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Old 09-15-2012, 04:16 AM
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Dignan Dignan is offline
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Default Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

For many years I was a heel down bass drum player. I've recently made some adjustments to my posture, throne height and bass drum pedal technique. Now I'm trying to play heel up more. The problem is that when I try to get the bass and hi-hat going at the same time, I have balance issues.

Do most people play the bass and hi-hat pedals heel up at the same time? I feel like I need one heel down to get good balance and to stabilize myself to be able to lay into the other pedal efficiently. Usually this means I keep my right (bass) heel up and my left (hi-hat) heel down. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to learn how to play both left and right heel up? What does everyone else do?
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:45 PM
Toolate Toolate is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

I think you will find that everyone else is doing some odd mix of whatever they feel like oing and what sounds/feels best to them.

I play heel up on my kick and down on hats too for balance with thighs going stilghtly downhill from hip to knee. There is no right or wrong.

It did take me about 6 months to get comfortable with one heel up.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:51 PM
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Arky Arky is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

You need to find a good balance on the throne - this seems the primary issue to me. Your foot technique (provided it's correct/'working') doesn't matter - rather, shouldn't matter (heel up needs better balance than heel down though). With a good sitting position on the throne (having good core muscles can't hurt) you should be able to do anything you want/need. Sometimes you have to use both feet (hihat vs. bass pedal) at the same time - maybe even continuous notes. Continue to experiment with where you're exactly sitting on the throne (more towards the edge, or more full on) until you find a position which is comfy to play both feet at the same time while freezing your upper body. Start extremely slow if necessary. Try playing quarter notes with both feet at the same time. You should find a position which allows to do so. But it might take a while until you get there.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:48 PM
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Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

Arky's right, you need to find good balance on the throne when you play heel-up as you don't have the same grounding anchor as with playing heel-down, here's a tip, place both feet on the pedals, heel-up, and lift the legs so slightly to ensure there's no pressure on the pedals, you should be able to stay seated with a straight back (don't use your hands), if you have to lean forward or backward to retain your balance, you're likely to adjust your throne up or down, the distance from the pedals is also crucial, if you sit too near or too far it will affect your balance.

And last but not least, also ensure you have a comfortable setting on the pedals, normally you never "release" the pedals, your feet keeps contact with the pedals at all times, it should be enough to keep your balance, and finally, especially for the bass drum pedal, when you don't play a note, even for half a second, rest your foot/feet in the "neutral" position, ie: heel down, not only it gives you a better balance, but it helps relaxing those important muscles.

I've done a thread on pedal settings, you may have a look, you might find something useful to help you http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=93800

Good luck and happy drumming.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:58 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

for me......I need to have both either heel up or heel down ....I'm about 90% heel up player...

I felt a lot better about this when I was told by Dave Weckl while studying with him that he feels exactly the same way and that it contributes to his overall balance to have his feet matched

that being said ...I dont think your feet have a whole lot to do with your balance at the kit.

to me it has everything to do with weight distribution

your balance should be in your core and lifting your feet ...or doing anything with your feet for that matter should not affect your balance at all

your balance needs to rest in your abdomen and backside

you should be able to lift both feet and run in the air while sitting at your throne and it should have no affect on your balance

set your balance in your core and all these balance issues will desolve
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:08 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

A lot of drummers play heel up. I don't understand the issue. You can't be built that much different, can you? If you get off balance, your body involuntarily corrects itself. I mean you don't see drummers wearing backpacks with rocks in them. WADR, if they can do it, why can't you?

I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand. I'm sitting in a chair right now and both feet are off the floor with no problems. I don't quite understand what is happening with you.

Do you gravitate forward when lifting your heel up? Please elaborate in detail if you could.

A video would be really helpful. Maybe it's core muscle development?
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:31 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
A lot of drummers play heel up. I don't understand the issue. You can't be built that much different, can you? If you get off balance, your body involuntarily corrects itself. I mean you don't see drummers wearing backpacks with rocks in them. WADR, if they can do it, why can't you?

I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand. I'm sitting in a chair right now and both feet are off the floor with no problems. I don't quite understand what is happening with you.

Do you gravitate forward when lifting your heel up? Please elaborate in detail if you could.

A video would be really helpful. Maybe it's core muscle development?
these are my thoughts exactly

there is no way I would have been able to express my thoughts without sounding like a dick though......

thanks for channelling my thoughts Lar..

:)
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:54 PM
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Dignan Dignan is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

Thanks for everyone's advice. I may try moving farther forward or backward on the throne to see how that helps. Or maybe my left foot isn't keeping contact with the hi-hat pedal and that's why I feel like I'm getting off balance. Arky, I'll try your idea of playing matched quarters on both pedals and see what feels off.

To Gvdadrummasum and Larryace,

Not sure how else to describe it. If I try to play heel up on both sides, I feel like I'm correcting a slight forward and to the left lean when playing the bass pedal. Maybe I'm playing too hard on the bass and that's what's causing it. I guess what I am getting at is that I've heard that heel-up is better to develop good habits and I'm trying to do that but having difficulty keeping time with both left and right heel-up. I'll just keep practicing.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:10 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

I was just gonna suggest that. I like to stretch out a little.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:45 AM
Duracell Duracell is offline
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Default Re: Can't play "heel up" on Bass and Hi-Hat

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
A lot of drummers play heel up. I don't understand the issue. You can't be built that much different, can you? If you get off balance, your body involuntarily corrects itself. I mean you don't see drummers wearing backpacks with rocks in them. WADR, if they can do it, why can't you?

I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand. I'm sitting in a chair right now and both feet are off the floor with no problems. I don't quite understand what is happening with you.

Do you gravitate forward when lifting your heel up? Please elaborate in detail if you could.

A video would be really helpful. Maybe it's core muscle development?
Just to answer the why part of your question. If you're used to playing heel down the whole time you tend to ground yourself on your feet (often the heels). When playing double heel up the whole foot leaves the pedal and you start making very short little hops. It's at this point you need to learn how to ground yourself with your core body (balancing on throne) and not your feet or else you just fly back.
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