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  #1  
Old 11-09-2017, 04:23 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

I've had tendinitis of the extensor digitorum longus for over two years due to drumming. It's affecting both feet, but primarily my right. I've tried rest and PT and over the summer had injections and steroids via a podiatrist to no avail. I changed to a heel down style with stretching beforehand (both as the suggestion of the doc) and was only playing about an hour a week anyway. It never hurts during or after drumming and day to day walking is generally pain free. It mostly affects if I try to jump, sprint or jog, and can be anything from a mild ache to excruciating shooting pains when it pushes on the nerve.

So...for the next few weeks I'm in an air cast. Doctor says it's a really odd spot for a repetitive injury and my day to day life is giving it too much movement, so it needs immobilized for a while to let it heal. I'm not looking to play during this time, and any time previous I've been treating it my playing was either nonexistent or rare. For the most part I don't practice anymore anyway. It's either playing at band rehearsal or not playing at all.

So I really, really want this better and intend to stop playing as long as needed. I like to jog and I probably haven't done 15 miles in two years, plus I'm still in my 30's and there's no reason I shouldn't be able to run for many more years (or any kind of activity). To me it's more important than continuing to play drums. BUT...if there's a way I can change my technique so I can still play once I'm (hopefully) 100%, then I'd like to do it. I'm not nearly as good at guitar, and my bandmates will cry if I have to make a permanent exit.

When I was first getting the injections then got the OK to play again he told me to put something under my heel, an inch or two high. I did that and was getting decent at it, but I still think it's gonna affect that tendon.

Anyone have any other ideas on how I can play some other way? I'm talking alternate positions, triggers, etc. Anything I could try to play that bass without putting myself back in that repetition of that same spot. Wacky ideas welcome, or anyone with experience with the same injury that can provide insight..anything..
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2017, 04:53 PM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

Back in 2002, I had Tendinitis in the forearms, caused by using a workstation that was not ergonomically-sound. Went through physical therapy via Workers' Compensation and all that.

When I was going through this, I thought that I'd never play drums again. Went to a promo event at Guitar Center, where Ginger Fish [Marilyn Manson] was promoting Premier Drums. Got to meet him, say hi, all of that stuff. The crowd was light, so I told him about my injury and confessed my fear that I'll never play again.

After the event, he spent 90 minutes showing me various stretches and talking about how important it is to stretch and warm up before playing. Long gone are the days of being 20 and just sitting down and whipping it out.

The stretches for legs/feet were nothing different from what a person would do before running, so you probably already know those.

Stretch.

Warm up.

A foot technique tip is the one area where I'm lacking. Hopefully, someone will have more focused information on that. Technique is important, and for me it became more important after the healing started. The good news is that you have time to find info on foot technique.

In order for someone to offer changes to your foot technique, they'd probably have to see your existing/past technique to pick out what might be wrong with it.

Also, I don't know what your recover time will be like. For my forearm Tendinitis, it took me 2-3 years to get back to where I was before.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2017, 04:53 PM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

Heel Down playing IS FOR SOFT PLAYING (example REAL Jazz), if you try to play hard/loud it will damage your leg really bad.
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2017, 05:07 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

Check your throne height and make sure you aren't over extending.
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2017, 05:32 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
Heel Down playing IS FOR SOFT PLAYING (example REAL Jazz), if you try to play hard/loud it will damage your leg really bad.
Yeah it was blowing up my shins a bit but I was adapting. It still didn't seem sustainable long term for the rock music I'm playing. I wonder if I could just do it much softer but put a trigger on there. I'm still paranoid about it causing the inflammation again. This is all presuming this air cast does the job in the first place.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2017, 05:57 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
Back in 2002, I had Tendinitis in the forearms, caused by using a workstation that was not ergonomically-sound. Went through physical therapy via Workers' Compensation and all that.

When I was going through this, I thought that I'd never play drums again. Went to a promo event at Guitar Center, where Ginger Fish [Marilyn Manson] was promoting Premier Drums. Got to meet him, say hi, all of that stuff. The crowd was light, so I told him about my injury and confessed my fear that I'll never play again.

After the event, he spent 90 minutes showing me various stretches and talking about how important it is to stretch and warm up before playing. Long gone are the days of being 20 and just sitting down and whipping it out.

The stretches for legs/feet were nothing different from what a person would do before running, so you probably already know those.

Stretch.

Warm up.

A foot technique tip is the one area where I'm lacking. Hopefully, someone will have more focused information on that. Technique is important, and for me it became more important after the healing started. The good news is that you have time to find info on foot technique.

In order for someone to offer changes to your foot technique, they'd probably have to see your existing/past technique to pick out what might be wrong with it.

Also, I don't know what your recover time will be like. For my forearm Tendinitis, it took me 2-3 years to get back to where I was before.
My foot technique probably isn't great but it might be ok. I try to keep my stool height as per what I've seen online. I'm not exactly a student of drumming though. I know my grip isn't perfect and for the most part I don't care about my technique if I'm getting the job done. I do occasionally have tenderness in my forearm but I've adjusted my angles to take care of it.

He said a few weeks might be all I need, but he said that each time I had an injection before. Granted, I didn't have this sweet boot on like I do now. I do pretty much always stretch my feet and hands for the past few years. I love some stretching for basically anything.

This getting close to 40 stuff is for the birds..
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2017, 05:58 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
Check your throne height and make sure you aren't over extending.
I keep my knees a bit below my hip crease and I stay fairly close to the pedal.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2017, 05:59 PM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by Patz View Post
This getting close to 40 stuff is for the birds..
I hear ya. In a few weeks, I will have been 40 for 13 years.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2017, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
Heel Down playing IS FOR SOFT PLAYING (example REAL Jazz), if you try to play hard/loud it will damage your leg really bad.
Is Colin's technique playing soft?
http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/c...rcises1-4.html
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2017, 06:29 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
I hear ya. In a few weeks, I will have been 40 for 13 years.
My dad always told me it's downhill after 40 but until the past year or so I've had basically no problems. Now I'm 38..sick three times this year..panic attack a few weeks ago. And I'm in pretty good mental and physical shape..lol. I gotta get out of that mindset though. I'm YOUNG damnit.
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2017, 07:57 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

How about playing the piano or guitar for a few months?

You body will often heal itself if you let it. You are not going to forget how to play drums if you lay off for a while so, give it a break.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2017, 08:15 PM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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How about playing the piano or guitar for a few months?
Patz might have trouble with this, considering that there's a band a-waiting in the wings.

When I had my labrum tear in early 2014, I had to stop drumming completely for a while. Got into finger drumming on an AKAI MPD18, using Addictive Drums, and started guitar lessons. I can drum again now, and look back on that time as being well-spent.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2017, 08:39 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
How about playing the piano or guitar for a few months?

You body will often heal itself if you let it. You are not going to forget how to play drums if you lay off for a while so, give it a break.
Like the next guy said, I have a band and all. I don't plan on playing at all until my follow-up in two weeks and i won't play after that if i'm told not to. I really was only playing about an hour a week on average. seems like his belief is just that it's swollen in a spot that is directly affected by any walking i do as well, which is why he's tried to completely immobilize it now. It's got scar tissue as well, binding it to the tendon sheath, although he said it should have broken free when he did some manipulation on it a few months ago.

What my mind tells me is, if it's 100% better than i'll be able to play normally for X amount of time until it happens again. And realistically, my mind tells me I won't make it a year this time before it happens again. I would hate to quit playing but there's no hobby in my life I'm so attached to that I would be miserable to quit. I can always get better at guitar but my hands are tiny and I know rhythm is my forte. What I really don't like is letting my buddies down. We're a really freakin good band together and although we aren't out there playing a ton of gigs, I know I've got something special with the music we make. I've been very fortunate to not have to toil through a bunch of dysfunctional bands with bad musicianship and drunks, etc. They also had to toil through those types before I came along, and I'd hate to put them back in that cycle..lol
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:43 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

It would really help to see some video of your current technique-- the technique that caused the tendinitis. And what were your playing/practicing habits-- what did you work on, for how many hours a day, etc.
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2017, 09:11 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
It would really help to see some video of your current technique-- the technique that caused the tendinitis. And what were your playing/practicing habits-- what did you work on, for how many hours a day, etc.
I would make you one but with the boot and the restriction I can't. I don't get too worked up about my hand technique and such, but this foot thing bothers me. I really don't wanna let my guys down and I feel like that could happen.

I don't and have never (for my 12 years behind the kit) practiced much. I know two rudiments. If I play at all it's to learn a song or write my parts but most of my "practice" is done in my head before I pick up the sticks. I just sort-of "get" rhythm. I've always gotten by just fine that way, and I improved exponentially once I got with a band. It used to bother me that I wasn't trying harder but I decided I could stress about my habits or I could jam and have fun.

So the answer to your question is 0 hours per day at home, and when we're getting together steady it's 1-2 hours for the whole week.
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by Patz View Post
...So...for the next few weeks I'm in an air cast. Doctor says it's a really odd spot for a repetitive injury and my day to day life is giving it too much movement, so it needs immobilized for a while to let it heal...
Learn to play in the air cast.

That way, immobilised, you will learn how to play in such a way that doesn't do damage.

If you can then play in the same way without the air cast you won't cause the injury to recur.
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:25 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Learn to play in the air cast.

That way, immobilised, you will learn how to play in such a way that doesn't do damage.

If you can then play in the same way without the air cast you won't cause the injury to recur.
It had crossed my mind. I might just give it a shot and if nothing else it'll buy me some time.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
Heel Down playing IS FOR SOFT PLAYING (example REAL Jazz), if you try to play hard/loud it will damage your leg really bad.
Can you share a few references about this issue? I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, but you got me really curious. I have been playing heel down for 25 years - self-taught drummer playing mostly alternative rock and hip hop - and it's the first time I've heard/read it could be risky.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:13 PM
fac fac is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

What kind of music does your band play? If you guys can do an acoustic set, it could be a good opportunity to learn some hand percussions (cajon, congas, djembe, etc) and give your feet some rest.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:43 PM
bsfloyd bsfloyd is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

I have an older injury in my right foot that seems to flare up at weird and unexpected times. At times, playing the bass drum can be quite painful when it is flared up and other times no problems. Because of this I taught myself to play the bass drum with my left foot, in the style of W. S. Holland (right hand drummer playing like a left handed drummer). I know you mentioned that you had this condition in both feet, but you stated more so in your right foot. Perhaps you could try this and see how it goes? I will say that when I first started playing this way, everything felt wrong. Muscle memory was fighting against me as I have always played with my right foot for bass drum (I'm a single bass drum only player - perhaps if I played double bass or double bass pedal it wouldn't have felt so foreign). However, in just a short time it started to feel more and more natural. Just an idea.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:30 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by bsfloyd View Post
I have an older injury in my right foot that seems to flare up at weird and unexpected times. At times, playing the bass drum can be quite painful when it is flared up and other times no problems. Because of this I taught myself to play the bass drum with my left foot, in the style of W. S. Holland (right hand drummer playing like a left handed drummer). I know you mentioned that you had this condition in both feet, but you stated more so in your right foot. Perhaps you could try this and see how it goes? I will say that when I first started playing this way, everything felt wrong. Muscle memory was fighting against me as I have always played with my right foot for bass drum (I'm a single bass drum only player - perhaps if I played double bass or double bass pedal it wouldn't have felt so foreign). However, in just a short time it started to feel more and more natural. Just an idea.
Thanks. Oddly enough, I have no trouble playing bass with my left foot. I don't have the endurance of the right but I don't have any trouble with the limb independence or hitting my marks. Playing the kit in a left handed setup I haven't really tried.

Either way, I don't want my left getting any worse. I'm already starting to feel it more in the left I think because I'm walking a little odd due to the boot on the right side.

I did have an idea the other day. I built an E kit one time and learned a lot about making a piezo element pick-up properly. I was thinking I might goof around during this off-time and see if I can setup a trigger and just play it with my toes while my foot is flat on the floor. I seem to be able to move them fairly quickly. Even if it simplifies my bass parts, it's still more than I would be able to play otherwise.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:32 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

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Originally Posted by fac View Post
What kind of music does your band play? If you guys can do an acoustic set, it could be a good opportunity to learn some hand percussions (cajon, congas, djembe, etc) and give your feet some rest.
Thanks for the input. I've got a stomp box and cajon and a few other things. They're fun but I've not really messed with them a whole lot outside of goofing off at home. In a setting with the band I would have no need for them at all. None of my compadres is much for playing acoustic music. We don't even play with the distortion off..lol
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  #23  
Old 11-16-2017, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Alternative methods of playing bass drum (injury)

As a former competitive runner turned drummer with a lengthy history of lower leg injuries that were difficult to diagnose/seemed to resist treatment, I definitely sympathize!

This book https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the...vis/1110296550 truly changed my life and how I look at my body. Turns out a lot of my classically diagnosed tendonitis issues were the result of tight trigger points -- and the stretching I was doing was often making the problem worse. (Stretching loose muscles is fine. Stretching already tight ones can be a serious problem.)

Now in my 30s and running/drumming without any injuries for two years now. Couldn't even do this in my twenties! Water intake and diet also play a role and I've been better about those, but it was really the trigger points that helped me out, and led me in the direction of a few other things (strengthening core/correcting a really pronounced pelvic tilt and not "cheating" with certain muscles.)
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