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  #1  
Old 02-01-2007, 08:28 PM
Filthy Filthy is offline
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Default Burying the Beater

I have been paying closer attention to my average-at-best bass drum foot technique and it was mentioned to me by a teacher that "burying the beater" (leaving the beater against the head between strokes) was a bad habit.

Does anyone else worry about this or have developed their technique to avoid this?

I have been trying to change my resting position between bass drum strokes but it is proving difficult. It certainly sounds better to not bury the beater and play your foot just like you would your hands (especially ona big Bonham-size bass drum), but with a finite number of hours in the day to practice, I am wondering if burying the beater is really a priority.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

There is no "right" or "wrong" way. I have always liked keeping the beater away from the bass drum, so as not to choke it and to get the full resonance. But there are a few situations where I like to close a note, or I am playing a pattern with open and closed notes.

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Old 02-01-2007, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by Filthy View Post
I have been paying closer attention to my average-at-best bass drum foot technique and it was mentioned to me by a teacher that "burying the beater" (leaving the beater against the head between strokes) was a bad habit.

Does anyone else worry about this or have developed their technique to avoid this?

I have been trying to change my resting position between bass drum strokes but it is proving difficult. It certainly sounds better to not bury the beater and play your foot just like you would your hands (especially ona big Bonham-size bass drum), but with a finite number of hours in the day to practice, I am wondering if burying the beater is really a priority.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated.
Both burying and playing off the head have their respective merits. One should, in my opinion, have both skills. Sometimes it is necessary to play off the head. For example, if you are playing a samba and you want to play the # 1 surdo part on the kicj drum the first 1/4 note of the two note feel needs to be muffled, but beat 2 needs to be open. One cannot perform this part accurately without this skill. Once this part is covered with the bass drum you can then play the surdo # 2 part on a floor tom. And this is only one example of an application. It's is great to have an open tone on the kick when playing r & b or jazz.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by Filthy View Post

It certainly sounds better to not bury the beater and play your foot just like you would your hands (especially ona big Bonham-size bass drum), ...
I think you answered your own question... seriously - the answer depends totally on the sound you're trying to achieve,

Semi-related question - on the hi-hat, do you leave the foot up or down? I tend to feel like I have more control playing from the 'closed' position, but I was watching a Joe Morello video the other day and he was playing exactly the opposite way - the upper hat was always up unless he was 'playing' with that foot.

It got me thinking - anybody else have a preference????
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

If you play better with it on the head, go for it and do that. There is nothing wrong with it. I find myself doing it to alot of times. Also, if you find that playing with the beater not on the head makes you play better or just sounds better, than do it off the head. It doesnt really matter that much.
Its about the feel.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy View Post
I have been paying closer attention to my average-at-best bass drum foot technique and it was mentioned to me by a teacher that "burying the beater" (leaving the beater against the head between strokes) was a bad habit.

Does anyone else worry about this or have developed their technique to avoid this?

I have been trying to change my resting position between bass drum strokes but it is proving difficult. It certainly sounds better to not bury the beater and play your foot just like you would your hands (especially ona big Bonham-size bass drum), but with a finite number of hours in the day to practice, I am wondering if burying the beater is really a priority.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated.
Your teacher must not like Vinnie C.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

i have heard the same thing from a drum teacher. Then again, i have had a teacher change my heal-up technique to a heal-down because it was the "proper way". Then another teacher wanted me to play heal-up because it was the "proper way". Now I can play both ways but neither one are my teachers anymore.

i bury the beater, sometimes i dont -- depends on what im playing. I agree with the others -- it is not wrong at all.... just depends on what you want to do and what works for you. And yes, in the drumming scheme of things, there are far more important things to concentrate on -- my opinion anyway.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:02 PM
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

I'll just chime in and agree with what has been said. There is no right or wrong here. I think of it as another voicing or color to add. I've seen some great contemporary jazz drummers who are very vocal with their footwork and purposely choke the bass drum by leaving it on the head for these purposes. I suppose a clean consistent sound should be attained first, but you'll find what works best for you in different situations.
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by meandhimcallitus View Post
Your teacher must not like Vinnie C.
or thomas lang and rick latham for that matter.
Just learn to play both and use them for different musical applications like jojo mayer. If ever unsure, just ask yourself, what would jojo do?
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

aahh. is that what those WWJD bracelets mean?

i think it is important for a drummer to master a single bass drum technique to a broadly applicable degree (heel down or up, buried or constant released) and then at a later stage in their career undergo a paradigm shift and begin learning advanced techniques like the swivel or heel-toe.

its also very genre specific. rock and heavier styles do not really require the finesse of heel down release. but jazz this is essential. i would go so far as to say that it is nearly impossible to feather a bass drum heel up. at low song volume levels burying the head makes a discernable difference in the actual sound of the drum by dampening the batter head. in this instance the decision must be musical. steve smith can for instance play the bass drum and get two different sounds from it to add expression within a beat. with funk and hiphop and D'nB drumming advanced techniques like the swivel are very useful for powerful quick-fire doubles and triples.

j
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2007, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

Billy Ward got me to tension up my pedal, and that really helped me let the beater come off of the head. I really liked the sound so I tensioned up the bass drum a bit and with the little extra sustain, liked the sound even more. A side benefit with the tighter bass drum, is you can really hear when the beater is sitting on the head, so you can monitor your technique better. In the end, I tension the bass drum up or down, depending on the music, but I generally leave it a little tighter, now that I'm letting the drum sustain.

I like both techniques, but generally found letting the beater come off, gives me the feeling of playing the bass drum vs. hitting it. I relax more, and the kik blends better with the hihat and snare - feelwise. In louder music my knee is happier too - no shock from impact, and the drum is much louder.
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by Benjaminbois View Post
If ever unsure, just ask yourself, what would jojo do?
I know i sure do....what a man!
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

i generally play "burying the beater," but i can play the other way. i just do it very rarely. don't play a lot of jazz or anything like that, so it's not really a big need
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

I've found that playing heel-down, I can both "bury" the beater and release it if I want...whereas heel-up, it's much easier to leave the beater against the head.

I practice and use both styles...and really, like others have mentioned - it depends on the style of music you're playing. If you need more simple bass patterns and more power, play heel-up and bury that sucka. If you need speed, style, and greater dynamics, play heel down.

I definitely concentrate more on playing heel-down....it just feels more relaxed...but ultimately there's no right or wrong about either technique.
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2007, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

also remember if you are burying the head when you play the nexy stroke you have to do that much more work ie bring the the beater back, then forward again. this way you waste more momentum and energy
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Old 02-04-2007, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

I wouldn't say it's a bad habit but maybe you should learn to not do it as well. It's a technique that some drummers use to get a certain sound. Personally, I've never had a problem with that. I would actually have to put forth more effort into burying the beater. I normally play heel up with the ball of my foot just above the pin hinge so my whole foot doesn't weight down the pedal between strokes. Personally I don't like the sound of burying the beater so I don't try to do it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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also remember if you are burying the head when you play the nexy stroke you have to do that much more work ie bring the the beater back, then forward again. this way you waste more momentum and energy
well, i have also heard this argument, however i have yet to see any drummer take their foot (or pressure) completely off the pedal to where it would be ready for a down stroke only. Moreover, those that do not busy the beater still rest their foot on the pedal, just lighter -- where the beater is literally 1 inch or so off the head... and when i see them go for another stroke, they must lift and then perform the down stroke in order to get the volume they are looking for. Again, that is only from drummers that i have seen.

in this video, jojo both busy the beater (in a jazz situation) and also lets it float, but in either case he still has to make a full stroke:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/Jojomayernerve.html
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Old 02-04-2007, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by mr_hayward_99 View Post
also remember if you are burying the head when you play the nexy stroke you have to do that much more work ie bring the the beater back, then forward again. this way you waste more momentum and energy
well, i have also heard this argument, however i have yet to see any drummer take their foot (or pressure) completely off the pedal to where it would be ready for a down stroke only. Moreover, those that do not busy the beater still rest their foot on the pedal, just lighter -- where the beater is literally 1 inch or so off the head... and when i see them go for another stroke, they must lift and then perform the down stroke in order to get the volume they are looking for. Again, that is only from drummers that i have seen.

in this video, jojo both burries the beater (in a jazz situation) and also lets it float, but in either case he still has to make a full stroke:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/Jojomayernerve.html
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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If you play better with it on the head, go for it and do that. There is nothing wrong with it. I find myself doing it to alot of times. Also, if you find that playing with the beater not on the head makes you play better or just sounds better, than do it off the head. It doesnt really matter that much.
Its about the feel.
I would disagree with this strongly. Even though it can be argued that some music needs more attack and less sustain, I think that this should be done with either a wood beater or different tuning/heads. I have always compared it to what if you kept the stick stuck on the head? It just sounds bad and chokes the drum. Leaving the beater off the head improves the sound of the drum, period.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:24 PM
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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I have always compared it to what if you kept the stick stuck on the head?
Surely its different though, With a stick your not still driving the stick down as it hits the head, you stop just before hence the rebound. With a beater youre generally still pressing the pedal when it hits the head. Whether you leave the beater on the head afterwards or release it would make very little difference.

I personally do both, if im playing heel down i release it. Heel up i bury it. Iv never noticed a difference in the sound. Just my opinion :)
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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I would disagree with this strongly. Even though it can be argued that some music needs more attack and less sustain, I think that this should be done with either a wood beater or different tuning/heads. I have always compared it to what if you kept the stick stuck on the head? It just sounds bad and chokes the drum. Leaving the beater off the head improves the sound of the drum, period.
to each his own.
in the style of music i play, it doesn't matter if i bury the beater or not because you couldn't tell from the other instruments. i just need a good punchy thud.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

I think I'll echo some here

Best to be able to do both. Some times I like to get that nice banging sound from burying the beater when I do doubles on the BD. And sometimes I don't. So learn both. I wouldn't say its a bad habit, but I would say you'd be missing out on some great BD sounds if you didn't try not burying the beater.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

I experienced while recording that burying the beater can lead to extra uncontrolled strokes (at least when recording up tempo songs).

I play heel up and are taking the heel almost all the way down on impact, the ancle are taking care of the rebound. Just letting the beater be on the batterhead leaves to much stress on my knee.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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I would disagree with this strongly. Even though it can be argued that some music needs more attack and less sustain, I think that this should be done with either a wood beater or different tuning/heads. I have always compared it to what if you kept the stick stuck on the head? It just sounds bad and chokes the drum. Leaving the beater off the head improves the sound of the drum, period.
sounds bad? dave weckl sounds bad when he buries the beater? how 'bout chambers? or how 'bout changuito when he plays dead strokes on the drums?

every good drummer i know uses both techniques depending on the context. learn to play both ways. off the drum for a long resonant tone, like tony williams. into the drum for a quick, dead, punch in the gut.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

yes. watch gadd playing crazy army in the trio with vinnie and weckl. beater buried and mourned and memorialled.

j
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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yes. watch gadd playing crazy army in the trio with vinnie and weckl. beater buried and mourned and memorialled.

j
I've watched and it's really hard for me to tell if that's true or not... I'm not disagreeing, but I'm not convinced either..

and if you watch the other Crazy Army clip on the Gadd page, again it's hard to tell for sure because you never see the beater striking the drum, but - in the views looking in from the hi-hat side - the batter head appears to resonate more than I'd expect it to if he were really burying the beater???
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  #27  
Old 02-09-2007, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

It depends. I kind of like to bury the beater on certain grooves because it kills the resonance on the kick so its more of a sump and sounds less like a drum. But if you want the bigger more resonant sound, I think your best bet would be to learn how to play heel-up, if you don't already know how to. Because that serves two purposes. Purpose number one is that you will learn a new bass drum technique, reason number two, if you learn to do it properly, then it will fix your problem with 'burying the beater'. If you already play heel-up, then you have to suck it up and learn how to do it right. Good luck man. It's a tough habit to break.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

Quote:
I've watched and it's really hard for me to tell if that's true or not... I'm not disagreeing, but I'm not convinced either..

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/s...crazyarmy.html
watch this one until a third the way in...then the camera angle is right to see the beater dead on the head.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

Does anyone have techniques to deal with worry? I worry about things that don't even matter. I'm trying to get passed this and was hoping someone may have some tips.

Most of my worry comes from thinking about things I've done in the past and how I should have done things differently.

Thanks....
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Does anyone have techniques to deal with worry? I worry about things that don't even matter. I'm trying to get passed this and was hoping someone may have some tips.

Most of my worry comes from thinking about things I've done in the past and how I should have done things differently.

Thanks....
One way would be to feel thankful that you are sitting behind that fun machine also known as a drum kit and not falling out a window or being mugged. Some things matter more than others. How well we play music isn't high on the list when compared with our and our loved ones' wellbeing.

Don't worry about being good or bad or if someone is better than you are. Just get in there and savour the fun of making music at whatever level you're at. If you want to be able to express yourself more on the kit, then practice more. It's easy to be nervous at gigs but I found making sure the stage sound / foldback is good is the best way to get rid of nerves because once the music's soundin' good you can disappear into musicland.

Re: the thread ... I mostly play heels up and am rarely aware of whether I'm burying the beater or not. I've found myself doing both so I guess that's either the sound I was after at the time, or just plain old chance. Probably a bit of both.

It amazes me how deeply some of you guys get into the technical aspects. I play tennis and had a boyfriend who was always analysing his stroke whereas I always play instinctively and have almost no clue about my stroke. I only ever beat him once but I'm around the same grade as him in women's tennis.

Not knocking anyone, just interested in how different our approaches can be.

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Old 08-10-2009, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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I would disagree with this strongly. Even though it can be argued that some music needs more attack and less sustain, I think that this should be done with either a wood beater or different tuning/heads. I have always compared it to what if you kept the stick stuck on the head? It just sounds bad and chokes the drum. Leaving the beater off the head improves the sound of the drum, period.
Except when I want a short, staccato sound with less resonance. Then, of course, it doesn't sound better. Period.

Dead sticking, dampening and choking are used on all kinds of percussion instruments to get short and long sounds. Try it on your floor tom, for instance. Combinations of open and closed sounds on the same instrument can be very effective.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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I've watched and it's really hard for me to tell if that's true or not... I'm not disagreeing, but I'm not convinced either..

and if you watch the other Crazy Army clip on the Gadd page, again it's hard to tell for sure because you never see the beater striking the drum, but - in the views looking in from the hi-hat side - the batter head appears to resonate more than I'd expect it to if he were really burying the beater???
You can have a nice look at Gadd's bass drum technique in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRAVnSo2twM
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

i play heel-up, but when i go to kick, i raise my thigh. i find it makes it easy to keep the kick 'buried', while getting a big hit.

but i've been told this is not ''proper'' technique too
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by Benjaminbois View Post
or thomas lang and rick latham for that matter.
Just learn to play both and use them for different musical applications like jojo mayer. If ever unsure, just ask yourself, what would jojo do?
What about jeff porcaro? Let's not forget the groovemeister! His BD cchops are his trademark and he burys :)
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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I think you answered your own question... seriously - the answer depends totally on the sound you're trying to achieve,

Semi-related question - on the hi-hat, do you leave the foot up or down? I tend to feel like I have more control playing from the 'closed' position, but I was watching a Joe Morello video the other day and he was playing exactly the opposite way - the upper hat was always up unless he was 'playing' with that foot.

It got me thinking - anybody else have a preference????
Second this, and wy's answer as well.

Hi-hat playing downbeats is what I do when I'm playing anything but the hats, just so the rest of the band knows where the pulse is, especially when I'm doing something weird like playing quarter note triplets.

On that note, if I'm not doing that, the hats tend to be open so I cause I normally shift over to the slave pedal of my double bass.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by Filthy View Post
I have been paying closer attention to my average-at-best bass drum foot technique and it was mentioned to me by a teacher that "burying the beater" (leaving the beater against the head between strokes) was a bad habit.

Does anyone else worry about this or have developed their technique to avoid this?

I have been trying to change my resting position between bass drum strokes but it is proving difficult. It certainly sounds better to not bury the beater and play your foot just like you would your hands (especially ona big Bonham-size bass drum), but with a finite number of hours in the day to practice, I am wondering if burying the beater is really a priority.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated.
when your playing rock punk and all of that its standard to burry the beater because its more
powerful, when your playing latin, and especially in jazz, always in jazz its standard to pull off the beater so that the bass drum will resonate and no have a warped sound.


those are the standards but there is no write and wrong with things like this
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by zakhopper316 View Post
when your playing rock punk and all of that its standard to burry the beater because its more
powerful, when your playing latin, and especially in jazz, always in jazz its standard to pull off the beater so that the bass drum will resonate and no have a warped sound.


those are the standards but there is no write and wrong with things like this
If you bury the beater and think it's more powerful then letting the drum resonate, then you are high. It just doesn't work that way. Maybe it feels to you, like it's more powerful because you can feel it's abusive nature on your foot and leg. Anything allowed to resonate is louder.
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Last edited by SEVNT7; 05-11-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
If you bury the beater and think it's more powerful then letting the drum resonate, then you are high. It just doesn't work that way. Maybe it feels to you, like it's more powerful because you can feel it's abusive nature on your foot and leg. Anything allowed to resonate is louder
technically yes your right but but realistically it doesn't work that way, if you want the drum
to have a warp free resonating sound then you have to release as fast as you can or else it
will warp, there for you cant hit it as hard as you can by burying the beater, if you play
heel down then it it usally means you are letting the drum resonate, thats why all jazz
players play heel down, including my self, if you play heel up your probly burying the
beater and playing funk or rock of some sort.

when a refer to power, im actually talking about the recording definition of power, which is
the attack of the bass drum that breaks through the mix, the pop that you hear when the
bass drum is hit, the typical heavy bass drum sound produced by modern and classic
rock bands.

try this, sit at your kit with your heel down on the bass pedal, and hit the drum while
simultaneously pulling your foot of the pedal so the drum cleanly resonates, the put
you heel up and hit the bass pedal as hard as you can and make sure you leave your foot
on the pedal digging the beater in, you will hear a thumpy plastic bass sound.

and remember loud and bower are two different things, bass drum has ore power then a 22 inch cymbal , but crash on the cymbal it sure is louder
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by zakhopper316 View Post
technically yes your right but but realistically it doesn't work that way, if you want the drum
to have a warp free resonating sound then you have to release as fast as you can or else it
will warp, there for you cant hit it as hard as you can by burying the beater, if you play
heel down then it it usally means you are letting the drum resonate, thats why all jazz
players play heel down, including my self, if you play heel up your probly burying the
beater and playing funk or rock of some sort.

when a refer to power, im actually talking about the recording definition of power, which is
the attack of the bass drum that breaks through the mix, the pop that you hear when the
bass drum is hit, the typical heavy bass drum sound produced by modern and classic
rock bands.

try this, sit at your kit with your heel down on the bass pedal, and hit the drum while
simultaneously pulling your foot of the pedal so the drum cleanly resonates, the put
you heel up and hit the bass pedal as hard as you can and make sure you leave your foot
on the pedal digging the beater in, you will hear a thumpy plastic bass sound.

and remember loud and bower are two different things, bass drum has ore power then a 22 inch cymbal , but crash on the cymbal it sure is louder
I'm a Jazz drummer and I play heal-up 99.9% of the time. I also play Rock, Funk, Fusion, Latin and Blues. I also practice, study and teach every Bass Drum technique that you can find. I have played burying the beater, live and in the studio. IT IS NOT LOUDER. More staccato perhaps given' tuning and muffling . Please do some more research about the subject. Oh, buy the way. I never bury the beater with any foot technique, unless it's for a very specific musical reason. As in playing a Surdo part muffled on beat 1 open on 3 . Witch would be Buried (short) and Unburied (long). Other that that. I never bury the beater, and I can play really loud with very little energy. I can also play really soft. with total control heal-up.
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Last edited by SEVNT7; 05-11-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Burying the Beater

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Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
I'm a Jazz drummer and I play heal-up 99.9% of the time. I also play Rock, Funk, Fusion, Latin and Blues. I also practice, study and teach every Bass Drum technique that you can find. I have played burying the beater, live and in the studio. IT IS NOT LOUDER. More staccato perhaps given' tuning and muffling . Please do some more research about the subject. Oh, buy the way. I never bury the beater with any foot technique, unless it's for a very specific musical reason. As in playing a Surdo part muffled on beat 1 open on 3 . Witch would be Buried (short) and Unburied (long). Other that that. I never bury the beater, and I can play really loud with very little energy. I can also play really soft. with total control heal-up.
read what i said. loud and power are 2 different things, and you are mistaken all around.
i record 3 to 5 bands a week, i know the dealio buddy, there is simply not enough attack
for rock music when you dont bury the beater. i challenge you to show me a pop- rock
song or video where the drummer does not burry the beater, and i know you cant find 5.
obviously not every note is buried, but the down beats are almost always

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOUDER OR VOLUME
it has to do with power, you bury the beater to achieve more power, it helps the bass
drum cut through the other louder sounds

i am fully aware that a resonating drum is louder, but you see if you resonate the bass
drum you FEEL it if you bury the bass drom you HEAR it

this is why you can hear the bass drum with little i pod headphones, because of the
attack.

and if you play heel up in jazz then you are one in a million, because its simply not the
standard, all the greats played heel down, and i think alot of people on this forum would
agree.

i dont think we are understanding each other hear, i know that a resonating drum is louder
then a non resonating drum but that is not what im talking about.

and if im incorrect then why do people bury the beater?????
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