Heel Toe for fast double bass -- Spring Tension and Head Tuning questions

bud7h4

Silver Member
you sure dont present yourself on a post as a experienced ,pro taught drummer !

He's not wrong though, however he presents himself. He actually addressed the elephant in the room; the fact that 16th notes at 110 BPM is, frankly, slow, and heel toe is not the answer for more "speed" at that slow tempo.
BTW, I was about to go that same route when I started playing double bass. I hit a wall at 160 bpm, and gave up on singles and started learning heel toe. Thankfully I regrouped, doubled down on my singles and broke through to eventually 240-250 bpm.

I don't remember exactly how long that took since it was years ago, but it was at least 3-5 years.

To the OP, heel toe is very useful and actually fun to play and I recommend learning it. But not as an alternative to increasing single stroke speed below at least 180 BPM. Something is wrong if you've practiced singles "for years" and can't break 110 BPM. If you don't remedy that, I think you'll run into the same obstacles using heel toe.

I highly recommend George Kollias' double bass lessons/tutorials.
 
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theseer2

Junior Member
24
He's not wrong though, however he presents himself. He actually addressed the elephant in the room; the fact that 16th notes at 110 BPM is, frankly, slow, and heel toe is not the answer for more "speed" at that slow tempo.
BTW, I was about to go that same route when I started playing double bass. I hit a wall at 160 bpm, and gave up on singles and started learning heel toe. Thankfully I regrouped, doubled down on my singles and broke through to eventually 240-250 bpm.

I don't remember exactly how long that took since it was years ago, but it was at least 3-5 years.

To the OP, heel toe is very useful and actually fun to play and I recommend learning it. But not as an alternative to increasing single stroke speed below at least 180 BPM. Something is wrong if you've practiced singles "for years" and can't break 110 BPM. If you don't remedy that, I think you'll run into the same obstacles using heel toe.

I highly recommend George Kollias' double bass lessons/tutorials.
240-250 bpm? what song is that? What kind of song is that?
 

toddmc

Gold Member
He's not wrong though, however he presents himself. He actually addressed the elephant in the room; the fact that 16th notes at 110 BPM is, frankly, slow, and heel toe is not the answer for more "speed" at that slow tempo.
BTW, I was about to go that same route when I started playing double bass. I hit a wall at 160 bpm, and gave up on singles and started learning heel toe. Thankfully I regrouped, doubled down on my singles and broke through to eventually 240-250 bpm.

I don't remember exactly how long that took since it was years ago, but it was at least 3-5 years.

To the OP, heel toe is very useful and actually fun to play and I recommend learning it. But not as an alternative to increasing single stroke speed below at least 180 BPM. Something is wrong if you've practiced singles "for years" and can't break 110 BPM. If you don't remedy that, I think you'll run into the same obstacles using heel toe.

I highly recommend George Kollias' double bass lessons/tutorials.
May I ask why you "regrouped" and went back to single strokes (using swivel technique I assume given your reference to George)?

Just curious as to why you went this route (guess heel toe wasn't working for you)?
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
May I ask why you "regrouped" and went back to single strokes (using swivel technique I assume given your reference to George)?

Just curious as to why you went this route (guess heel toe wasn't working for you)?

No I don't swivel like Kollias. He said himself his ankles just naturally do that at a certain speed, and if your feet don't naturally swivel don't force it.

I gave single strokes another go because, although it sounds cliche, the fact is I realized my foot technique - and muscle memory - were not nearly as developed as I assumed they were and simply needed more time (months, years).
Here's a hint for anyone interested; hand and foot development (technique) gets exponentially better the longer you work on them.
Key word: exponentially. The reason is simple; the more you practice, the better your technique becomes, and your practice time is increasingly more productive. My point is, you see much faster gains once technique itself is not a limiting factor.

24

240-250 bpm? what song is that? What kind of song is that?

The reason I practice at 240 is to guarantee there are no days I can't play 220, more or less. Honestly I don't particularly like the sound of double bass 16ths above 250 or so. The bottom tends to fall out of the music.
 
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toddmc

Gold Member
No I don't swivel like Kollias. He said himself his ankles just naturally do that at a certain speed, and if your feet don't naturally swivel don't force it.

I gave single strokes another go because, although it sounds cliche, the fact is I realized my foot technique - and muscle memory - were not nearly as developed as I assumed they were and simply needed more time (months, years).
Here's a hint for anyone interested; hand and foot development (technique) gets exponentially better the longer you work on them.
Key word: exponentially. The reason is simple; the more you practice, the better your technique becomes, and your practice time is increasingly more productive.
Fair enough. I tried single strokes for YEARS and just couldn't get anywhere near the speed/ endurance I needed to play the songs I wanted to play (thank God for heel toe)!

Glad to hear going back to the "tried and true" method worked out for you (and developed your foot technique).
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
OK, i will try this again. I certainly don’t want to argue with anyone.

Martyn is the best at explaining this stuff. Check this out.
I urge you to forget about heel toe until you can play singles a bit faster.

 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
Sorry i Disagree !! i think you were watching a different video than i did ! #1) Russ NEVER SAID NOT TO WORK HARD AT THIS ! # 2 this technical method not TRICK was taught to him , DAVE WECKYL ,NEIL PEART, MANY OTHER PROS ETC BY FRED GRUBER ever heard of him ? #3 how is it a DISSERVICE to a young player When A pro Drummer takes the time out to share his or her skills to help make someone a better drummer! ANALISIS : I think RUSS IS an excellent educator , this video showed how a professional ,musical,CARING DRUMMER, Combining Physical body mechanics , with drumming theory , musicality , to help others with a hardworking method to better their drumming SKILLS !!!!

BTW : i watch videos on drummers , not strongme
LOL, I was speaking specifically about building up strength in your double bass singles not stick technique. If someone can only play 16th at 110 bpm then they have no business doing heel toe. I played faster than that as a kid on my first day just by running on the pedals.

And yes, I've heard of Freddie Gruber. During my two years of studying with Joe Morello he used to talk about how Freddie was Buddy's gofer lol.

You're speaking to someone who's studied with: Mike Mangini, Tommy Igoe, Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, Rod Morgenstein and now Dave DiCenso.

Maybe you should chill out before you start screaming like some 13 year old..

Either he's drunk posting or I finally have the answer to how HOD went from serious hang to forum cricket farm in a remarkably short time.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You know I get I must be high when I post /ideas a lot. Is that a compliment or a diss? I think everyone is different and if they find something that works for them-then that's great. It doesn't mean it will work for everyone or it's right or wrong. I think the comments about how these videos follow a formula of catchy title and then the person make an appeal to authority is common. I don't think credentials really have anything to do with anything in a forum comments section ((though Jeff has awesome credentials that I'm envious-glad we have him here for sage advice)-that's an appeal to authority fallacy. In other words you can be an expert and be wrong-being an expert doesn't mean you are always right. But I do believe your experience level is worthy to evaluate in how you weigh their advice. So it doesn't mean they are always right but does mean they have a greater depth of knowledge and basis to make informed decisions. I see the merits of an argument as standing alone. I read that in Jeff's initial comments.-which were in no way argumentative and his posits had merit (he didn't have to qualify his expertise level but did so to demonstrate his opinion wasn't just off the cuff after playing drums a year). I think people often talk past each other being argumentative and defensive. Why can't we all just get along.

I deleted my rant - sorry!
 
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theseer2

Junior Member
You know I get I must be high when I post /ideas a lot. Is that a compliment or a diss? I think everyone is different and if they find something that works for them-then that's great. It doesn't mean it will work for everyone or it's right or wrong. I think the comments about how these videos follow a formula of catchy title and then the person make an appeal to authority is common. I don't think credentials really have anything to do with anything in a forum comments section ((though Jeff has awesome credentials that I'm envious-glad we have him here for sage advice)-that's an appeal to authority fallacy. In other words you can be an expert and be wrong-being an expert doesn't mean you are always right. But I do believe your experience level is worthy to evaluate in how you weigh their advice. So it doesn't mean they are always right but does mean they have a greater depth of knowledge and basis to make informed decisions. I see the merits of an argument as standing alone. I read that in Jeff's initial comments.-which were in no way argumentative and his posits had merit (he didn't have to qualify his expertise level but did so to demonstrate his opinion wasn't just off the cuff after playing drums a year). I think people often talk past each other being argumentative and defensive. Why can't we all just get along.

Yeah I get my panties in a wad about appeal to authority fallacy arguments because they are so widespread now in US. It's a distinction I see in statistics that people often make statistical " fallacy " arguments/inferences about individuals from popualtion data that are inappropriate. Like because New York has the second highest death rate Per Capita from COVID means living there increases your risk of death as an individual from COVID. No it doesn't that's an ecological fallacy making an inference about an individual from the population-your risk of COVID are same by age and risk factor you have like obesity, etc-the disparity revealed as rate Per Capita just means more died there (not why just they did-now you can perform studies to try and figure out why the disparity -like demographic of population, any policy issues like with nursing homes, etc. that might explain a disparity. Statistics can be misleading at times-because of distribution. So you have a thousand people one makes 999,000 dollars and the rest cumulative makes 1000 dollars. You get the impression just looking a 1000 dollars per person but no one makes 999,000 and 999 make a dollar. I use to work with a female vascular surgeon and the medical school decided to address if any disparities by gender in income. She was on committee and I saw some of the initial data and told her that won't find a disparity but it's bull crap. It was similar distribution it looked like-most female physicians had lower than males but a few females had pretty high -I suspected it would shift the mean-and I was right. Heck yes males were making more and still probably do. You can contrive a statistical story like the BS going on in my own country now.

Wow, I have 2 things to say about this, you could cut and paste this into any forum, and at the same time wondering if the forum is being spammed when you see this.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Wow, I have 2 things to say about this, you could cut and paste this into any forum, and at the same time wondering if the forum is being spammed when you see this.
Yeah first half ok but second half a rant. I deleted it. Seafroggy has inspired me to start writing so I started back working on a book I started long ago but I’m distracted by another topic too that begs for another book. So I’m researching both and reviewing peer-reviewed papers and some I don’t see how they got published and passed peer-review. Plenty of good papers but people will publish crap in weaker journals to fill up their CV. I know that serves the person and part of academia-,you have to publish to get promoted but it doesn’t serve the science. Dammit I’m ranting again lol
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I hit a wall at 160 bpm, and gave up on singles and started learning heel toe. Thankfully I regrouped, doubled down on my singles and broke through to eventually 240-250 bpm.
That's where I've been for quite a few years. I'm playing with a classic rock and a country band so I've not been spending time on it much anymore. 160 singles yep that's me, metal wannabe. Freakin old people anyway 😀😆😆
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
That's where I've been for quite a few years. I'm playing with a classic rock and a country band so I've not been spending time on it much anymore. 160 singles yep that's me, metal wannabe. Freakin old people anyway 😀😆😆

Fast double bass is cool, but to my ears the heaviest of metal is played slower. That's probably why metal "breakdowns" are so popular with fans.
 

MSmithDW

Junior Member
OP here. Tightened my batter head and it did make a big difference! I was able to adjust the resonant and play different beaters and still got a good sound. Actually better. Also I've adjusted the pedal settings. I'm getting a much better even sound now and much better rebound.

One thing I think has been misconstrued though is that when I said I hit a wall at 110 bpm 16th notes, I meant sustained. Sure I can do 140 or 160 or 180 and possibly faster, but unfortunately I can't maintain it for long periods of time whereas 110 I can do many minutes straight while maintaining coolness and comfortness, and personally that's what I consider "real". On good days maybe I can do it sustained at 120 or 130, but repeatedly 110 is the most realistic for me.

If someone can only play 16th at 110 bpm then they have no business doing heel toe. I played faster than that as a kid on my first day just by running on the pedals.

Well, good for you, and that's quite impressive, and you should definitely pat yourself on the back, but that's not everyone. This is 110 bpm 16th notes
and frankly I'm happy with myself that I can do this cleanly for 3-5 minutes straight. Telling someone they have no business trying other techniques is not great advice though. Have you asked what goals I had? How do I plan to incorporate the sound? How often would I use it? Do the majority of the songs I play use it? What is my family and career situation and how much time do I have dedicate to it? I'm not a studio musician and I'm not on a global tour and I don't have a new album coming out next week. I'm just someone that likes to have to have fun and I'm happy that there is a technique out there that is helping me playing songs that were previously out of my reach. Heel toe has helped me overcome my barrier over night. Would I prefer to be able to play singles? Sure, but I'm a geezer in my 40's and this is where I'm at.

But to all those that offered supportive and constructive advice, thanks for responding. Much appreciated! My hunch was right and the rebound was the issue for me. I originally tried avoiding it, but tightening the batter head made a huge difference and I was able to make other adjustments to keep the bass tone sounding good.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Telling someone they have no business trying other techniques is not great advice though. Have you asked what goals I had? How do I plan to incorporate the sound? How often would I use it? Do the majority of the songs I play use it? What is my family and career situation and how much time do I have dedicate to it? I'm not a studio musician and I'm not on a global tour and I don't have a new album coming out next week. I'm just someone that likes to have to have fun and I'm happy that there is a technique out there that is helping me playing songs that were previously out of my reach.
Hi mate, just wanted to say from a neutral standpoint that all of the advice you received above about working on developing your singles first was seriously great advice coming from a good place based on the information available. Glad you’re sorted and happy with your new settings and heel/toe technique, keep smashing it! (y) :D
 

MSmithDW

Junior Member
Oh absolutely! And I appreciate it! Just the line where I was getting mocked that I did not appreciate, but I get it...it's the internet... :) @Jeff Almeyda ... nothing personal, thanks for the advice. I do plan to continue practicing singles and improving speed though. I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm not. In fact, heel toe wouldn't even work at slower speeds (I don't think). I'm not using heel toe as a replacement for singles...just a tool I'm incorporating in the meantime to allow to get through a couple of songs that interject long and fast rolls at the end and is my only barrier from playing them well. If I can one day do those parts as singles, I'll be thrilled.

Thanks again all
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Oh absolutely! And I appreciate it! Just the line where I was getting mocked that I did not appreciate, but I get it...it's the internet... :) @Jeff Almeyda ... nothing personal, thanks for the advice. I do plan to continue practicing singles and improving speed though. I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm not. In fact, heel toe wouldn't even work at slower speeds (I don't think). I'm not using heel toe as a replacement for singles...just a tool I'm incorporating in the meantime to allow to get through a couple of songs that interject long and fast rolls at the end and is my only barrier from playing them well. If I can one day do those parts as singles, I'll be thrilled.

Thanks again all

I tried to give an honest answer to someone who seemed to be a bit of a beginner to me. After I posted two replies on the thread, someone came around and started hollering at me in a condesending tone and I snapped back.

It's funny how come no one came down on him for yelling at me. ( "Do you know Freddie Gruber?" what a jerk). If you want to think that I was insulting you, fine.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
This works, tried it,see results right away, Russ is a great educator & drummer good luck !
They could call this 'Triple the size of your tom mount for no good reason'...sheesh, those mini-cranes are an over-engineered eye sore.

Sure, many already seen this but displays the connection of tap dancing and Buddy background, allowing him to have some proficiency without even trying. Perhaps he practice in secret closet just for this moment but I doubt it.

 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
To be honest, having listened to Metal since it's invention, I hear the current bands that are using super slow breakdowns with distorted voice (to make it sound way deeper than it can be in reality) and I hate that fad. It is not heavier it just sounds slow and shows that they are trying way too hard to write anything remotely good. It has been proven that you don't need an 8 string guitar to play some heavy ass riffs. (think Pantera's It makes them disappear which is played with a six string guitar). or the awesome riff from Machine Head after he sings "Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast" also a bad ass riff played with a six string. I can go on and on, but the point is that TO ME a real breakdown is not heavy for the sake of being heavy (very forced as most modern bands are doing it). A breakdown makes sense in the structure of the song, as in it is a logical change and not just an abrupt stop (again very over used by new bands and very forced). Modern metal is morphing into a display of chops with a 7 or 8 string guitar, senseless drums and distorted vocals.. pathetic.
 
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