greatly can anybody give me some advice i have looked everywhere for help on this and absolutely no one pulled this up so im guessing im one of the unlucky few who has this problem thanks
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

Now where did you look? You'll find tons of info on this forum using the search functon.
I just posted a few links in a similar thread/on double bass, too), and those were links I quickly found using the search function (key words "double bass", "foot technique"):

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1053152#post1053152

Read a while, search a while... and come back if you have more questions.

Generally - make sure your technique is correct. Your posture/throne height/pedal distance/spring tension should be ok, too. Because all this provides feeling comfy and building from there. With one of those aspects being way off it'll be hard to do anything reasonable with double bass.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
You don't have any specific problem you're simply "struggling" with double bass playing. (And many, many are, too. You're not alone.) That's... normal! No mystery. Check your technique, and keep practicing. That's it. This is what millions of drummers have been doing for years. No, I don't have specific links for ya. But you don't need those. Do you have a double pedal? Absence of physical limitations? Some time and dedication to practice? - Great, you don't need more. Get started, practice hard (but reasonably - go for burn, not for pain), voila. Good luck!

Nobody can do the trick for you and fast forward some 8 or whatever years, you know. What do you think have others done to 'get there'? -> Practice.
 

drumhelp

Junior Member
i would still like to find someone who "struggled" the same way i am and know what he/she did to fix it
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
It sounds like all you have to do is practice more and not to to play so fast so soon.

You can also look up techniques and test them out to see which one you like the best.
 

cwoodruff

Junior Member
Hi-
yes, i'm an (ex) fellow struggler.

Unfortunately, the answer is just a very tedious practicing process. But, I feel that this is true of many things musically, and you just have to mentally overcome the tedium and realize that what you're working at is worth the effort, and totally dedicate yourself to it.

check out the book "the weaker side" by dom famularo and try those exercises with your non-dominant foot (also great hand workout, if you are interested). i started with the metronome around 60 for the triplet section. even if you feel like you can clearly handle a speed that slow, stick with it and really work it out. improvement won't be over night but you'll be happier in the long run.

another great book is the mirrored groove system by jeff bowders. this also works independence about, but mostly trains your brain to be able to lead with the left or right foot.

apart from books, start playing hi hat on 1 2 3 4, snare on 3, and 16th notes double bass at a really slow metronome speed like 60-80. do that 5 minutes a day as a warm up, and each week move up 5 or 10 clicks on the metronome. also, play songs that have simple single-bass drum grooves using your left foot instead of your right. (mid-90s metallica, alice in chains, or even simpler like ac/dc)

like i said, tedious... I struggled with the same issues, some days i could nail double bass some days not, and the last thing I wanted to do was even fathom playing an exercise that boring for 5 minutes straight every single day. but, as time went on, i grew up, realized i really wanted to do this professionally, and that's just how you train your brain.

lastly - i would say you're correct playing heel up for the faster stuff. a good way to tell whether or not a starting tempo for these exercises is too fast is whether or not you feel tension. this goes for hands or legs - if you feel tension, stop, and go slower. that can lead to tendinitis and other stuff that you don't need. but starting at a proper slow tempo and working up over time will ensure you avoid tension.

i would still like to find someone who "struggled" the same way i am and know what he/she did to fix it
 

Arky

Platinum Member
i would still like to find someone who "struggled" the same way i am and know what he/she did to fix it
Hey, I've been there (in progress). I know how it feels!

You know, some advice is _not_ related to double bass playing itself. You have to love it as learning/practicing will take a lot of time. In fact, any time you can put into it. The more the better! Stay balanced mentally. Be disciplined, AVOID FRUSTRATION!!! It's an attitude thing. Yes you can change your attitude. Honestly I'm a pessimist by nature but in drumming I'm approaching it from a different angle. If I WAS frustrated I'd have stopped right away - because it's hard! So take it as it is, but AVOID FRUSTRATION. Think of being a monk apprentice. Whatever it takes - say "yes", take a breath and do it. Every day, for months and years. Chipping away every day from what you need to do. Make the journey enjoyable and don't only focus on "once I will be able to...". Because it makes a world of difference whether the years which you'll need to 'get there' are full of frustration or joy.

May sound philosophical but... that's what works for me.

Can't hurt (literally) to know some basics on how to stretch/warm up. Be aware of your body. STOP when you feel pain. Burn is good though. I'm constantly adjusting small things - mostly by instinct. I'm delicate as to throne height, distance to the pedals etc. Took me some time to find what feels best for me. Might take you some time, too.

I've been playing for a long time before I started drumming. Maybe my mind was quite relaxed when I started because I knew right away how much work was necessary to get results - as in guitar playing. I invested decent amounts of time for chops. So it wasn't that much of a surprise what I was in for, haha.
 
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