Compensating for pedal natural wiggle

OldNoob

Member
Good evening!
When I play a groove that has a bpm similar to my BD pedal's natural spring action, I often find myself trying to hit the pedal but it is already almost down and the beater very close to the head already. So it's difficult to get even strokes of the same volume.
I tried to find a way to fix this (my technique, or pedal adjustment?) but couldn't find an answer.
Could someone please point me in the right direction?
Thanks!
 

Totigerus

Active Member
Try a direct drive pedal.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Pretty high end pedal. It’s hard to make the call for you based on pics and your description. Maybe you need to work with the spring tension? Or maybe you just need to get used to it doing that and figure out a way to compensate.
 

johnjssmith

Junior Member
I find that the pedal only wiggles that much if you don't apply any force to the footboard with your foot, so you might try controlling it a bit more by resting your foot on it in between strokes, and I haven't found that issue to be significantly affected by spring tension - the pedal might wiggle at a different rate, but unless the tension is unplayably high there will always be a significant first back-wiggle.

A video showing your technique would be really helpful to give you some advice on how to fix the issue.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Yep, my pedal doesn't wiggle. If it is wiggling you don't have control of it. My foot is engaged with the pedal board at all times. I don't bury the beater, but I don't allow the pedal to bounce or wiggle either.
It might be something that needs more practice?
 

OldNoob

Member
Yep, my pedal doesn't wiggle. If it is wiggling you don't have control of it. My foot is engaged with the pedal board at all times. I don't bury the beater, but I don't allow the pedal to bounce or wiggle either.
It might be something that needs more practice?
I think I understand now: Is it like when someone trying to catch a baseball with a bare hand: it will bounce off your hand before you have a chance to clutch your fingers around it, unless you move your hand and arm back as the ball reaches the hand to absorb its energy as you wrap your fingers around it? I need to keep contact with the pedal board at all times... ok I know I have to work on this. Thanks!
 

OldNoob

Member
Sounds like you are picking your foot up off the pedal and stomping it.
Yes! I just recently switched to heel up and I am stomping a lot. I was only heel down before but as I progressed I needed more speed and force so I decided to try heel up and thanks to you guys I know what to work on now! Cheers!
 

Totigerus

Active Member
Try a chain drive pedal. I had to spend some pretty nice coin to figure out that I'm a chain drive guy, and definitely NOT a direct drive guy.
There's really no other way to find this out. No amount of anecdotal advice and/or youtube videos will answer this for you. Sucks, but true. (just look at my signature lol)
 
I think I understand now: Is it like when someone trying to catch a baseball with a bare hand: it will bounce off your hand before you have a chance to clutch your fingers around it, unless you move your hand and arm back as the ball reaches the hand to absorb its energy as you wrap your fingers around it? I need to keep contact with the pedal board at all times... ok I know I have to work on this. Thanks!
Yup 👍🏼
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
I think I understand now: Is it like when someone trying to catch a baseball with a bare hand: it will bounce off your hand before you have a chance to clutch your fingers around it,
I still don't understand that. A baseball is out of your control until you catch it and clutch it with your fingers. My kick pedal is never out of my control. I can't think of a perfect analogy. maybe the steering wheel of a car. You can have no hands on it and more or less drive in a straight line, only touching the wheel to correct any deviation. OR... you can have a light hold of the steering wheel at all times, with both hands, and be making adjustments continuously. I have my foot in contact with the bass drum pedal at all times and I'm in control of my foot (and bass drum) at all times.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Yes! I just recently switched to heel up and I am stomping a lot. I was only heel down before but as I progressed I needed more speed and force so I decided to try heel up and thanks to you guys I know what to work on now! Cheers!
Sit in a chair and put your feet on the floor. Bounce your kick pedal leg up and down while keeping your toes on the floor. That's heel up. It's not actually lifting with your hip/thigh, but pushing with your calf. Think of doing calf raises, only seated.

Your foot should not leave the footboard of the pedal.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
As above.
It's just unconscious with me now. The front part of my foot never leaves the pedal, and controls the pedal. The back part of my foot goes up and down, mostly up, but can be down if there are gaps between the bass drum hits, or I'm not playing the bass drum for a bar or more.
 

OldNoob

Member
Try a chain drive pedal. I had to spend some pretty nice coin to figure out that I'm a chain drive guy, and definitely NOT a direct drive guy.
There's really no other way to find this out. No amount of anecdotal advice and/or youtube videos will answer this for you. Sucks, but true. (just look at my signature lol)
Thanks! I own chain, strap and DD. Before I acquired the DD I was better (and felt better) with strap. Now the DD feels really good and I applied the advice received in this thread and I am improving. I am still very much at the noob stage where I am trying to learn how to do things right. In this case it was not so much about the type of pedal than me having to learn how to control the bounce of the pedal when playing heel up. Heel down all of my foot was always in contact so it was a non issue.
 

OldNoob

Member
Ok... I've practiced keeping my foot in contact with the pedal at all times and it's certainly helped... But I still find that at certain tempos that match the pedal wiggle frequency I find I push on the pedal but it's already on the way down because it has bounced under my foot, so by the time I contact the footboard again it's almost completely down, and I only have an inch or so to accelerate the beater to the bass drum head...do you know what I mean? Should I work on keeping my ankles looser so that the footboard bounce is absorbed? I am not sure what to do. Other thoughts are to increase tension to move the wiggle frequency higher and thus have a greater usable pedal tempo range?
Or lower the spring tension a lot, but increase beater weight to make it more resistant to wiggling in general?
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Ok... I've practiced keeping my foot in contact with the pedal at all times and it's certainly helped... But I still find that at certain tempos that match the pedal wiggle frequency I find I push on the pedal but it's already on the way down because it has bounced under my foot, so by the time I contact the footboard again it's almost completely down, and I only have an inch or so to accelerate the beater to the bass drum head...do you know what I mean? Should I work on keeping my ankles looser so that the footboard bounce is absorbed? I am not sure what to do. Other thoughts are to increase tension to move the wiggle frequency higher and thus have a greater usable pedal tempo range?
Or lower the spring tension a lot, but increase beater weight to make it more resistant to wiggling in general?
Like a stick, the pedal has a sweet spot. Its typically in the middle somewhere. You can find it with your fingers. Wherever its easiest to operate continuously (with fingers), that's the sweet spot. Put the ball of your foot there.

That spot will change with spring tension. The tighter the spring, the higher up the spot. The higher up the spot, the more travel your foot needs to do.

Increasing/decreasing head tension effects pedal rebound, but not the returning forward motion. That's you and the spring.

As you can see, this can be a complicated problem. The best thing to do is try not to worry* about it and keep practicing.

*Noticing and understanding is fine. Dont start telling yourself it's a problem or that you cant do it. That becomes self fulfilling. Time is your friend here, not overthinking.
 

jaymandude

Active Member
how long have you been playing ?

what are you practicing ?

what kind of music do you play ?

do you have a teacher ?

do you have know any older drummers in your area that you admire that you can watch and ask ?

have you watched any jojo mayer videos ?
 

OldNoob

Member
how long have you been playing?
5 months, 1 hour a day on average.
what are you practicing ?
Only rudiments at first to learn bases, pad work whenever I'm in front of the tv. Then quickly started incorporating some songs in my practice. I'm also practicing reading score faster to be able to play along better. I learned "when the levee breaks" first, recording myself to identify areas to improve faster. When I was no longer improving fast I added other songs such as "fool in the rain", "teenage dirtbag", "self esteem", "take five", etc. I play all the ones I know every time I play, and I only add one more when the last one I learned is decent enough.
what kind of music do you play ?
All kinds. Whenever I add a new part to learn I try to pick one that has a different time signature, so as to develop more fluency around the kit.
do you have a teacher ?
Not a flesh and bone one. On YouTube I grab whatever free education I can get from the teachers (see attached pic)
do you have know any older drummers in your area that you admire that you can watch and ask ?
I'm sure there are many, I'm learning the scene and going to live shows as much as I can. I'm very grateful to have discovered this forum!
have you watched any jojo mayer videos ?
I did! But I'm very very far from Mayer level. There's still tons of basic stuff I need to learn. I will typically watch one of the YouTube videos and practice what is taught until I have it figured out (by listening to my audio recording)
I think I'm going to start recording video too to better identify and correct posture technique etc. Audio is great for noticing errors in tempo accents etc that's probably the best piece of advice I've received. Thanks!
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20221128_163224.jpg
    Screenshot_20221128_163224.jpg
    175.1 KB · Views: 2
Top