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Old 09-19-2018, 05:04 PM
Ikebongo Ikebongo is offline
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Default Bass drum foot technique

Hi,

I just started playing drums. I'm trying to play heel up and heal down to seen which is better but it's easier to play heal down for me right now. I'm trying to get better at heal up...

My question is I heard that when you do heal up you're calf muscle is supposed to get a workout and get sore... my calf muscle is not even being activated, it seems like my quadriceps are and my shin muscles in the front are.. is that bad or doesn't matter everyone is different type of thing.

I also tried just playing the bassdrum with my heal and that kind of made my calf muscle workout a bit but i'm pretty sure that's bad technique right?
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:32 PM
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GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

For heel up you need to use your stool for thigh support so you aren't lifting your leg so much with your quads. Your shins are burning like a down hill runner-your putting too much weight on the front side-or turning your foot (overpronating or supinating). Maybe stick with heel down if it's working for you?
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:55 PM
rebonn rebonn is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

I play both depending on the situation. When I play heel up, it's only up slightly off the pedal. I agree about thigh support and is the reason I prefer big round seats vs tractor seats that typically have less thigh support because they're cut out where you need the support.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:33 PM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

The distance you sit from the pedals has a lot to do with which technique works better from a physical standpoint. If your heels are vertically under your knees, heel up is easier. If your heels are in front of your knees, heel down is easier.

Picking up your foot while out in front, you use more thigh to raise your foot than needed. Move your seat closer.

Lifting your toes with your feet under you puts strain on your muscles/tendons. Move your seat away.

Heel up should be more toes than thighs to lift your foot. Heel down should be a rocking motion with your heel as the hinge.

Neither technique is better. Try them both, use them both when applicable.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:58 PM
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GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

Good point about seat position to kick. I've been heel up almost all my drumming life just in last decade have I really slowly gotten heel down (I've alway had ankle problems from injuries). When I play heel up it's like I'm standing on my toes-so my toes and pads are on sweet spot and I basically use my foot like heel down and tap it all out like tapping my toes. Probably terrible technique but it has worked for me. Working on heel down has really improved my ankle flexibility which I thought would always be stiff. I like heel down cause it takes less energy but for intricate or fast stuff I move into heel up. But as I've aged my thighs muscles aren't as strong so now I keep getting these extra hits with kick from adjusting my thigh dammit. Man it just struck me it's actually I think it comes from taking tap dancing-hold your leg up to shuffle tap.Geez. I just tap but maybe I should shuffle too. I'll try it-lots of others do some sort of sliding deal-which I may go up or down on pedal sometimes but no sliding fast or anything.
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Last edited by GetAgrippa; 09-19-2018 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:57 PM
Ikebongo Ikebongo is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

Sp if my calf supposed to be getting sore in theory
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:27 PM
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GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

Depends on your condition. I remember a friend of mine pumped gas one summer. One of his forearms looked like Popeye-it was huge compared to the other. I use to run a lot, like everyday-rain or snow, so I know that helped with endurance on drums.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:30 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum foot technique

Walking, running and riding a bike. Especially riding a bike with bike cleats, where you can pull up and push down, and back and forth, this helps very much. I got so that I could do triplets or sixteenth with one foot.
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