Back problems from playing the gallop

JT1

Silver Member
Hi folks

I was at band practice last night and we are writing a new song, it pretty much features a galloping rhythm all of the way through which I play throughout the track at about 150-160 bpm, however I found my back hurting after playing the song a couple of times. Now I'm not sure if it is a balancing problem and I'm trying too hard to maintain my balance on the throne or if it is technique related.

I find the gallop quite difficult to play and I find my feet changing position, sliding down the pedals, I'm leaning back sometimes and it all feels a bit awkward.

Do you think it is as simple as the beat is difficult to play and these problems will fade with time or do you genuinely believe there is more to it?

I really need your help on this one guys, sorry to post yet another double bass thread but that is what is affecting my back and the sooner I can fix it the better.

Thanks
 

614Drums

Member
Hey there JT.
I find that the gallop can be a difficult beat to use for a long period of time, a very simple thing that you can do which I did to help with my footing is go to a hardware store and buy some grip tape, and add it to your foot plate on the pedal.

Another thing that could help with you back is buy a back rest attachment (if your throne can have one) They work wonders for the lower back :)

*one more little trick of the trade (i would not use this on recording) is you can do an offset double bass pattern as a gallop instead of the traditional triple triple triple live, or in a jam situation it's suitable.

Hope this helps a little
 
A big part of balance is seat height. The lower you sit, the lower your centre of gravity is, and the easier it is to lift your feet and stay balanced.
 

JT1

Silver Member
Thanks for the responses guys.

Hey 614Drums, when I bought my throne it was supposed to come with a back rest but hey it didn't, great eh. But me being the impatient soul that I am decided to just use it without one I have said countless times that I will buy one and there was nearly 5 years ago! know what you mean about the offset bass pattern, I did consider this and I definitely agree about the recording thing I wouldn't do it for recording but live it's not a bad idea if I find my legs cramping up or my back hurting, great advice thanks.

Hi Phil, this is true but the thing is my throne is honestly as low as it will go well without me taking the memory lock off which I don't think I need to do anymore if I'm honest I played the song the other night live and managed from start to finish without a bad back or cramped legs, I just relaxed and it worked wonders, I've been practicing nothing else but the beat since and I think it was just down to lack of practice with it.

Thanks for all your help though it really is helpful!
 

thedrumninja

Senior Member
Hey JT1,

It's unlikely that the gallop is the source of your problems but playing that beat simply aggravates/manisfests an underlying issue that exists. Here's a few things that you should consider:

Hip Health: Do you have tight hamstrings, hip felxors and glutes. If the muscles around your hips are tight then this can often lead to back pain during certain activities (playing the drums!!) Take some time out every day to stretch and loosen off any muscles that you find to be tight.

Muscle Adhesions: Repetitive use often leads to the build up of scar tissue and muscle adhesions again resulting in pain and disfunction. Buy a foam roller from a physio supply store and use it often to massage out the hard spots in the muscles.

Seat Height: If your seat height is too low then your thigh and hip muscles have to work overtime to lift your legs up. If your seat height is too high then your are off balance and again have to overwork certain muscles to get the desired result. Experiment with your seat height until you find the position of least effort. You shouldn't be leaning back at all.

See to this problem as soon as you can because back pain is debilitating when it gets bad. If you continue to have trouble book in to see a 'good' physio. If you are in the UK don't rely on the NHS, they suck and you'll be waiting weeks for an appointment.

Hope some of this helps dude - keep us up to date on your progress!!
 

JT1

Silver Member
what exactly is the gallop? is that the typical 'iron maiden' type bass pattern?
Indeed it is very Iron Maiden. But there were bands before them that used it although no where near as much.

The pattern is R RLR RLR RLR RLR or that's how i play it.
 
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