Right foot speed - hard work vs technique?

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I'm in the process of building control/speed in my right foot. I want to get to 170/180 on 1/8 notes maybe later this year.

At present I can realistically do a couple of tracks at 135 - 150 hitting nearly all the 1/8 notes (something like Communication Breakdown, groove-wise) for a few minutes.

And I'm doing this heel down. It's how I've played so far. I'm practicing a lot, doing 1/8 notes on my R foot at various tempos on the kit - say 10 mins a day at 105, 135 and 150. I also do evening metronome practice watching TV (no pedal/pad) and like that feeling the burn after a couple of minutes.

So, do I need to change from heel down and try other techniques? What's the top limit of heel down in terms of BPM? Or is it mostly a case of simply gaining strength and control for the speeds I want to get to?
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I don't think there's a limit on how fast you can go with heel down, but it's rather like using exclusively wrist strokes with your hands...by incorporating the arm, you can make everything less work for yourself. I think this is true for foot technique as well. Using two muscle groups instead of one means you'll experience fatigue less quickly and have access to more power. The more options available to you the easier you'll find it to play what you want to play.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
This is how I do maintenance/speed/endurance practice:

Put on a comfortable tempo and play clean, unaccented 8th notes for 200 bars. Adjust your technique if it starts to burn, maybe alternate muscle groups, the point is that you absolutely do not stop under any circumstances for 200 bars. If you have to stop you aren't at a comfortable tempo. Do it on each limb individually, then do 16ths leading with the right, then with the left, etc. Bump the tempo up if it gets boring. :) 200 bars seems like forever until you've done it one time, and then you're used to it. After that it's kind of fun... assuming you're relaxed and your technique is proper to begin with, this gets you intimately comfortable with your fundamentals and of course has chop-building merits.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
To me its a mix of both. I spent years getting my right foot up to speed to the point where I can hold down 16ths on one foot. But it took a lot of technique. I mostly play heel up and place the ball of my foot around the center of the pedal to get that speed. I also took some time to try out almost every pedal on the market to figure out which pedal would both complement my technique and that turned out to be the pearl demon drive. So it took all these factors, hard work, technique and pedal choice to do what i do now.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I think I'll just say that it takes a lot of hard work to develop the technique. They aren't separate things. Granted, you can work harder because you don't refine your technique, but I don't find working on technique to be any kind of waste.
 
How much would you guys say pedal settings effect playing? I've always been really particular about my own, although I've known many who aren't at all. Just wondering how everyone else feels about this.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
How much would you guys say pedal settings effect playing? I've always been really particular about my own, although I've known many who aren't at all. Just wondering how everyone else feels about this.
The longer I've played, the less it matters what I play on. I used to really be specific about the angles of things, the way the pedal responded, placement of parts... Not really an issue anymore. I think it's not a good idea to tie your abilities to any piece of gear, to be frank.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
Been killing my foot to get it under control. Heel up for me and I have learned that its not the gear that gets it done. Dont know what the bpm limit is on heel down but I wish I could play that way as I think it would help me play quieter.
 
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