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  #1  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:30 AM
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notjohnbonham notjohnbonham is offline
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Default Can a better pedal improve my technique?

Hi. I've been reading about improving bass pedal technique and I hear people say stuff like (paraphrase) "it doesn't matter how good your pedal/equipment, if you don't have the skill to use it". I have a crappy low-end tama swingstar(not the good 80s swingstar) and stock hi-hat and bass pedals and my right foot is not progressing as fast as I'd like it to. Now grant it, I haven't put in the hours of learning how to get complicated mult-strokes out of the pedal but when I do practice on it, it feels really awkward and cumbersome. Am I feeling this solely because I'm a noob drummer or can a crappy pedal contribute to this? In other words if I upgrade my pedal will it help improvement of my technique?


P.S. I'm not John Bonham but I want to "acquire" his right foot. :(
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Well, the answer will always be, "maybe". The Tama low-end pedals aren't bad, and they function as they should. I myself play Tama Iron Cobra Juniors because I like the simplicity and like the pedal plate on the bottom. If I take the plate off, it becomes the low-end Tama pedal you're probably using.

And the thing is, if you got the same kind of pedal from anyone else (DW, Pearl, Yamaha, etc.,...) it's not going to feel too different. You'll get a different feeling from Axis, Trick, or the Sonor Jojo Meyer pedal I think. You could step up to a better pedal, like Tama's Iron Cobra - but to me they feel like my juniors with more adjustments I don't need. If anything, getting a better pedal will remove all doubt that the pedal is holding you back (mentally, anyway).

You should try an ancient Ludwig Speed King - I started out on one of those and it feels significantly different than everything else. But when I left that pedal and went to a DW5000 I suddenly felt like I could fly ;) Good luck in your quest!
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:12 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

If you can afford a good pedal, get one. A better design, with newer parts and smooth action, will make it easier to play what you can already play.

However, you won't get quick doubles until you practice them in a variety of contexts, and a host of other exercises, every day and for a decent period of time. Maybe the reason you're not making the sort of progress you wish is because you don't know what, and how, to practice? The right methods and materials will grow your skill much faster than any pedal.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Go choose a nice pedal and find out.

You're probably going to buy one later anyway.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

When I started playing and got my own kit I was using a cheapie Tama pedal, probably the same thing you're using with a single chain and no bottom plate. It clicks and clacks and slides from side to side when I play. I bought an Axis shortboard and played on it for a bit. Went back and forth between the Tama and the Axis for a while. I went through a 2 month phase where I played the Tame because I thought I liked the chain drive better. When I tried the Axis out again I was amazed at how much cleaner my foot technique sounded.

The moral of this is that a good pedal will not be a substitute for good technique and hours or practice but it will certainly help. I use a few different cheapie chain drive pedals when I take lessons. I do notice a difference and I can play much better on my own pedal.

What I would recommend is try out as many different pedals as you can, either on a friend's kit, at the store or (my favorite) buying them used on Craigslist. Take your time and fiddle around with the adjustments till you know the pedal in and out. Buy a dirty Speedking and clean it up, PM me if you need some links on this. The pedal should feel like an extension of your right foot that is used to play your bass. Practice, practice and more practice will help develop your technique but a good, dialed in pedal will allow you properly utilize that technique.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
..... Practice, practice and more practice will help develop your technique but a good, dialed in pedal will allow you properly utilize that technique.
This sums up my view as well. A pedal that works best for you is a journey unto itself. It can take a long while to find one that works for you. Then you may stumble on one at a later date that works even better.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Quote:
Originally Posted by notjohnbonham View Post
Hi. I've been reading about improving bass pedal technique and I hear people say stuff like (paraphrase) "it doesn't matter how good your pedal/equipment, if you don't have the skill to use it".
That's true, but the other side of the coin is that a cheap (or poorly adjusted) pedal will limit what your foot can do.

The good news is, most pedals in the $75+ range are pretty smooth, and adjustable enough to better allow your foot to be its best. Some are smoother than others or have a few extra adjustments to really dial them in, but even some lower-end pedals are really nice for the price. A few years ago Ludwig (and others) had a Gibraltar-made pedal with a black footboard for well under $100, which was surprisingly smooth and agile.

A new pedal by itself won't improve your technique, but it will allow your technique to improve.

Bermuda
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

On Sundays I play another guy's kit. It has a Groove Percussion pedal. It's fine for a beginner, I guess, but this pedal gives me problems. It takes more effort to play and it can lag my beat a little if I'm not on top of it because it takes a lot more effort to do the sixteenth notes. I'm used to my Axis pedal which has great action on the sixteenth notes. Also, this pedal gives me cramps in my toes. I got a cramp right in the middle of a song last night and my timing was all over the place. Needless to say, the band leader was very unhappy with my performance on that song and I had to apologize profusely. I had to play the next song with a small cramp in my foot. Luckily it was a slow one. Breathe.

I'm pretty sure it's the pedal. The stupid hi-hat pedal gives me problems too, whereas my Iron Cobra and Sonor ones are great. In fact, I like the cheaper Sonor one better. So think about the hi-hat pedal too.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Pedals are sort of like sticks, it becomes a personal preference. Some pedals feel better to me than others, while the opposite could be true for someone else. If your pedal is in shambles, then for sure replace or fix it. But the pedal itself wont make you better. That would be like thinking a certain stick will make you better. Remember, you play the pedal, not the other way around. If it feels good on your foot, go with it. If the pedal feels awkward and uncomfortable, too light or heavy, then I would say replace it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

In my opinion the pedal shouldn't have an effect on how you play..

Of course, if the pedal is broken or rusty so it's not working then it's obvious that you can't improve.

But, I have played on a lot of pedals actually, some very high end pedals and some very cheap pedals for like 10 bugs.
In the first years when I started playing drums my pedal was an old Sonor pedal where the footboard was all sloppy, the spring was like 20 years old but I managed to play on it and today I can say I don't regret I didn't buy a new pedal.

I'm not sure if a cheap pedal will limit your abilities, I sometimes have the feeling when i played live that the crappy premier whatever pedal works better than an expensive DW 5000 pedal or pearl pedal.

A new/different pedal will feel different so just check out some pedals and maybe you'll find a pedal for 50 bugs that you like more than a pedal for 500 bugs.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

A Ferrari wont make you a better driver. The best pedal is only as good as the guy using it. there are a lot of mid range pedals out there that are perfect for most of us.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

go to a music store. spend half a day in there trying every pedal... when you narrow it down. go to another store and do the same thing. try every pedal, use your friends pedals. and do some searching on the internet.

For me I can play faster on the axis than any other pedal. because it works with MY technique and style. I know guys that HATE axis. But i have also tried every other pedal I can get my hands on to be sure its the right one for me.

You also have to remember EVERY pedal has a ton of settings to change the feel,response,power,speed,angle so once you have a preference you can really start adjusting. Just something to remember in the shops or buddies houses before you judge a pedal that's not set for you
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:38 PM
JasperGTR JasperGTR is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Iron Cobra or Speed Cobra.

I am a FIRM believer that better pedals can elevate your level of play.

I regret not getting them sooner.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

They can make your bad technique work better but actually it will become a crutch. Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, John Bonham.... those guys didn't have the fortune of playing pedals like we have today.

Will they make sticks that play themselves someday? I hope not.

I learned on my standard Tama single-chain pedal that was wobbly as heck. Then I got a crappy Gibralter double-pedal... it SUCKED. But I worked hard to develop power, accuracy and "slide doubles", while NEVER burying the beater. Finally, I got serious gigs that paid well and I was playing 4 or 5 nights a week so I felt I deserved a good pedal.

Practice, practice, practice...
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

My take is different than most...nice, high quality and functional equipment will make you play better. You will want to play more and you will not get frustrated as easily when you know you're playing a high end instrument or accessory. The less frustration, the more practice, the more you can focus on improving.

To say the old timers didn't have good equipment is a farce. They didn't play Speed Cobras or DW9000s, but they played the absolute best available at the time...most in the 70s-80s played a Speed King, which is still available today and those pedals made back in the day still function quite well in the 21st century.

I will always defer to improving your equipment when you believe it will take your game to the next level...I don't care if it's drums, guitar, golf clubs, hockey skates...I've played bargain level products and I've played high end in everything I do...that stuff is high end for a reason.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:03 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Quote:
Originally Posted by simmsdn View Post
My take is different than most...nice, high quality and functional equipment will make you play better. You will want to play more and you will not get frustrated as easily when you know you're playing a high end instrument or accessory. The less frustration, the more practice, the more you can focus on improving.

To say the old timers didn't have good equipment is a farce. They didn't play Speed Cobras or DW9000s, but they played the absolute best available at the time...most in the 70s-80s played a Speed King, which is still available today and those pedals made back in the day still function quite well in the 21st century.

I will always defer to improving your equipment when you believe it will take your game to the next level...I don't care if it's drums, guitar, golf clubs, hockey skates...I've played bargain level products and I've played high end in everything I do...that stuff is high end for a reason.
I tend to agree with this. At least for me, I tend to do better when I have confidence that I have good quality gear. Then when I get stuck on something, it removes any doubt that my technique is the roadblock, not my instrument or equipment. That motivates me to work harder, and not get as frustrated with my difficulties. In addition to that, good equipment is generally more enjoyable to play on, because it sounds better, looks better, and feels better.

I've learned from my experiences over the years that when I buy a musical instrument, piece of electronics, tools, etc, I buy the absolute best I can afford, even if it means cutting back on my beer budget or whatever for a couple of months. I've never regretted spending too much on those things, but I've often regretted spending too little.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

I think a better quality pedal that's adjusted properly to work with your foot makes things easier to pull off, but ultimately it all comes down to the skill of the player. I can play what I can play on almost any pedal, but I find that I have an easier time on certain pedals. For instance, I have an 11 year old IC that works well, and it has been a durable workhorse for countless gigs. I don't feel like its holding me back, BUT, everytime I mess around with a Pearl Eliminator, I find it easier to pull off quick doubles and triples. I feel like it gets out of my way a little better than the IC (which is why I'm about to break down and buy one). I guess I'm not really on one side of the debate or the other lol. Its the skill of the player, no question, but a good pedal that fits your style of playing will make what you can do already easier to pull off, IMHO.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by notjohnbonham View Post

....can a better pedal improve my technique?....

Kind of a tricky question. I'd say a qualified yes, to a small degree. But practice and technique is far more important.

The qualifier is defining 'better'. I had a very inexpensive, beginner's pedal, that I could really wail with. Not sure exactly why - probably a combination of size, spring tension, beater length/weight, and so on.

Anyways, the point is that most drummers would probably laugh at that pedal if you called it 'better'. But still, I could play faster, and it felt more natural, than some much more expensive pedals I've tried.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:20 PM
JasperGTR JasperGTR is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by The Old Hyde View Post
A Ferrari wont make you a better driver. ....
Yes, but depending on which one, a Ferrari could give the same driver better lap times.

At first I hated this analogy, and brushed it off. But after considering your whole point, I'd suggest that the Ferrari has a lot of feedback and communicative properties that normal cars do not, hence why most people can't drive competitively. A Ferrari commands that you listen to it, and it will tell you everything you need to do to it to make it efficient. The more feedback and communication you have with your pedal, the more aware a player might be.

In a car, there are few feedback mechanisms... The largest inputs are the steering wheel, brake pedal, and throttle.

Ever brake from 160mph to 45mph going into a corner in a Ferrari? There is so much the car is telling you through the brake pedal. It really tunes in your feet. The car will tell you when it is ready to have have the steering input begin (so you can begin turn-in with the steering wheel as you let up on the brake pedal).

My biggest issue with pedals is that I had to learn when to hit the beat, and it wasn't always when I needed it to be there (same reason I tighten the crap out of my cymbals). This is where subroutines begin (the unconscious calculations that net the desired result automatically).

Funny story - I had an old set of Tama double Iron Cobras. Due to a lot of transportation and setting up/tearing down, the middle connecting bar started to wear, at the place the screws held in the middle. So there was a little play on the left pedal. This play translated into delay from when I struck the pedal until the beater hit the head. No amount of tightening fixed this, because the metal was no longer there. I adjusted my play unconsciously, until my playing became even for the next several years. Recently (over a year ago), I purchased a new set of Speed Cobras (looking to upgrade), and the Cobra Coil is something I've gotten used to. I figured it was a natural progression. When I played them for the first time, I was so uneven, because my programming of my left foot had become so consistent, I was constantly hitting the left pedal too soon. This took about 2 months to finally dial out (after a lot of practice). One day I played my home kit, and there were my old double pedals... Without thinking too much about it, I started playing and now my left foot was dragging behind. UUUUGGGGGHHHH! Took the pedals off, bought a second set of Speed Cobras for the home kit.

Moral of the story - equipment matters - BUT, only if you can outplay the limitations of the current equipment.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by JasperGTR View Post
Yes, but depending on which one, a Ferrari could give the same driver better lap times.



Moral of the story - equipment matters - BUT, only if you can outplay the limitations of the current equipment.
I meant a lousy Asian female driver will still suck behind the wheel of a Ferrari. It will outplay the limitations of her crappy Toyota prius and she will still be a trerrible driver. sorry to be so politically in-correct but, prove me wrong female Asian drivers!! haven't seen a good one yet on the road!
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:03 PM
drumming sort of person drumming sort of person is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by JasperGTR View Post
I had an old set of Tama double Iron Cobras. Due to a lot of transportation and setting up/tearing down, the middle connecting bar started to wear, at the place the screws held in the middle.
Dude... you need to stop over-tightening all the screws on your kit. They just need to be firm, not torqued to insanity. That connecting rod never needs to have those screws loosened/tightened once you've set it for the proper size/width. You just need to fasten the bolts where it attaches to each pedal.

I bet you crank the $hit out of your cymbal stands and tom mounts too. Your poor drums...
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:58 PM
JasperGTR JasperGTR is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
Dude... you need to stop over-tightening all the screws on your kit. They just need to be firm, not torqued to insanity. That connecting rod never needs to have those screws loosened/tightened once you've set it for the proper size/width. You just need to fasten the bolts where it attaches to each pedal.

I bet you crank the $hit out of your cymbal stands and tom mounts too. Your poor drums...
I do. But I blame Slingerland for this. My very first kit was about 25 years old when I got it 30 years ago. Nothing stayed where it needed to, and I started adjusting tighter, and tighter, until it just fell (ball joints, extension arms, everything...).

And when I've broken screws, it's because I'm using some new wrench or gizmo that supposedly makes things easier... I've found that nothing replaces the old T-key. Definitely a lot more sensitive for tuning and tightening.

It's the little things...

*edit: But now that I recall - the connecting bar had to be collapsed, because it didn't fit into the case. So I had to remove the bar from both pedals, and then again loosen (or remove) the screws to collapse the connecting bar so it fit inside the case.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:47 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Kind of a tricky question. I'd say a qualified yes, to a small degree. But practice and technique is far more important.

The qualifier is defining 'better'. I had a very inexpensive, beginner's pedal, that I could really wail with. Not sure exactly why - probably a combination of size, spring tension, beater length/weight, and so on.

Anyways, the point is that most drummers would probably laugh at that pedal if you called it 'better'. But still, I could play faster, and it felt more natural, than some much more expensive pedals I've tried.
Maybe it's better to respond to the OP's question with a question:

What, exactly, are you doing to improve your foot technique? If the answer is shopping for pedals, well...

A good teacher would be able to look at your current ability, and write down at least 5 exercises to practice in order to improve your technique and speed. If you practice those 5 things for 2 minutes each day (10 minutes a day total), you should see significant improvement in 2 weeks, and serious improvement in 6 weeks.

And you should buy a decent pedal as a reward for your hard work. Before you buy, try out all those exercises on a bunch of pedals at your local shop. Because of your practice, you will be much more aware of what makes a particular pedal feel good. Without that practice under your belt, you'll just buy the pedal that looks cool, or that someone else said is very good.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:15 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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What, exactly, are you doing to improve your foot technique? If the answer is shopping for pedals, well...
Well put, Brent.

It's never an easy question to answer. There's no doubt a quality pedal can free you up from limitations......but it's no guarantee that it's actually the pedal that is the problem in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by notjohnbonham View Post
Now grant it, I haven't put in the hours of learning how to get complicated mult-strokes out of the pedal but when I do practice on it, it feels really awkward and cumbersome. Am I feeling this solely because I'm a noob drummer or can a crappy pedal contribute to this? In other words if I upgrade my pedal will it help improvement of my technique?
To me this^^^ speaks volumes mate.....especially the bold sections. It's not uncommon for younger or inexperienced players to blame the "crappy" gear when more often than not it's the Indian, not the arrow. I don't mean to lecture you, but I've been there myself. I used to complain about my "crappy drum kit" and how I'd be better if I had a new one.......right up until my old man sat down and smoked it on the kit I had. He handed me back my sticks and said nothing more than "sounds alright to me". It was a valuable lesson to learn.

Yes, quality gear can assist you in improving your technique.....but it's not a guarantee. Especially if it's not the real problem to begin with. The pedal can't play for you. You still need to put in the work. If you're not putting in the time and effort then it won't matter what pedal you have. Something to think about.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

What I love about new gear is that it can really motivate you to play. Often, this incentive alone makes it worth buying a nice new doohickey every now and then. :)
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:48 PM
JasperGTR JasperGTR is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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What I love about new gear is that it can really motivate you to play. Often, this incentive alone makes it worth buying a nice new doohickey every now and then. :)
When I was younger, new shoes made me run faster...

New bike...
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:20 AM
TreeClimbingFeet TreeClimbingFeet is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Better pedals will improve the speed of your technique, and make it easier to do what you are doing with less fatigue, but will not better your technique unless it is a technique that is being hindered by slow heavy pedals.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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When I was younger, new shoes made me run faster...

New bike...
What I meant was more in the way of shiney new toys will make you sit on your drums more, lifting your game in the long run through practice, rather than voodoo :)

We all try to get the maximum out of our new pedals when we get them home from the store. If you just channel that initial enthusiasm and refuse to get off those pedals for a few months, guaranteed you will improve. It won't be just the pedal, but it might just be pedal, if you get my drift!
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:04 PM
JasperGTR JasperGTR is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle View Post
What I meant was more in the way of shiney new toys will make you sit on your drums more, lifting your game in the long run through practice, rather than voodoo :)

We all try to get the maximum out of our new pedals when we get them home from the store. If you just channel that initial enthusiasm and refuse to get off those pedals for a few months, guaranteed you will improve. It won't be just the pedal, but it might just be pedal, if you get my drift!
Oh, no, no, no... I was agreeing with you. New shoes = new pedals. It gets me outside running around = playing drums.

I'm the same way with cymbals... When shiny and new, I tend to practice different styles.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:56 PM
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Starship Krupa Starship Krupa is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

As a relative noob drummer and a picky gear hound, I'll take a swing at this.

To answer the question in your thread title, I'd have to say, no, a better pedal cannot improve your technique.

Perhaps what you really wanted to know is whether a poor pedal can hinder your technique, and in my experience (including 35 years of playing guitar, bass, and keyboards, woodworking, electronics, computers, etc.), unequivocally, YES, crappy gear can hold you back.

gish mentioned it in passing, but the first thing I would do in you situation is make sure I had adjusted my existing pedal properly.

When I first started playing a year ago, I borrowed a low end Tama from a friend and struggled with it. Then I picked up a low end Pearl on CL and suddenly I could play a lot of stuff more easily that I couldn't with the Tama.

Eventually, I examined how the pedals were adjusted, and the spring was cranked way tight on the Tama, and the beater angle was way back. After I changed those things, the pedal became much friendlier (although I still preferred the Pearl).

Also, check your throne height. May seem odd, but I find that throne height affects my bass pedal technique.

Bottom line: learn how to set up and adjust your hardware. This will serve you well when you eventually get a better pedal with half a dozen adjustments on it.

(All I have said goes for the hi hat stand as well. When I tuned the spring tension, etc. I could do a lot more subtle stuff.)

Anyway, Guitar Center sent out a card showing a brand new Tama pedal for $40 on their Labor Day sale. Might be a good bet.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:16 AM
wizard sticks wizard sticks is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

I would say: brands aside, chain, direct drive or strap makes a big difference to the feel of a pedal.

Because I am an old fart, in the old days you chose between direct drive and a strap. The strap tended to be favoured by jazzers because of its lighter feel. I have noticed some classic drummers still play with a strap - probably because that is what they used from youth.

Chain drives appeared (I think) in the 80s. Personally I am not sure why they became standard but I suppose they must be more robust than the other styles.

I think direct drives are better because a movement mismatch between the plate and the beater is impossible. But if you are a metalhead then a chain might be better for robustness.

It is an important choice because I think your foot and movements will get used to the type of pedal. For a period of time I changed to a chain drive (because of peer pressure and a lack of choice at the time) and my technique suffered.

And I have to say - drum shops tend to be pretty useless in this area, because from my experience they are more worried about brands rather than this important choice. I have found some drum shops don't even stock the three choices .... but this could be the fault of the brands themselves. If I was manufacturing pedals I would have models with each type. As far as I know only Gibraltar do this with their Intruder pedals.

http://www.gibraltarhardware.com/?fa...sid=689&cid=26
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

I can play just as fast with my $50 pedal as I can on my $180 pedal. A beginner pedal not so much but I can play the same with any pedal that is $50 or over range with a few small adjustments. With more expensive pedals it helps slightly more so with feel vs. my actual performance. Don't fool yourself into thinking better gear will make you a better player. I used the same old Camco pedal for years and it was great! The re-issue Camco pedals are also great.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:17 AM
drumming sort of person drumming sort of person is offline
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by JasperGTR View Post
now that I recall - the connecting bar had to be collapsed, because it didn't fit into the case. So I had to remove the bar from both pedals, and then again loosen (or remove) the screws to collapse the connecting bar so it fit inside the case.
Just place the connecting bar as is into your stick bag. Then again, maybe you have it set up really wide?
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

Interesting how much discussion this thread has generated. It's pretty straight forward in my eyes.. Some pedals do hold you back, and you can really shine on others. On the other side - I play on several different kits and think each pedal has taught me something different about technique, but also made me more aware of how much input my feet actually have in the scheme of things (its not all about the pedals). I can pretty much do everything that I do on all pedals, save for slight differences in speed and of course power. Even a worn out joint on a slave pedal isnt such a big deal to me anymore, I can play around it, but then I have been doing it for a while now. So I would agree that drummers too often blame their pedals.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Just place the connecting bar as is into your stick bag. Then again, maybe you have it set up really wide?
I'm glad I saw this. Thanks! I think I do have it extended a little bit too much. But I do this because I set up 3-up/1or2down. My hihat is always slightly to the left of my highest tom (1 of 3), so it is offset to the left a little more than average, and I set up my left pedal to be adjacent to it... So because my hihat is over so far, the left pedal is a little further than normal as well.

I find this setup good, because when I go home, I have 2 actual bass drums, and the pedal layout is identical.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Can a better pedal improve my technique?

The brutal truth?

It's not the pedal.

It's never the pedal, or the stick, or the drumhead, or anything else except you.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Can a better pedal improve my technique?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
The brutal truth?

It's not the pedal.

It's never the pedal, or the stick, or the drumhead, or anything else except you.

Ya - if you consider the question "Can a better pedal improve my technique?" literally, then the answer has to be "No - it can't".

What it might be able to do is make your current technique a little easier, smoother, quicker, or less fatiguing.

The only way to actually improve your technique is to practice. Technique is not supplied when you buy a pedal - LOL.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Can a better pedal improve my technique?

Hmm. I've played on pedals at jams that were old, stiff, and generally very unpleasant, very much like the pedal from my first kit. I certainly could make them work, but I didn't enjoy the experience- and as a result I always take my own pedal now.

And in that, there is a grain of truth. An old instructor of mine once said "Practice makes perfect, but only if you practice perfectly". You will play the way you practice. And if a pedal is so nasty stiff/sloppy/gnarly that you have to adapt your technique to it, and you practice extensively with it, then it can and very definitely will *influence* your technique. Improve or harm is in the eye of the beholder at that point.

I know that it took me a long time to recover from the bad habits I learned to make my first crappy pedal work: when I got my first Speed King with nice smooth non-gummy bearings, it was quite a revelation, and my playing did improve in ways that simply would not have been possible with the original. So I would counsel caution in making blanket statements like "It's not the pedal". Fact is, there really *are* some out no-name/budget/old/abused pedals out there that are mechanically bad enough to screw a young player up- especially if they aren't taking lessons from a good instructor...

Dropping cash on gear certainly isn't a cure-all, but there are some specific issues that improved gear can help cure sometimes. Maybe it isn't common, but it does happen.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:17 PM
JasperGTR JasperGTR is offline
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Default Re: Can a better pedal improve my technique?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skod View Post
...I always take my own pedal now.

... if a pedal is so nasty stiff/sloppy/gnarly that you have to adapt your technique to it, and you practice extensively with it, then it can and very definitely will *influence* your technique. Improve or harm is in the eye of the beholder at that point.

I know that it took me a long time to recover from the bad habits I learned to make my first crappy pedal work: when I got my first Speed King with nice smooth non-gummy bearings, it was quite a revelation, and my playing did improve in ways that simply would not have been possible with the original. So I would counsel caution in making blanket statements like "It's not the pedal". Fact is, there really *are* some out no-name/budget/old/abused pedals out there that are mechanically bad enough to screw a young player up- especially if they aren't taking lessons from a good instructor...

Dropping cash on gear certainly isn't a cure-all, but there are some specific issues that improved gear can help cure sometimes. Maybe it isn't common, but it does happen.
I went through a multi-year process to learn this myself. I had to get rid of my cheap Ludwig pedals. But I think I knew this because of how my Ludwig pedals didn't do what I kept asking them to do.

Same with drum head (tension). I don't place emphasis on the drum head (regarding technique) as much as I do the tension (for rebound, etc...). I do think the stick is the glue that makes all things possible. The pedals and the sticks. Those are your only inputs. Sticks are easier, but the pedals rely on so much other stuff.

I'd make them count. It just so happens that sticks cost $10/pr, and pedals can run around $200+/- for a single. But the differences between them is astronomical when processed by your toes/ball of your foot, legs, balance, brain, etc...
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