Back at it (working on blast beats plus double kick)

ColdFusion

Active Member
Getting pretty comfortable at medium speed 16ths, heel down.
But it's a different game when you are practicing kicks to a metronome. You can't be as "free" with how you stick the pedals. So a speed I can do "naturally" without the click suddenly feels tricky when I have to line up my strokes on every blip.

The soreness in the shins is less now. But I'm kinda enjoying it, it reminds me how badass double bass chops are. 🤟
 

JJKK

Member
It's good ye. Metronome helps to feel the lock-in when it works.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I did your exercise today and it was brutal. I thought I had endurance, but noo! I kept going for 20 minutes with starts and stops, and eventually wrapped the session. Thanks for the advice!
I always practice at 70% of my max. I log my sessions on paper so i know where to start too.. Takes the guess work out and slowly increase it.. I'd rather be able to play for a few minutes solid that force out a few sketchy seconds... but it really just comes down to muscle memory which is built by repetition.. Even playing fast.
 

ColdFusion

Active Member
Yo @beyondbetrayal, you are on point with the dubba bass advice!

I'm finally getting serious about getting those foot chops, so all of this stuff is helpful.
In fact, a new member just pulled up an older thread where you and another member shared some great tips. I resonated with one of your tips about using practice pads for your feet as well as your hands.

I wasn't sure if I should post there or here, but I have thumbnails here of how I integrated double bass practice into my routine, even when I'm not in the actual drum room.
I have two bass pads tucked underneath my TD-11. So I can be tracking drums one minute, and then turn my V-kit to 'silent mode' and switch my feet to the double pads. Now I can use my V-kit as a practice kit, while still utilizing the on-board metronome, while also watching podcasts, lol.

20210930_135424_2.jpg 20210924_163113_2.jpg
 

JJKK

Member
Working on groove and timing a lot. Some technique as well.

Longer warm-up and songs at the start help get me ready for the session.
 

ColdFusion

Active Member
I always practice at 70% of my max. I log my sessions on paper so i know where to start too.. Takes the guess work out and slowly increase it.. I'd rather be able to play for a few minutes solid that force out a few sketchy seconds...
This is good discipline. As I improve, I can't resist pushing my normal pad practice to more like 95% of my max. I mean, it is satisfying in a way.. I'm reveling in the fact that I went a long time without having any dubba chops at all. But when I do that I get sore pretty quickly.

It's good to remind myself that I could slow down if I choose to. For example 70% of my max is something I could aim for and maintain. Good control, good way to get your mind involved.

If it helps anyone else, I've noticed that when my shins are sore (heel down), it's not entirely due to the speed I'm playing at. Quite a bit of that tension is caused by me tensing up in anticipation/concentration. Much of the time, if I just intentionally relax my legs and hips, the soreness abates quite a bit, allowing me to go on playing at that speed.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
This is good discipline. As I improve, I can't resist pushing my normal pad practice to more like 95% of my max. I mean, it is satisfying in a way.. I'm reveling in the fact that I went a long time without having any dubba chops at all. But when I do that I get sore pretty quickly.

It's good to remind myself that I could slow down if I choose to. For example 70% of my max is something I could aim for and maintain. Good control, good way to get your mind involved.

If it helps anyone else, I've noticed that when my shins are sore (heel down), it's not entirely due to the speed I'm playing at. Quite a bit of that tension is caused by me tensing up in anticipation/concentration. Much of the time, if I just intentionally relax my legs and hips, the soreness abates quite a bit, allowing me to go on playing at that speed.
I do 70% of my max for extended periods to build tightness and endurance. Don't get me wrong lol.. usually for the end of my session I'll push the pace a bit and go at 100%.... If the goal is to either learn or improve though 70-90 is that sweet spot where you are building muscle memory. Perfect practice makes perfect. Sloppy practice makes sloppy.. It would be like learning how to play golf with awful technique for a few years and trying to hit as hard as you can. If you work on having a perfect swing and shooting less far the ball goes straight and maybe slightly less far.. After a while you can start to swing at it more and crush them. (Terrible comparison haha).. I just find playing fast in a short burst doesn't help as much as a sustained speed as a song or solo isn't 30 seconds.
 

ColdFusion

Active Member
I have no choice but to switch my double bass practice to heel-up playing. I've taken the heel-down thing as far as I can. I hit a wall, and it's actually kind of interesting.

So apparently my years of heel-toe tapping my left foot playing jazz has caused the front-shin muscle on my left leg to become rather buff and overdeveloped. When flexed, it's looks about 2x bigger than the same muscle on my right shin.
It's called the "anterior tibialis" (see diagram), and apparently it's a jazz muscle, lol.

Jazz Muscle.png

What it means is that I'm rock steady on the 2/4 hihat 'chic' when playing jazz. But if trying to heel-down some double bass, even at medium speed, that very muscle starts to knot and fatigue. There's really no way through it, I tried relaxing and going slower, and speeding up gradually. But at the end of the day, this just isn't a fast-twitch kind of muscle.

But no worries, I switched to a gently sloping heel-up technique and I'm good to go. A totally different group of muscles, and now I can go faster and faster, without feeling like my stroke is relying on just one small muscle group.
I'm glad I took the heel-down journey first though. Because now I have a real appreciation, a sensitivity, for what it will take to play musically with my heel up off the pedal.

So if you guys need another catchy drummer meme, you can tell people that you would play heavy metal except that you are suffering from "jazz leg", lol.

Godspeed. Hail forum!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I have no choice but to switch my double bass practice to heel-up playing. I've taken the heel-down thing as far as I can. I hit a wall, and it's actually kind of interesting.

So apparently my years of heel-toe tapping my left foot playing jazz has caused the front-shin muscle on my left leg to become rather buff and overdeveloped. When flexed, it's looks about 2x bigger than the same muscle on my right shin.
It's called the "anterior tibialis" (see diagram), and apparently it's a jazz muscle, lol.

View attachment 118773

What it means is that I'm rock steady on the 2/4 hihat 'chic' when playing jazz. But if trying to heel-down some double bass, even at medium speed, that very muscle starts to knot and fatigue. There's really no way through it, I tried relaxing and going slower, and speeding up gradually. But at the end of the day, this just isn't a fast-twitch kind of muscle.

But no worries, I switched to a gently sloping heel-up technique and I'm good to go. A totally different group of muscles, and now I can go faster and faster, without feeling like my stroke is relying on just one small muscle group.
I'm glad I took the heel-down journey first though. Because now I have a real appreciation, a sensitivity, for what it will take to play musically with my heel up off the pedal.

So if you guys need another catchy drummer meme, you can tell people that you would play heavy metal except that you are suffering from "jazz leg", lol.

Godspeed. Hail forum!

cool to know

I have always played heel up...all 40+ years, because it always felt more fluid, quicker, and efficient.

The biggest road block for me and double bass speed has been finding the right balacne in my core to allow me to move my legs quicker. I feel like my upper body leans forward as I get faster, and then I can't move my legs as freely...
 

JJKK

Member
cool to know

I have always played heel up...all 40+ years, because it always felt more fluid, quicker, and efficient.

The biggest road block for me and double bass speed has been finding the right balacne in my core to allow me to move my legs quicker. I feel like my upper body leans forward as I get faster, and then I can't move my legs as freely...

Finding the balance point seems to be a struggle every time I sit down to play faster.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Finding the balance point seems to be a struggle every time I sit down to play faster.

yeah...I watch other guys who play real fast, and it seems like their legs/feet are just floating underneath their upper body...I need to get to that level
 
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