Active feet & staying balanced

aydee

Platinum Member
...

If you're keeping 16th note time with your left foot, and playing a busy bass drum with your right foot, riding a cymbal with your right and filling in with your left all over the kit, do you sometimes feel a sense of imbalance on your seat? Do your bounce? Tilt over on one hip? Lose your center of balance?

Is it hard to stay grounded ( comfortably seated ) with 4 very active limbs going full on?

Interested to hear thoughts, tips, personal setup adjustments, technique issues etc ...


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AndyMC

Senior Member
Yeah I definitely bounce sometimes, I have the roc n soc throne with the shock absorber in it and depending on left foot stuff I'll have the whole throne moving up and down about an inch. I also will move my weight around my seat to counter any imbalances, like if I'm doing bass drum heavy parts more of my weight moves to my left cheek but I try to not let my actual legs do much balancing so that they are free to play. As long as I can get a flow going I don't need to be rock solid on my seat, just in control.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
16th note time on your left foot?

when would that ever be necessary ?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I can't say I've ever played 16ths with my left foot. I might do quarter notes a la Tony, which can be a challenge at fast tempos.

I can't say I really ever feel like I'm going to tip, but I did have to work through a few things when I added heel-up playing with the right foot. It took a while for that to feel comfortable.
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
Broaden your minds.

16ths on the left foot may not be standard, but I have times when I need to because I use my right hand to play melody lines on tuned percussion.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Broaden your minds.

16ths on the left foot may not be standard, but I have times when I need to because I use my right hand to play melody lines on tuned percussion.

example please ?

it's not about broadening minds .....it's about being practical

show me an example of someone playing 16th notes on their left foot
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
It might mean playing 16th notes upbeat? It's still a pulse of 8th notes, but on the upbeat, if you write it down, it's written as 16th notes with rests.

Interesting thread Abe, I'll be back, I've got to go now...
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Maybe not 16th notes but anyway...

You have just stumbled upon one of the great technical challenges that double pedal drummers have.

Being balanced and staying that way while all is chaos is tough.

Here are some hints that I have employed over the years.

1. Strong abs will help you maintain a strong center.

2. Imagine there is a heavy weight attached to a rope under your butt (Like a tail). That weight is hanging 10 feet below you, acting as a counterbalance. This visualization technique worked well for me.

3. Make sure your setup is ergonomic and STABLE. Many times I have had some kit component move underneath me during a set and it can be a real hassle.

4. Be especialy conscious of which limbs are striking simultaneously and which ones are consecutive. You may find that, upon close analysis, that you have a balance issue when ending a fill on the low floor tom while hitting the hi hat, for example.

Key to remember, there is a specific action or actions that you are having trouble with. That specific thing needs to be addressed in isolation and then in context. This requires concentration and an attention to detail in your practice sessions.

Point #4 courtesy of Mr Mike Mangini.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I have never understood drummers having balance issues

if by lifting your feet you are losing your balance.....the diagnosis is simple....you are putting too much weight on your feet and not enough on your core and your backside

stop leaning forward and center yourself

you should be able to lift your legs and run in place and have it make no affect on your core and posture

take your weight off of your feet and your problem is solved
 
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AndyMC

Senior Member
example please ?

it's not about broadening minds .....it's about being practical

show me an example of someone playing 16th notes on their left foot
I'll try and post an example of my playing later today, and mostly it isn't practical, but I'm trying something new, and it only works at very low bpm, otherwise it gets kinda muddy.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Is it hard to stay grounded ( comfortably seated ) with 4 very active limbs going full on?
No Abe, at least not for me, of 30+ years of drumming, I've been a double bass or a double pedal player for 28 years before going back to a single pedal setting 2 years ago, so I guess I had plenty of practice, lol. Funnily enough I've always lead with the left foot when playing double bass drum patterns.

But after 10 years of drumming, I really looked at my feet technique very seriously, and changed the whole approach to play with my feet, a more relaxed, more accurate, more in control technique, it's kinda a heel-down mixed up with a heel-up technique, which I perfected over the years, and "balance" was one of the key aspect to remain grounded with all limbs going over the kit.

A couple years ago, I discovered that I had 2 collapsed discs in my lower spine (it's not a drum related problem, it's more to do with my day jobs), which started to make drumming very painful, so I really looked into it, and I configured the drumkit as to eliminate all tension from the body, I also reduced the kit to a 4 piece setup (1 up, 1 down) and set the cymbals much lower, the result is that I can play everything on the kit while remaining comfortably seated, while facing the drums, no twist or tilt of the body involved, I might do a "bum dance" on my seat during certain patterns, but I do not bounce.

Last but not least, I did also a lot of limb's coordination exercises, like playing rudiments between hands and feet, playing 3's against 2's with the four limbs at the same time and so on...

So, it all helps, ergonomics, good feet technique, coordination, perfect balance and practice.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
In all the years I've been playing, the matter of balance never even crossed my mind.

That is, until I got double bass pedals. Now it's a problem. But I use a single pedal on my kit, and have the double set up on a practice pad.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
I find that no matter what I am doing, the closer my feet can be to eachother (closer my legs are to my snare), the better it all feels. Recently was diagnosed with some arthritis in the lower 3 discs (construction work related) and have tightened up my set up to help ease the strain and help with the balance.

Heel up on the kick and down on the hats helps a little too since you always have a kickstand down but I go to heel up when playing 8ths on the L foot so its all about balance.
 
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