Ankle motion problem !

Arnoud87

Member
Hi guys,

I've been playing double bass for over more than 18 years.
Started slow with the full-leg motion, and working my way up to 200/210 bpm with the ankle-motion.
Playing relaxed from the ankles at these higer tempo's was the key and it worked fine for me!
Flo Mouniers instructional DVD helped me a lot with that!

Once in a while a did rudiments to stay in shape, like the "Pyramid"
This is a great excercise to get comfortable with the different leg motions at different tempo's.
Same with the George Kollias 16 week speed workout excercises. Worked great for me.

However....lately I've been experiencing some problems at these high tempo's.
For some stupid reason I am unable to switch from full leg tot ankle motion.
And aside from this switch, I just can't seem to play straight 16th notes with ankle motion anymore.
That is, when I use both feet. (!)

Single foot "blasts" or playing a beat with my hands and just isolate the right or left foot and play 8th notes works fine!
But when I incorporate both feet to play 16th notes, my whole body will tence up and I am unable to play clean single strokes.
Like my ankels go totally out of control.
So when I analyse this i'm thinking: my right foot and my left foot can play this separate, but they can't play it together.
Is this a problem in my head or something?

I have no idea what the cause is.
That is very frustrating.
I did not change my throneheight, pedalsettings whatever....
So I tried to experiment with the pedalsettings: higer or lower springtension, beaterweigts etc.
No result :-(

Who has some tips or suggestions?
It would be more than welcome...!

Thanks in advance.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Fellow metal drummer here. Been running 2 feet since 1993.

Your feet might be trying to look for a new technique, so to speak. As we get more comfortable, the motions become easier and we can play them faster. At some point leg isnt fast enough but ankle is too fast. You might be in that middle area right now where your feet aren't sure what to do. They may need to swivel or slide.

Have you tried heel/toe for doubles?

Dont worry about it. It's not a problem. If you start to think about it as a problem, it will become one. We all go through this, it's just your turn right now.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
However....lately I've been experiencing some problems at these high tempo's.
For some stupid reason I am unable to switch from full leg tot ankle motion.
And aside from this switch, I just can't seem to play straight 16th notes with ankle motion anymore.
That is, when I use both feet. (!)

Single foot "blasts" or playing a beat with my hands and just isolate the right or left foot and play 8th notes works fine!
But when I incorporate both feet to play 16th notes, my whole body will tence up and I am unable to play clean single strokes.
Like my ankels go totally out of control.
So when I analyse this i'm thinking: my right foot and my left foot can play this separate, but they can't play it together.
Is this a problem in my head or something?
Just because you can play so fast with one foot, and so fast with the other, does not necessarily mean you can combine these tasks and expect to get double the speed. It's not 1 + 1 = 2. There is also balance and coordination to consider.

When you play with each foot by itself, you're probably leaning on the other foot, just a little. And when you do this, your hip tilts forward a bit on the side where your leg is playing. But, when you use both feet, you don't have the other foot to lean on. So, maybe you're leaning back a little, when using both feet. You say your "whole body tenses up", and the tension is the reason you can't properly engage both ankles. Before you assume the problem is a mental one, check your posture. Arch your lower back a little, so both your hips roll forward a little. Resist the overwhelming urge to tense your abdominal muscles and your thighs.

Probably you should slow down to the point where you *can* run both feet, with properly functioning ankles. Concentrate more on balance, posture, and relaxation, when you practice with each foot separately. Do not use the opposite foot for balance; instead, rely on centering your weight over your throne.

Hope this helps!

Your feet might be trying to look for a new technique, so to speak. As we get more comfortable, the motions become easier and we can play them faster. At some point leg isnt fast enough but ankle is too fast. You might be in that middle area right now where your feet aren't sure what to do.
I'm not certain that you need to swivel or slide, but it's quite possible your muscles may just be getting acclimated to these new speeds. Sometimes we expect that our results will steadily and reliably improve, but in reality there are some ups and downs along the way.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Is there any tempo that you can currently play ankle motion without issues? If so, practice at that tempo for reasonably long periods at a time, including those subdivision workouts in the video you posted.

I also immediately wondered if something happened with your throne
Also this. Trouble alternating between leg motion and ankles could happen if your seating position places too much weight on your feet in the relaxed position, even the slightest bit too much can cause problems.
 
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Arnoud87

Member
Just because you can play so fast with one foot, and so fast with the other, does not necessarily mean you can combine these tasks and expect to get double the speed. It's not 1 + 1 = 2. There is also balance and coordination to consider.

When you play with each foot by itself, you're probably leaning on the other foot, just a little. And when you do this, your hip tilts forward a bit on the side where your leg is playing. But, when you use both feet, you don't have the other foot to lean on. So, maybe you're leaning back a little, when using both feet. You say your "whole body tenses up", and the tension is the reason you can't properly engage both ankles. Before you assume the problem is a mental one, check your posture. Arch your lower back a little, so both your hips roll forward a little. Resist the overwhelming urge to tense your abdominal muscles and your thighs.

Probably you should slow down to the point where you *can* run both feet, with properly functioning ankles. Concentrate more on balance, posture, and relaxation, when you practice with each foot separately. Do not use the opposite foot for balance; instead, rely on centering your weight over your throne.

Hope this helps!



I'm not certain that you need to swivel or slide, but it's quite possible your muscles may just be getting acclimated to these new speeds. Sometimes we expect that our results will steadily and reliably improve, but in reality there are some ups and downs along the way.
This actually makes a lot of sense..!
I will try to focus more on my posture, balance and relaxation.

Thanks
 

Arnoud87

Member
Do what Bid7h4 said, also try practicing the motion on the floor. Think of lifting your heels,

Marthyn Jovanovic is maybe the best teacher of this stuff right now. This video is a must watch.

I usually watch every new video from Marthyn, but I missed this one!
The answer Marthyn gives to Peter's question could be an eye-opener.
I suspect I use the wrong (or too much) upperleg muscles to raise my leg, while the upper leg should me relaxed and the ankle (calve) does the job.
This could gets me off-balance and tence up my body.

Will try this the next practise session :)

Thanks!
 

Arnoud87

Member
So yesterday's practise session was good!
I tried to focus on balance, posture and relaxation (upper leg) and after a while it worked!

Like brentcn suggested, I slowed down to a tempo where I was comfortable with the ankle techniche.
In this case it was 175 bpm. It felt great to achieve this motion again in a relaxed state.
It was still kind of sloppy, but I got the motion again, so that's the first step.
Now I will work on the start and stop motions and work my way up again on tempo's.

Thanks guys!
 
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