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Old 05-09-2018, 03:09 AM
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Default Practicing too much double bass?

I have recently been incorporating heel-down double bass playing in an attempt to strengthen my ankle muscles and improve my playing speed and endurance. Typically I will take some time and play 16th notes at a slow tempo, with a special focus on strengthening my left foot. I am already noticing a marked improvement in my speed and control and am becoming more able to sustain 16th notes at higher tempos.

Because I have some momentum going and feel my skill is improving, naturally I want to practice as much as I can. But does there come a point where you don't gain anything from additional practice? I'm wondering if I should cap my practicing at 30 minutes or so, or if I would improve more quickly by practicing for much longer stretches at a time.

Thanks for any tips!
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Old 05-09-2018, 03:17 AM
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I wouldn't increase the time (until later) but I'd increase the practice sessions.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

It always feels like I've been "practicing" a few minutes-but my wife tells me it's hours. I lose track of time while I'm in my drum room.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

I had a teacher who always stressed that you have to keep it fun. If it becomes too much of a chore to do it, then yo'll eventually stop doing it. I think if you're in a groove and want to keep working on, then do so. The next day, if you're not feeling it so much, then put in a few minutes and stop?

I suppose it depends on your environment. My playing environment was sorta competitive: you're always auditioning for your spots in the school bands, and then more of the same when I got to college (and in no way does this mean I was ever the top of any of those playing situations). But nothing quite lights a fire under you as much as having other people who can do what you do better - which made me put in more time in the practice room some days. I would admit that being in this situation probably pushed me more towards being a singing drummer than anything else. I wasn't going to "out-technical" the technical players. But they certainly couldn't follow me if I was singing from behind the kit ;)
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

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Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
It always feels like I've been "practicing" a few minutes-but my wife tells me it's hours. I lose track of time while I'm in my drum room.
You may want to increase the sound insulation...or check how much time actually has gone by.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:32 AM
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You may want to increase the sound insulation...or check how much time actually has gone by.
I have clocks in all the rooms of my house. Not a bad investment, eh?
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:53 AM
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Hey - rock out with your clock out!!!
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:04 AM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

Breaks are good. You will benefit more from multiple shorter session than one long one. That being said i'll often play for an hour or 2 sometimes.

As long as I am having fun and lose track of time I don't mind.. If I am forcing it i'll regroup.

I tend to cover multiple things in a practice as well. Don't spend it all on just one thing. Don't try and practice too much either. Pick a few things you want to get better at and dedicate a few months to it, maybe spend a half hour on double bass, a half our on groove, and a half hour on independence and spread it throughout the day..
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

So hard when you do double bass huhuhu
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:18 PM
Prawny Prawny is offline
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

I starting doing some specific double pedal practice last night, I made more improvement in half an hour than in the last 18 years.

Straight double pedal playing is boring as hell though, I spent a good half to 3/4s of my session yesterday just playing along to tracks I know but only using my left foot. The punk tunes really helped with my left foot doubles, they've achieved the status of 'weak' which is a massive improvement on 'non-existant'

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Old 05-11-2018, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

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Originally Posted by Km6543 View Post
I have recently been incorporating heel-down double bass playing in an attempt to strengthen my ankle muscles and improve my playing speed and endurance. Typically I will take some time and play 16th notes at a slow tempo, with a special focus on strengthening my left foot. I am already noticing a marked improvement in my speed and control and am becoming more able to sustain 16th notes at higher tempos.
Yay! and agreed! I've experienced the same thing. I'm a heel up player almost all the time, but I found that just tapping my foot on the floor heel down during lessons focusing on hands made a big difference in my foot technique (especially the left foot). The ankle snap is definitely part of a heel up stroke and isolating it heel down on the floor improved my game for sure.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

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Originally Posted by BillBachman View Post
Yay! and agreed! I've experienced the same thing. I'm a heel up player almost all the time, but I found that just tapping my foot on the floor heel down during lessons focusing on hands made a big difference in my foot technique (especially the left foot). The ankle snap is definitely part of a heel up stroke and isolating it heel down on the floor improved my game for sure.
I wish there was a Moeller/Gladstone/Stone technique for feet. I just sort of feel my way along with foot technique, but there’s no reason it can’t or shouldn’t be as well developed as hand technique. Like a lot of guys with concert band and marching background, I’m all hands and no feet, practically.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:47 PM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

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I wish there was a Moeller/Gladstone/Stone technique for feet. I just sort of feel my way along with foot technique, but there’s no reason it can’t or shouldn’t be as well developed as hand technique. Like a lot of guys with concert band and marching background, I’m all hands and no feet, practically.

There are techniques like these for feet. I just don't know if there's a way to teach them. Your legs (or brain) eventually adapt to extreme speed by incorporating Moeller type movements, so that rather than hammering out singles in strict form, it's more like two (or more) strokes per each downward motion. For some people it's a subtle side to side motion, for others it's more of a slight heel up/down modulation.

I would describe these as micro swivel and micro heel-toe. They are not as deliberate or visibly obvious as swivel and heel-toe. They're extremely small movements made autonomously as required to maintain speed (as opposed to movements made to attain speed).

Last edited by bud7h4; 05-11-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

Working both heel up and heel down is great even if you primarily use the other. Great both for warm-up and general practice.

The time depends on how you practice. Though drumming isn't weightlifting your results wil only be as good as your recovery. It's not just about rest, it's about doing different things and getting the blood flowing. Your body and how you progress should tell you if you're overdoing it. Simply just changing things up can help, too.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

I'm a lifelong heel down player and for me that way of playing bass drum(s) and hihat can be practiced practically anytime and everywhere you get to sit down. Got 5 minutes...do some paradiddles or other rudimental stuff. I sometimes even try my hand (feet?) at playing some of the wilcoxon material during my smokebreaks. And if you really want a workout for those muscles on your shin, do those heel down exercises standing up...you don't want to do this in front of people, as it looks absolutely silly, but your muscles will be burning in under a minute flat. Mind you, I wouldnt recommend it if you've only just started playing heel down..I suspect you could get rsi injuries from it.
It's just very handy to sneak in some playing, which over a day can amount to quite the practice time
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:19 AM
Prawny Prawny is offline
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

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Originally Posted by bud7h4 View Post
There are techniques like these for feet. I just don't know if there's a way to teach them. Your legs (or brain) eventually adapt to extreme speed by incorporating Moeller type movements, so that rather than hammering out singles in strict form, it's more like two (or more) strokes per each downward motion. For some people it's a subtle side to side motion, for others it's more of a slight heel up/down modulation.

I would describe these as micro swivel and micro heel-toe. They are not as deliberate or visibly obvious as swivel and heel-toe. They're extremely small movements made autonomously as required to maintain speed (as opposed to movements made to attain speed).
Definitely agree with this, I only just worked out (and I had my first double pedal Christmas 1999!) that really fast double bass stuff just really isn't possible doing normal single strokes. It really is go slow to go fast.
The trick is getting consistent double strokes with your left foot, once you do that you're golden.

I'm just about getting the doubles on both feet sorted, but I can't play at the same time yet, unfortunately I don't get much chance to practice at the kit, so it's going to take time. Luckily I'm not and have great desire to be in a metal band.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:52 PM
adamosmianski adamosmianski is offline
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

Any double bass is too much double bass. Now get off my lawn! ;)
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:08 PM
paulegavin paulegavin is offline
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

Congrats on your new found success! The more you practice a skill, the better it'll be, but don't forget the more you practice one thing the less you're practicing other things. I know this isn't exactly the answer to your question, but keep in mind there might be other things you want to practice too. Don't put all your practice time in one place for too long!
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebenza View Post
I'm a lifelong heel down player and for me that way of playing bass drum(s) and hihat can be practiced practically anytime and everywhere you get to sit down. Got 5 minutes...do some paradiddles or other rudimental stuff. I sometimes even try my hand (feet?) at playing some of the wilcoxon material during my smokebreaks. And if you really want a workout for those muscles on your shin, do those heel down exercises standing up...you don't want to do this in front of people, as it looks absolutely silly, but your muscles will be burning in under a minute flat. Mind you, I wouldnt recommend it if you've only just started playing heel down..I suspect you could get rsi injuries from it.
It's just very handy to sneak in some playing, which over a day can amount to quite the practice time
We share a common attitude about bass drum pedal usage. The standing up exercises...next time I stand up I'm trying them you watch!

I like having my heels on the floor when I'm playing. It's easier to relax -------------------------> open up.

Within the last 2 years or so I have been doing heel down hi hat to complete the picture.

So pain yea. Payne and I know each other well. She is actually a great friend.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Practicing too much double bass?

Thanks for the tips everyone!
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