DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM

DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/index.php)
-   Drum Technique (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=8)
-   -   Double Bass Left Foot Strength (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78015)

IReverendX 06-30-2011 06:54 PM

Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
I have recently discovered that my left foot lacks hugely in strength compared to my right foot, so it is very hard to keep constant double bass going at any speed.

I have Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive double bass pedal before anyone suggests that it could be the pedals.

I was just wondering, does anyone know any exercises or anything to work at to increase the strength in my left foot (leg) to make it equal to my right?

Thanks, IReverendX.

TheCaptain 06-30-2011 07:17 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Alot of people encounter the exact same problem with double bass playing. One thing I did when I started out on double bass that helped me with it was to play a song that has no double bass in it while only using my left foot instead of my right. You may have to use your right foot on the kick every now and then for hi-hat pedal work, but overall you end up giving your left foot a pretty good workout. Hope this helps!

zarrdoss 07-01-2011 02:25 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Thats a good suggestion, also just do double bass heel up, down whatever your playing preference is and keep a constant beat. speed does not matter so much as being consistent, speed will come latter on. also you can practice when you are just sitting around, just lift your heel up about an inch off the floor and bring it back down and alternate between your left and right but again be consistent and in time. it will take some time epically if you are right handed like I am, but you should start seeing results in no time. Then comes endurance, right now I am pretty good for about 30 minutes then my left foot starts to fatigue and its all over with.

gseifers 07-01-2011 03:57 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
What really helped me was just doing a few simple. yet effective things.

First I would say get a metronome of some kind, and practice just keeping simple patterns with only your double kick. This will warm you up, and start building endurance and dexterity. The key is to start slower and build up when you feel comfortable. In a few weeks, you will notice a huge difference for sure.

Secondly, and this is the most important, start playing with people that challenge you to play more advanced then perhaps you are. When I first got into playing metal, the double kick was something I had never even owned, but my band mates urged me to purchase one. Playing in a rehearsal setting was the best thing that I ever did for my drumming. You can really start developing aspects of your drumming that you never thought you could. For me, I could really start seeing matched foot strength after about a month of two of playing.

Thirdly, I used to sometimes challenge myself by playing a groove using my left foot instead of my right. It feels awkward and is pretty difficult, but it really helps you to develop rhythm in your left foot.

Also, your pedals are really nice! If I could get compliments for my playing, using shitty $80 pedals, I am sure you are going to be killing it soon. -Grant

toddy 07-01-2011 04:12 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
get rid of your double pedal and play some hi hat.

Deathmetalconga 07-01-2011 08:13 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toddy (Post 861195)
get rid of your double pedal and play some hi hat.

HA! Word.

I notice the more someone is obsessed with double pedaling, the less likely they are to use their hi hat. Unless you're playing Metal (which, like jazz, which has more musicians than listeners), double pedaling has pretty limited applications, but does annoy the hell out of other musicians.

zarrdoss 07-02-2011 02:52 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
I do allot of alternating between the hats and double bass because I think they both sound cool, I also use a drop clutch. But I know some double bass players that might as well have x hats

Rock Drummer 07-02-2011 02:24 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toddy (Post 861195)
get rid of your double pedal and play some hi hat.

You must obviously be a jazz playing metal and hard rock hating player. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you couldnt have given him advice. By the way the double bass was originally invented for JAZZ playing

Anyways just work on hand exercises but with your feet. Paradiddles, doubles, 8ths to 16ths, different beats(1+a,2e+,etc), and just straight 16ths. I did that for a week and am already noticing a difference in my endurance, control, and speed.

Also from the current DRUM! magazine, there was an article about Tim Yeung, and he was talking about double bass. He basically said you first have to play as fast as you possibly can, even if it is not even, for as long as you can to build up your endurance. Then after you have that you can go and work on tempo.

jammy313 07-11-2011 01:30 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Set a metronome to 100 bmp to start with and just using your double pedal. With your left foot play 16th notes or semi-quavers if your traditional like me, and with your right foot play 4th notes or crotchets. Do this every day until your leg is in excruciating pain and then do 15 more minuets on top and push through the pain. alternate this exercise between both feet but focusing on your week foot. once you have your feet at equal levels just do loads of single stroke rolls with your feet. By the way this exercise goes for your hands as well.

Andrewski 07-11-2011 06:26 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rock Drummer (Post 861546)
Anyways just work on hand exercises but with your feet. Paradiddles, doubles, 8ths to 16ths, different beats(1+a,2e+,etc), and just straight 16ths. I did that for a week and am already noticing a difference in my endurance, control, and speed.

I'll second this. It's the same as trying to strengthen your left hand, or both of your hands - rudiments.

N.I.B. 08-08-2011 05:34 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
One poster said to play everything you would normally play on your right foot with your left to train your weak foot, and I agree. Not only will this help you with evening out your double-bass strokes, it'll enable you to control your hi-hat better and even allow you to switch lead feet while playing later on down the road.

Ian 08-08-2011 06:45 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Set a kit up left handed with a single pedal. Play some funk and shuffle grooves. Your entire left side will improve greatly and you'll develop some serious feel with your right foot from working the hi hat.

Shedboyxx 08-08-2011 07:35 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
I agree with many of the things that have been said except a few.

I agree that you should play hand exercises as well as playing single bass patterns on your left foot. For me. I find just hitting crashes consistently and together can be a challenge when I've gone so long doing it with right foot/right hand and then left hand right foot crashes.

Although I rarely have an opportunity to play double bass patterns on gigs, I do practice it and want to use it when I feel I have consistent enough playing that matches my single bass drum playing and - I have the right gig. I use a DW5002.

I wouldn't have said it in such a "black and white a fashion as "get rid of your double pedal and play some hi hat" but I do think drummers, especially beginning drummers,should understand how important left foot hi hat technique is for the overwhelming bulk of contemporary drumming, Metal or other aggressive rock styles have little place for these techniques as a foot chick is lost amongst stacks of Marshalls.

But so many other situations benefit from a consistent and musical hi hat approach using foot technique that neglecting it would be a mistake. You just don't know what your musical tastes will be like in 10-15 years.

I also feel uneasy about the "no pain, no gain" approach. Here's a quote from the late great Jim Chapin:

"If they tell you no pain no gain... shoot them." - Jim Chapin

Jim came from a different era but that era included guys like Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson. I don't like to use the word 'legendary' but Buddy's speed on hand and foot was just that. I doubt he or anyone of that generation would tell you to push through the pain. That just feels physically dangerous.
I'm not saying we shouldn't push ourselves. Going past a point of fatigue won't be as damaging as pushing through pain when it comes to technique.

I think 'cross training' is more beneficial. Steve Smith has a great way of doing this from History of the US beat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqj3p8rF4ew

With this technique you combine different muscles and techniques for a more comprehensive approach.

I know that metal drumming is more physical but I think I'd go the route of improving in a more healthy style. Heck, Tommy Aldridge has ridden bikes throughout his career to keep his fitness level up. The man can kick serious booty on double bass.

My .02

Arky 08-14-2011 05:54 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
To me, left foot hihat and left foot double pedal feel totally different - I do both (beginner, 1 year of drumming) and doing one of them doesn't help the other (or just to a minor extent). I do practice double bass a lot and also struggle with the left foot being noticeably weaker. Focus on your left foot! For strenghtening the weaker double bass foot, I wouldn't recommend a left hand hihat setup though (this will obviously and primarily strengthen the left foot hihat playing) - concentrate on the left foot, but practice on the bassdrum pedal. Start slow to build control. I reached decent speed on the doublebass but the difference in foot strength is what I'm always working on, I guess that strength relationship won't really change in the future. The speed barrier simply increases and the same patterns at certain tempos will feel easier with time.

In addition to practicing the left foot only, I also practice any doublebass pattern with the left foot leading, involving both feet.

Don't forget to adjust the left pedal spring tension to make up for the natural weakness of the left foot to some extent. Having an identical tension on both pedals, the weaker foot has more work to do - which can be considered a benefit (= more workout) but... you get it.

I have just purchased footweights and am curious to see the benefits. I'll use them on both feet. I'm playing heel-up and heel-toe and to me, footweights make more sense for heel-up.

Positioning the feet differently on the footplate can also (to an extent) compensate for the weaker left foot - farther away from the beater creates more momentum.

Headfoot 04-24-2013 10:40 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toddy (Post 861195)
get rid of your double pedal and play some hi hat.

And there it is. There's always some pretentious, stuck up a**hole who comes to say this exact same thing in every single double bass thread. Get off your high horse, or take it somewhere else.

Also thanks to Shedboyxx for the rational thought, it's good to see that not all is lost to people like quoted above. You are absolutely spot on when you say you can't hear hi hat click over the rest of the band in any real gig scenario if you play anything even mildly rock oriented, much less metal.

I purchased The Encyclopedia of Double Bass Drumming on Amazon a while back; it has a whole section of warm-ups/bass drum fundamentals designed to build strength in the weaker leg. One particularly helpful bit I found was to practice accents! Especially on the weak foot. The other big tip I can give is if you want to get faster and more accurate you absolutely must become fluent in both heels-up and heels-down. To do fast double bass sixteenths for more than a short burst over 140-150bpm requires that you learn to float your heel above the heel rest and make a heel-down style motion as it floats. You'll won't be able to transition from legs to ankles if you never do heel up, and you'll never get past 140bpm if you don't do heel down. I'm currently trying to fix heel-down accuracy, power, control on my left foot to break past the 140bpm barrier.

Arky 04-24-2013 10:47 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Headfoot (Post 1133174)
(...) and you'll never get past 140bpm if you don't do heel down. I'm currently trying to fix heel-down accuracy, power, control on my left foot to break past the 140bpm barrier.

What are you talking about?? This might be your personal experience, but why generalize? I'm maxing out @ 250 bpm heel-up (16th notes, singles) and don't play/practice heel-down a lot (I'm rather poor at heel-down). So I absolutely can't see how your statement can be accurate. Those motions are different things to practice. There's some interrelation but not too much, you have to practice them individually.

Also, I had to edit your language...

Headfoot 04-25-2013 03:57 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arky (Post 1133175)
What are you talking about?? This might be your personal experience, but why generalize? I'm maxing out @ 250 bpm heel-up (16th notes, singles) and don't play/practice heel-down a lot (I'm rather poor at heel-down). So I absolutely can't see how your statement can be accurate. Those motions are different things to practice. There's some interrelation but not too much, you have to practice them individually.

Also, I had to edit your language...

Sorry, I don't buy it for one second you can do 250 singles without having ever practiced heel-down. You're telling me you're faster than The Black Dahlia Murder's fastest song by 10bpm. A claim like that requires proof: a 1.0x speed video with a clicktrack.

I am talking about heel-up... the floating foot requires the same motion as a heel down stroke except with more upward and downward latitude. I'm sure you can get fast just doing floating-heel-up, but practicing heel-down helps to get you there more quickly (standard disclaimer: it's not a miracle, still requires hard practice). It's apparent you're more concerned with making sure your opinion carries the day rather than accept other people have other experiences than yours. Have fun in your little kingdom.

Edit: LOL. Just saw you said you've been playing for one year, and you seriously claim 250 bpm sixteenth singles? Yeah, okay... Don't worry. I'm not coming back

Arky 04-25-2013 07:51 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Headfoot (Post 1133252)
Sorry, I don't buy it for one second you can do 250 singles without having ever practiced heel-down. You're telling me you're faster than The Black Dahlia Murder's fastest song by 10bpm. A claim like that requires proof: a 1.0x speed video with a clicktrack.

You don't have to believe. Others didn't either.

Here's a vid I made specifically for proof, else I'd never have recorded something like this but a number of users asked me to do so...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnGNok9SHsM

I didn't say I never practiced heel down. I practiced heel down but to a tiny extent as compared to practicing heel up. And I'm not telling you I'm faster than The Black Dahlia Murder's fastest song by 10bpm because... heck, I never listened to that band, I was giving bpm's, not specific bands. (And what sense does it make to give specific bands? Other bands would have a laugh @ that tempo range because they're way faster.) Plus, don't underestimate the difference between firing away 16th notes in an out-of-music context - just for technical/practice sake - and having 'real' music going at the same speed. That's a big difference. I never said I can play songs @ 240/250.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Headfoot (Post 1133252)
I am talking about heel-up... the floating foot requires the same motion as a heel down stroke except with more upward and downward latitude.

Hey, this is theory. Did you read this somewhere? Or did you actually put in the hundreds of hours of hard work to finally _land_ at the motion the way it's supposed to be? Well I _landed_ at flatfoot but only after months of hard footwork practice. Same as swivel - there are things you have to work yourself into (...it takes time!), not by reading: ah, that's the way... yes, now I know the motions. Reading theoretical stuff and having your body doing the motions (at higher speed), that's a big difference. Flat foot and heel down might seem similar but they aren't that much - they don't feel similar when you're playing them.

If you're @ 140 bpm heel down I can't imagine you have ever experienced flat foot and how it feels at, say, 200 bpm? So what are you talking of? Things you've read? But not experienced yet? Ah, ok, I'm all ears.Yes, that's my small world - the world I've experienced, not the world I'm dreaming of.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Headfoot (Post 1133252)
I'm sure you can get fast just doing floating-heel-up, but practicing heel-down helps to get you there more quickly (standard disclaimer: it's not a miracle, still requires hard practice). It's apparent you're more concerned with making sure your opinion carries the day rather than accept other people have other experiences than yours. Have fun in your little kingdom.

I agree - heel down is recommended a lot. Hey, I don't dislike it! I just haven't focused on it a lot (will/might do at a later time) because... you guessed it, I wanted to get better at heel up. And as for 'get there more quickly'... hard practice will get you there, that's my experience. Yes, that's my small world - the world I've experienced, not the world I'm dreaming of. If you have a better/more reasonable kingdom (based on what? on books? DVDs?) - please share your secrets.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Headfoot (Post 1133252)
Edit: LOL. Just saw you said you've been playing for one year, and you seriously claim 250 bpm sixteenth singles? Yeah, okay... Don't worry. I'm not coming back

Funnily, I saw that myself... BUT... did you notice that this post of mine was from 2011? I've been drumming (rather: practicing motions) for 2.5 years now. I had a quick start into faster heel up singles. It took me 4 (!) days to hit 200 bpm from the moment I bought a double pedal (and a so-so BTW, nothing hi-end). I was @ 240 after some 6 months. Yes I'm happy about that. But who cares? Who even does have to care except me? But... I haven't progressed much/any further - 250 is my max but as I haven't practiced speed a lot lately I would even not hit 240 every day, or it might feel super hard.

BTW, I never listened to the band you mentioned (hey, there are thousands of bands ot there, some of which I know, some of which I don't), but 230 bpm is standard, there are countless bands doing stuff at that speed. Some are (much) faster than that! What if my feet are faster than Lars Ulrich's? This alone doesn't make me a good drummer...

I'll try for the last time to point out that you _don't_ have to focus on heel down if you want to hit fast (200+) tempos with heel up. That's based on my experience. I didn't read this in books.

If you want to hit some similar speed... ANKLE MOTION is the way to go. Just keep pushing yourself, it will 'click' at one moment and you'll feel like in hyperspeed mode from that time on. Or... go practice heel down. Which is good for control but you'll never get at, say, 220 with it. Very few do, and some of those would switch to heel up and wonder why they ever wasted time with heel down (John Longstreth switched to heel up, never looked back).

TreeClimbingFeet 04-27-2013 06:55 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
I think maybe you both are arguing interpretations of the same thing?

George Kolias says that when increasing speed at some point you will have to adopt the ankle motion, which from what I can tell is like playing heels down but with your heel not actually resting on anything, sort of floating just above, which means the ankle will travel forward on the down stroke and backward on the rebound - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMGqhYVwOJA

Regarding left foot strength, George Kolias also says that he feels your main foot should be dominant and the other a follower - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_JICNeDs88

Arky 04-27-2013 07:08 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Yes, George says so on his DVD.
While I get his point I don't really agree. Have a look here - others disagree, too:

Double bass help? (Posts #11 and following)
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=103718

My reasoning as for _why_ getting the left foot up is super simple.
Do a max test with each foot separately. What speed does your right foot do? What speed does your left foot do? See a difference? If that difference is but a tiny one - congratulations. If not - you have work to do. Because overall your foot speed (ok, speed isn't the focus on this thread, but you get the idea of being balanced, don't you?) will be twice the speed that your weaker foot can handle, not twice the speed that your strong foot can do.

Just try it for yourself: Focus on your left foot for a while, play it in isolation, plus practice both feet but lead with your left foot (up to higher tempos). You should notice some difference in your control/confidence throughoug the speed ranges.

BTW, George's new DVD has some killer exercises for double bass/foot control.

TreeClimbingFeet 04-27-2013 09:27 AM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
Yes, thank you for the advice. I have at one time switched to left-handed playing for a year to bring my lefties up to speed with my righties, even so far as to alternate left foot and right foot with every stroke no matter what, except diddles. As for some of the other methods, been there, done that, realised that in real life, leading with the leading foot is going to happen nearly all the time anyway, so I might as well train to what I am going to do, horses for courses and all that.
Your dominant hand will always be stronger than your other, otherwise we'd all be ambidextrous. If you were playing a standard ska beat and threw in a triplet on the feet, most people will lead that triplet with their dominant side. I think perhaps you can train your weaker side to keep up with your other, or you can lessen your dominant to be on par with your other.
Practising certain strokes to get them even on the left and right hands was effective for me enhancing fills and rolls etc but had a negative effect on other important aspects, ie highlighted accents on a snare sound rubbish during a blast beat.

An interesting aside, if you trained with weights on one arm only, the other untrained arm will gain a little in strength too (but not to the same degree).

poekoelan 05-03-2013 11:12 PM

Re: Double Bass Left Foot Strength
 
I posted this in a recent thread about a weak left hand, but I'm using this same method for double bass too, and it's working well: Get a copy of "Stick Control" , go through the book and circle all the exercises that have more lefts than rights. Practice these with a metronome for about 3 mins each. Add a ride cymbal and a back beat too. I give some time every day to either my left foot or my left hand with this, sometimes I do both in one day.

The sections of the book that I'm using for double bass are the single beat combinations, triplets, and short roll progressions. It's been working well for my left hand and my double bass. I'm definately going to continue doing it.


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com