Heel Up Technique

Guitar Guy

Junior Member
New drummer here. There are quite a few different techniques I've read about for kick drums but I haven't found any information that explains everything clearly.

Heel down seems to have your foot flat on the pedal, then you raise your toes/ball of foot a bit from the ankle and strike down with the ball of your foot.

Heel up seems to be raising your heel off the pedal, which means sort of raising your leg a bit, still having the ball of your foot touching the pedal, then you pick up your entire leg and come down with the ball of your foot which makes for a stronger kick.

Heel up w/ankle motion seems to be raising your heel, raising your leg a bit once again, with the ball of your foot still touching, but you're using your ankle to press down similar to what heel-down is like.

Is all of that correct?

I want to get into some double kick stuff after I've completed mastering some basic beats so I'm guessing that heel up with ankle motion is probably the preferred technique to start with. When trying it out I found that suspending my legs in the air a bit starts to burn after just a few seconds. Kind of unnatural feeling. Maybe I'm not doing it quite right. But that's what I noticed with both heel up techniques.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I use mostly my hip flexors at slow speeds. As i speed up my ankle starts to activate.

When I reach my max it's mostly ankle. after about 220 BPM I switch to heel toe.

Do what feels best. I have seen both ways played excellent.

the search works good. this topic comes up often.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Heel up seems to be raising your heel off the pedal, which means sort of raising your leg a bit, still having the ball of your foot touching the pedal, then you pick up your entire leg and come down with the ball of your foot which makes for a stronger kick.
Sounds about right, but I don't lift my legs, I push off the pedal using my calves.

Heel up w/ankle motion seems to be raising your heel, raising your leg a bit once again, with the ball of your foot still touching, but you're using your ankle to press down similar to what heel-down is like.

Is all of that correct?
I let the pedal springs do most of the work at higher speeds. The springs do the work, and your muscles should mostly be regulating the speed rather than producing it.

I want to get into some double kick stuff after I've completed mastering some basic beats so I'm guessing that heel up with ankle motion is probably the preferred technique to start with. When trying it out I found that suspending my legs in the air a bit starts to burn after just a few seconds. Kind of unnatural feeling. Maybe I'm not doing it quite right. But that's what I noticed with both heel up techniques.
You should eventually be able to sit and play reasonably fast as long as you like without any muscle fatigue. Don't hold your legs up. At high speed, the downward ankle motion combined with the the pedal rebound should keep your legs lifted.
 
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