Had to start over...

JJKK

Member
My stomping double bass technique messed up my progress for years. I only recently started doing heel down again, going for 10 minutes at 60bpm 32nds, to build the muscles and endurance in my ankles.

Now I can only do 70bpm 32nds with heel-up, one bar at a time. I tried 75bpm today and I start fumbling almost immediately. Depressing turn of events, to realize I would be much more skilled if I had listened to teachers earlier.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Depressing turn of events, to realize I would be much more skilled if I had listened to teachers earlier.
Dwelling on what you could have done differently as a drummer is unproductive, not only as it applies to music but as it relates to every aspect of life. It's never too late to refine your technique. Instead of brooding over the loss of time, use your remaining time to your advantage. Be patient and keep practicing.
 
You can still get with a great teacher - can somebody recommend good online teachers for double bass maybe?
That your old heel up playing is worse now than before might also be a good sign that you're working on technique and looking for new motions. While you adapt to a smoother and more relaxed technique, things might be a bit wobbly at times. You said you were "stomping" before, so maybe you're incorporating your foot ankles more due to working on heel down (just a guess).
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I don’t see any reason to switch from heel up to heel down to alleviate stomping. Just stop stomping! With that said, there’s no reason to stop working on heel down either. You’ll likely discover you’ll use both or any number of combined techniques.

I play heel up or down depending. It took some time to learn Heel down, but I had to because I was in a band that played quieter styles in smaller venues.

Another thing to look at is current pedal type and adjustments. If you are using a longboard, heel down is going to be difficult. If you’ve been stomping, you likely have a high spring tension. Loosening is going to feel super bizarre, but you’ll have to find a happy medium for the two techniques.

Lastly, stop over thinking it. Time isn’t lost and switching techniques isn’t that easy.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Lots of things to consider. Where are your heels in relation to your knees? If they are directly under, heel up is easier. If they are out front, heel down is easier. This is nothing more than body mechanics and efficiency.

Playing heel up with the feet out in front, you are adding weight through gravity. It makes the foot harder to pick up and puts undue stress on thighs and hips. You are basically trying to stick your leg out straight and hold it up.

Playing heel down with your feet under your knees creates tension in the front of the shin. You also cant pick your toes up as far as you can with the foot out in front.

You also want to let the pedal do the work. It's just like a stick. It has a fulcrum, and you can play too high up or down on the pedal, just like a stick. We play the stick to come back so we can put it down again. Same with pedals.

Time is also your friend. Even, consistant double kick takes time, lots of it. Your legs and feet dont do as intricate operations as hands and arms do in a normal day. They take more work and training and repetition to keep clean than hands do.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I tried 75bpm today and I start fumbling almost immediately.
Just FYI, with heel up, 32nd notes between 75 to 90 BPM is typically the range where people transition from leg motion to heel motion and can be an awkward and troublesome tempo for a few months.

Regarding your speed and endurance, I don't want to discourage you but at that speed (75 BPM) muscle endurance and strength is not the issue. Once you develop better technique the movement will be consistent, you'll be more relaxed, and your playing will be even. You should be able to play 32nds at 70 BMP all day long. It should require no endurance, literally.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Just FYI, with heel up, 32nd notes between 75 to 90 BPM is typically the range where people transition from leg motion to heel motion and can be an awkward and troublesome tempo for a few months.

Regarding your speed and endurance, I don't want to discourage you but at that speed (75 BPM) muscle endurance and strength is not the issue. Once you develop better technique the movement will be consistent, you'll be more relaxed, and your playing will be even. You should be able to play 32nds at 70 BMP all day long. It should require no endurance, literally.
Totally agree, and didn't think about technique thresholds. Perhaps these questions should be answered in the same way we would treat hands.

Here's a click of 16ths at 75bpm:


You should be able to follow the click with each foot note for note. If not, slow it down. Do 8s on a foot. Do rudiments. And especially do doubles if you wanna get hyper fast.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Here's a click of 16ths at 75bpm.
You should be able to follow the click with each foot note for note. If not, slow it down. Do 8s on a foot. Do rudiments. And especially do doubles if you wanna get hyper fast:

I think he's working on 32nd notes in that speed range.

@ JJKK , double bass "speed" is usually referred to in 16ths , so 140 BPM instead of 70 BPM.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
I don't practice it because I don't like it. I used two bass drums for a while, and that was only because I could not find a double pedal at the time, then I had a double pedal. But I got bored with the fast double bass drum sound. I know there are entire genres based on it, but I don't even want to hear it for more than a few climactic bars. I can play quite fast with one foot for a short phrase or two, but usually choose to do something more musical with my hands in those situations.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Depressing turn of events, to realize I would be much more skilled if I had listened to teachers earlier.
Or is it a positive turn of events because you've realized what you need to do?

Every time I figure something out, I think "I'm a genius!" for figuring it out, while at the same time thinking "I'm an idiot!" for taking so long to figure it out.

As a Ukrainian coworker used to say "It is a two-ended stick."
 
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