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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:00 PM
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Chunky Chunky is offline
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Default crazy left foot

I bet most people thought this would be a thread of double pedal playing but, it's not.

Instead, it's about when I see a lot of great drummers solo they occasionally get 'crazy foot'. They'll be keeping time with their left foot on the hats then they'll do something really technically demanding with their hands, often between their right foot too and their left foot just starts doing whatever it likes!

People don't ever seem to comment on it and neither do people seem to mind. I've always had the rule of 'if I can't keep straight time with my left foot through this part then don't even try' but, I'm starting to think I may be wrong for having this attitude.

What are your thoughts on this? Does it bother you? Would you do it yourself?
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunky - Hellraizer View Post
What are your thoughts on this? Does it bother you? Would you do it yourself?
Perhaps the crazy left foot is some sort of unknown phenomenon to the person doing the solo, like they don't even know they are doing it. I have noticed it, and wondered what was going on in some instances, but was never really bothered by it. As far as doing it myself, never really thought about it, perhaps I do and just don't realize it.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

I've always been sensitive to hat work. It drives me up the wall on most songs to hear a constant hat chick. Even worse when it stops for a fill, or gets out of time. I've always felt that running the hats should be a choice related to the music, not a "always" type deal or a time-crutch.

So yes, I pay attention to that, and it bothers me when it gets all crazy.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

You mean the hihat is splashing then, or "chicking"? If it's splashing, I guess
the drummer just wants the kind of chaotic and nonrhythmical noise.

In his DVD, Keith Carlock mentions that he sometimes just for fun wants to
play a few HiHat accents with his left foot that aren't rhythmically related in
any sort of way to what he is playing at the moment. No polymetric stuff or
so. Although I don't really buy that, because chances are that it does somehow
relate, I know what he means and I believe him not deliberately wanting to do
something rhythmically tricky in those instances.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Interesting! Yeah I know what you mean MrInsanePolack, it does seem like these people are not even aware they are doing it.
Even the great Buddy Rich did it! Most people I watch do it at some point. Then you have those human machines.

Dr-Watso - I know what you mean, I absolutely hate it when hats are keeping time them duck out on fills I think if you are using the hats to keep time then it is even more important during the fill. You get a real noticeable drop-out effect when they.... drop out... lol.

I don't mind them being used as a time crutch as I think often it can give a part more drive aslong as it is not mimicking the right hand, then it's pointless.
More creative use of the hats would be nice but, at the same time, how much of it would be heard? I know that live most people can't hear it, even the band struggles to hear it and on recordings it isn't much better unless there is a lot of space.
But, it all depends on what style you're playing I suppose and not just that what song. Some songs just have more space.

So do you only use the hats for syncopated Rhythms Watso (sorry, I don't know your real name).
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunky - Hellraizer View Post
So do you only use the hats for syncopated Rhythms Watso (sorry, I don't know your real name).
I use them when it sounds good. An example is the standard jazz patterns. It sounds weird to me without hats on 2 and 4. I do that there. Playing straight ahead rock I generally leave them out in terms of the constant chick thing. It sounds bad to me. Sometimes I do the 2 and 4 chicks in a rock song, because you can't really hear it as it gets buried under the snare, it just adds a tiny bit more meat to the down beat.

Basically, the more I hear it, the more it gets on my nerves. I notice quarter chicks less than 8ths, and generally outright hate 16ths on the hat chicks; but it really depends on the song or part of the song. Even though I just said that, a band I play in has a song where I close the hats on each 16th for one busy driving part... Because it sounds good. Not because I feel obligated, or need to in order to keep the time right. Time comes from my core, it's not in any one of my limbs.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I use them when it sounds good. An example is the standard jazz patterns. It sounds weird to me without hats on 2 and 4. I do that there. Playing straight ahead rock I generally leave them out in terms of the constant chick thing. It sounds bad to me. Sometimes I do the 2 and 4 chicks in a rock song, because you can't really hear it as it gets buried under the snare, it just adds a tiny bit more meat to the down beat.

Basically, the more I hear it, the more it gets on my nerves. I notice quarter chicks less than 8ths, and generally outright hate 16ths on the hat chicks; but it really depends on the song or part of the song. Even though I just said that, a band I play in has a song where I close the hats on each 16th for one busy driving part... Because it sounds good. Not because I feel obligated, or need to in order to keep the time right. Time comes from my core, it's not in any one of my limbs.
You make a good point. It's interesting that you point out you notice 8th notes more as I nearly always play quarters unless it's an odd timing in 8th notes but, me being completely insecure about everything I do on the drums notices a lot of my favourite drummers play 8th notes all the time and I started thinking am I inferior? Does it make the time less rigid? Does it mean I'm not good enough etc
But, I always thought quarter notes sound better and don't interfere with the floor of the song. I find 8th notes can 'slow' a songs feel.
It's probably me just being mental.

I like what you said about accenting the snare backbeats on 2 and 4, although I don' do that myself I do sometimes accent the odd note with hit hat chicks or splashes if it takes my fancy.

I always play the Bossa Nova 2 and 4 aswell but again I've heard a lot of people play quarters or even full on 8ths. I don't like that feel though...
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Yea, I don't know why I'm so in-tune with the stupid hat-chicks, but it's always been a peeve of mine. If I end up needing a time-crutch for a song or part, I'll often just bounce my leg and not close the hats. The sound just bugs me unless it specifically sounds good in the song.

And don't get me wrong... The high hats are one of my favorite things. The textures, options, and feel of a well played hat groove can be great. As you mention, I also love to throw in hat-splash accents or even crash on them when open.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Yea, I don't know why I'm so in-tune with the stupid hat-chicks, but it's always been a peeve of mine. If I end up needing a time-crutch for a song or part, I'll often just bounce my leg and not close the hats. The sound just bugs me unless it specifically sounds good in the song.

And don't get me wrong... The high hats are one of my favorite things. The textures, options, and feel of a well played hat groove can be great. As you mention, I also love to throw in hat-splash accents or even crash on them when open.
Hey, we all have our pet hates, nothing wrong with that. One of my pet hates is another hi-hat related one, where a drummer is playing metal or a really rock-y song and the song changes to a face-melter of a riff and the drummer plays on closed hat. It sounds tiny and weak and does not compliment the guitars ever.
Really bugs me!

That's not to say there is no place for closed hats in metal or rock as I do like it, just not when the rest of the song is clearly stepping up a gear and the drums don't.

Everybody has pet hates. Atleast you backed yours up with a good explanation and reasons for it.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2013, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Everybody has pet hates. Atleast you backed yours up with a good explanation and reasons for it.
You're entirely too reasonable to have a discussion with me. If I start getting uppity, it's only for balance reasons. Nothing personal. Also, everything you're saying is wrong and I want to argue.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
You're entirely too reasonable to have a discussion with me. If I start getting uppity, it's only for balance reasons. Nothing personal. Also, everything you're saying is wrong and I want to argue.
Hahahahahahaha fair enough! Everyone's allowed to argue if they feel like it.

I think I'm having a hippy half-hour or something, I've been at peace with the world since I ordered a curry...

I'm sure I'll be completely horrible again in no time!
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunky - Hellraizer View Post
One of my pet hates is another hi-hat related one, where a drummer is playing metal or a really rock-y song and the song changes to a face-melter of a riff and the drummer plays on closed hat. It sounds tiny and weak and does not compliment the guitars ever.
Really bugs me!
That drives me nuts too. The hats should at the very least sound sloshy and have a bit of sustain to them during said face melting riffs.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

As mentioned, a lot of drummers do it whether or not they are aware of it.

I myself do it quite often when practising, but not when recording or performing. What I do tend to do is moving my leg on the beat, but not actually playing. I don't know how to explain this well. My leg moves on the beat, but my foot itself does not, so there is no sound. But by making this movement my body seems to be better aware of the timing. I deliberately say "body" because my mind doesn't seem to have anything to say in the matter: sometimes I notice that I am doing it, but it isn't conscious. An example: in a relatively fast 7/8 such as occurs in Yanni's Marching Season I tend to move my leg on the first, fourth and sixth eight note (not throughout the whole song, because it's polyrhythmic; but you know what I mean). By doing so, the rest of my body seems to better be able to keep playing in this measure rather than swapping back to the good ol' 4/4 or 6/8.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
That drives me nuts too. The hats should at the very least sound sloshy and have a bit of sustain to them during said face melting riffs.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who is bothered by this! Always makes me think of an embarrassing dad trying to get down with the kids and play metal (I know that's somewhat hypocritical as I'm anything BUT 'down with the kids').

Bram Vanroy - I know what you mean, I sometimes 'count' with my leg too without lifting my foot, even though my leg is doing the motion my foot doesn't let the hi-hat open and close. I think that is what you mean?
It's hard not to do that at times I think?

I once thought about bringing one of my e-drum hi-hat pedals and rigging it up so it played a simple click soundso I could send it to the rest of the band for gaps in songs as I find counting through them can spoil the silence at times
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunky - Hellraizer View Post

Bram Vanroy - I know what you mean, I sometimes 'count' with my leg too without lifting my foot, even though my leg is doing the motion my foot doesn't let the hi-hat open and close. I think that is what you mean?
It's hard not to do that at times I think?
That's indeed what I mean. It even happens when not playing drums. A "drummer's tic". Moving your leg(s), tapping with your fingers and so on.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

I do it quiet often and it bugs the hell out of me. For example during a solo , I splash the hat with left foot on all the beats and close it on the ands. Then start to improvise with the other 3 limbs. I start to lose it when I add some kick to the hands. Really hard to keep that thing going doing lots of stuff with the rest.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

I feel for the bass player whenever I realize that my left foot is developing a mind of it's own. Usually when something technically demanding is going on with the other 3 limbs. I'm trying to remember to just clamp down on it so that nothing spastic comes out and throws people off.

OTOH, I'm also trying to learn to do more accenting or fill in stuff with it. I've long done "ands" in ballads, but I've been listening to folks who can drop in ghost note like bits with the left foot. It's a different sound. Also, I've seen some people do fast things like What Is Hip by alternating between stick hits and foot chicks to get more of the push-pull kind of feel. Of course there is the classic 50 Ways riff with foot chicks in the middle of the pattern.
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  #18  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

It's a really odd occurrence when you think about it and it seems to be very common. It's mainly if I'm playing really busy fills between the hands and right foot or linear patterns I'll occasionally hit a forbidden syncopation that will make my left foot come in a bit early then I just stop playing it. Or practise the same part over the hat chic again and again until I hate my life...
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2013, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: crazy left foot

I practiced this am and had a really hard time keep 1/4 note on the hat/left foot cowbell while doing a simple K L R with the other 3 on a 1/16 note base.
I figured it is the kick causing all the damage. I can do lots of stuff with my hands and the hat on left. But once I put the kick in a certain way/pattern (like the K L R) , the left foot goes all over the place ( very often a 1/32nd after the right kick , as am am used to doing that pattern with a double bass).

Time to work on that !!!
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