Developing Consistent & Clean Kick


Junior Member
I’ve recently landed a steady gig where I’m playing for several hours each week. I’m thrilled for the opportunity play and improve and I’m quickly noticing areas that need it. One area, I’ve heard, is a common problem - when I’m playing grooves that incorporate consecutive 8th or 16th notes on the kick, the second note tends to rush in. It automatically kills the pocket and can push the tempo up.

A quick google search brought up mostly results for “blazing fast double strokes”(... I imagine for servicing those YouTube cats that just want to rip out some chops in every video) but I couldn’t find much about cleaning up my pedal strokes.
My current practice plan includes Gavin Harrison’s bass drum articulation exercise (shared in Drumeo - bass patterns under Left/non-primary hand led single and double strokes) and running 8th & 16th note combos.

Do you have exercises that have helped you crush this problem?


Senior Member
Bass drum control by Colin bailey - pages 3 and 4 in particular. Practice it super slow - like 40 bpm - until all of the bass drum hits emit a consistent sound. Then slowly up the bpm from there. You will see huge progress in your control.


Platinum Member
How are your reading skills?

There's about 9 pages of exercises in Time Functioning Patterns by Gary Ghaffee, but you're rhythm reading skills need to be very good. The idea is that you choose a pattern with your right hand (8ths, or 16ths, or 1-&a, etc.) and then go through the exercises. So you're not just practicing your foot; instead you're working on the coordination of your foot along with your hand. It's very logical, and well-thought out. Some of the exercises will be easy at first, and others will vex you right away. By the end of it, you should be comfortable placing doubles and singles anywhere, and in any combination you desire. And your leg will be tired, of course.

There is also the New Breed, but I would tackle that after Time Functioning Patterns is already going very well.

You should of course get with a teacher. Some technique issues usually pop up along the way with this stuff.