Originally Posted by toddmc
PFG- learning foot control at all speeds is proving easier said than done- any tips?
It's more a matter of exploring what avenues work. Take a double stroke with the hands for example. When playing a diddle at really slow tempos, you don't tend to rely on rebound but rather make to two distinct wrist movements in order to maintain control over the stick......it's only when getting up to speeds where it becomes too difficult to do this that we then rely on rebound in order to fire the double out quick enough. Same goes for the feet. If you watch the very best players, they tend to chop and change their approach according to the application. Techniques like swivel etc are largely irrelevant for slow playing as the tempos are so slow that it becomes difficult to maintain control over the quick ankle motion which can result in uneveness. In such cases it's far better to maintain control by employing far more simplistic methods.
As with the case with the OP, his technique effectively means that his entire foot is leaving the footboard and as a result he's losing control of his action. The footboard and beater are doing their own thing, making it difficult for him to regain that control when his foot comes down again. So I'd suggest at those moderate tempos he needs to adjust what he's doing to the application.
I'm not a fan of "running" on the pedals to the extent that the whole leg motion is driven from the hip flexors and the foot loses contact with the footbaord for this very reason. There is absolutely no control utilising this method......so much of it comes down to "hit and hope".....especially at slower speeds where natural physics have enough time to come into play on the footboard and beater. Check all the great double bass players (Roddy, Kollias, Carey, Lombardo etc etc)....none of them "run" on the pedals like that. They all have complete control over their actions at all tempos.......and so much of the time, they will employ slightly different nuances in their action in order to achieve it.