Just another old school D-bag that sucks at double bass...twitch tecnique?

*Edit - okay, Discovered my Double pedal is shot. The left slave side sticks at about half way through a stroke causing a very hard resistance/etc, sometimes it just flat out does not complete the stroke at all!! I'm surprised I could play on this at all now that I know and have no idea how I didn't notice!! I'm too impatient to try fixing it and it's just a cheap DW I paid $100 for like 20 years ago so off to get a new pedal this weekend. Thank you everybody :)

Yup, just another party animal drummer that slams his entire legs up and down as hard as he can. Used to be able to coast by at 160bpm...even around 180bpm on a good day, but now, especially on a bad day I'm struggling HARD. We just recorded another album and it took me a good dozen tries to get 150bpm consistent through the chorus parts. It was passable but other drummers that hear it will be able to FEEL me struggling to achieve it...once things open back up playing it live is going to be embarrassing...it's making me depressed lol

But I knew better, I never really tried very hard to learn anything new. Heel toe...swivel...they were just too confusing and besides, I felt like I could never really play fast enough for them to be effective anyways, I'm not a death metal guy, I don't need any tricks right? I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and it will fall into place...well, 25 years later and I'm getting SLOWER...I didn't see that coming...

I've gotta do something guys, I'm even starting to question if I should be playing "heavy" drums anymore. 80's style hair metal (single bass drum) cover bands are starting to sound appealing...is my ego this fragile...I can't go out like this...I'm a METAL drummer!!! I've been around a long time in the local music scene and in my own little world am known as a good metal drummer by many, but my embarrassing secret is my double bass is fading fast and it's on the edge of just being flat out bad. My lack of any real technique and full reliance on my larger leg muscles powering everything is not carrying into my mid 40's very well...damn, am I really this old?

Anyways...This is my fault and I need to fix it, there's no time to waste!!

Twitch technique? Thats what I heard some random youtube guy call it. Basically you twitch your leg up and down (kind of like a nervous person does) but tap it heel up about an inch over your pedal/etc.. When I do it with my right leg, on an actual drum set, I'm hitting 180+bpm tempo's easily (well, if I was doing both legs) with plenty of control, endurance and power...I still "use" my upper leg but I can feel my smaller lower leg muscles being used too. My left leg flat out sucks at maybe 140ish, poor control, poor power, but this seems like something I can learn/correct though so I want to go all in on it if it's a "real" technique...

I guess what I'm asking, is this "twitch" style a thing? Is anybody familiar with it and does it work for them? I'll train the hell out of my left leg if so, but it's going to take a lot of dedicated training and just want to make sure I am taking the right path here. I'm not sure if twitch is the same as "floating foot" but floating foot seems to be more ankle down isolation/etc... I don't' know, any advice would be great. I know there are a million topics on double bass but I'm on the verge of losing my mind here and just want someone to give me a nice warm teet to suck on and tell me it's going to be okay ;)

...but seriously, any personal advice, motivational success stories or even other struggling too would help a lot. I don't have a computer and only get a little internet time here at work so if you chime in with something helpful it would mean a lot to me :) I don't get a lot of time to research/etc There has to be some old schoolers like me out there that have been through this, and came out on top!! I hope....

Thank you!!!
 
Last edited:

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It's in your head dude.

Age isnt the issue, practice is. To put it in perspective, I will be 45 in February. I have been running 2 feet since the beginning of 1993. 16ths at 200bpm is about my limit with singles. I'm doing it with ankles, and there is some swivel to it. The swivel just kinda happened. To go any faster, I have to use heel/toe.

I would suggest work on your ankle technique as well as learning heel toe. Heel/toe really is quite simple once you get the feel for it. I wish it was a thing 20-25 years ago when I was still gigging. It would have made my life easier.

I'm not familiar with the twitch technique.

You are getting older. The less you practice, the harder things become. Double kick needs to be an all the time thing to maintain speed and endurance. Paul Bostaph is an old man who still flys, as is Charlie Benante. John Longstreth is our age and is a speed demon.

Dont give up hope, you just need to practice more. And for Pete's sake, stop thinking about it. That only causes more problems than good. Tell yourself you cant do something for long enough it becomes true. You used to be able to so it, you still can. Now convince yourself you still can and go practice.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Don't limit yourself to one technique!

Heel/Toe, Swivel, Slide, and Rapid Singles/Multiples(Twitch) all have nifty demos out on youtube.

I find each have distinct sounds so working with them all as well as hybrid-ing them has been rewarding for me.


edit: sorry...missed the part about internet access. I don't think written ideas could do justice to the techniques...not sure how you can get around the need to see the action.

Heel/Toe: Alternate the pedal strokes from your heel to the ball of your foot.

Swivel: After an initial stroke, swivel your ankle(moving your heel to the side and primarily using the ball of your foot) to get a second stroke.

Slide: After the first stroke, slide your foot up the board to get a second stroke.

I like heel up playing a lot but found my general facility increased when I got some skill with heel down as well.

After some time I started doing ball/toes instead of heel/ball...and then heel/ball/toes...then mixing in slide using heel/ball/toes -slide up to another heel/ball/toes. Then to individual toes...which, for me, became heel/ball/big toe/rest of my toes...which became a form of swivel when switching between big toe/rest of my toes....then mixing between them all outside of a linear sequence(something I do not have clean in my current tool box but could with some work). Inverting the swivel was one I wanted to work on but never got around to. Note all of this applies to single pedal not just dbl(of course ; )

Sorry that is so vague...but it might give you a start...but find some way to get access to the info in a visual format...and I suggest approaching it as more of a texture thing than as a speed thing...as the speed guys usually sound a bit bland to my ear.
 
Last edited:
*Edit - okay, Discovered my Double pedal is shot. The left slave side sticks at about half way through a stroke causing a very hard resistance/etc, sometimes it just flat out does not complete the stroke at all!! I'm surprised I could play on this at all now that I know and have no idea how I didn't notice!! I'm too impatient to try fixing it and it's just a cheap DW I paid $100 for like 20 years ago so off to get a new pedal this weekend. Thank you everybody :)

It's in your head dude.

Dont give up hope, you just need to practice more. And for Pete's sake, stop thinking about it. That only causes more problems than good. Tell yourself you cant do something for long enough it becomes true. You used to be able to so it, you still can. Now convince yourself you still can and go practice.
Hey man, even though I figured out my pedal is a huge part (all?) of the problem this was an incredibly motivational post and I actually rushed to the basement to smack the practice pad right after reading it, Thank you :)

Don't limit yourself to one technique!

Heel/Toe, Swivel, Slide, and Rapid Singles/Multiples(Twitch) all have nifty demos out on youtube.
Well, I can view youtube through my Roku box but man, the swivels/heel toes/etc just seem so damn complicated. Even though it appears my pedal was the issue for my "decline" in double bass, I still want to learn this stuff as I've never really been a speed demon/etc I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you for this information :)

First, you may want to go to the doctor and get an EKG and blood test. It could be a simple thing or could be a serious condition. At your age, you should have a physical exam.

If your doctor says you are OK, you could probably improve your heath at least by greatly cutting back on your worst habits and increasing good ones. Typical ones are to stop or cut back as much as possible on alcohol, smoking, pot and recreational chemicals. Reduce junk food and overeating. Start bicycling or start a similar type of exercise. Just the typical ones if you are not paying attention to any of these issues.
Oh man, Nooooo!!! If they take a look inside my body it will probably get condemned ;)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
That's why I gave up on it. As soon as I started toying with double kick I realized it was a technique that would evaporate immediately if I didn't practice it constantly.
Well in all fairness it doesnt completely evaporate. It just becomes sloppy. It's not like your body forgets how to do it, you just lose speed and endurance.

I get not everyone is trying to play double kick to the extremes like some of us, so the amount of time spent will vary depending on your needs. But if you are trying to take it to the extremes, it does require consistent work.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
dude....I am a metal/punk drummer from back in the day!! Started drumming to heavy stuff in the late 70's and early 80's. Have played in many punk, thrash and metal groups over the years...in front of 10 people, all the way up to 5-6000...

and I just started working on my double bass chops 5 years ago. I had been in the Nicko McBrain camp of having a fast single foot as being the "source of pride" so I didn't really care about double bass for me. I love hearing it, and finally said "I am an idiot...I should have been working on this all along"...I am nowhere near where I should be, but better than I was

So don't feel bad...just redefine your technique!!! Take all the advice given above!!! The only thing I can add is that if you reduce the amount of wasted energy - by not being worried about "playing big and loud", you will gain speed. Think of how many of the Greats play "big and loud" on the set....at least in my eyes, not many. They play with Ergonomic Power. Benanate, Hoglund, Roddy, Lombardo...new guys like Aaron Kitchner...it is all about Ergonomic Power!!
 

J-W

Well-known member
Is the sticking slave due to a worn out driveshaft? That's a lot cheaper to replace than a double pedal and a good one can make your old pedals feel like new again. Unless of course you've been looking for an excuse to buy new pedals.;)

Glad you got it figured out, though. The comment below had me VERY worried. :)

80's style hair metal (single bass drum) cover bands are starting to sound appealing.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Is the sticking slave due to a worn out driveshaft? That's a lot cheaper to replace than a double pedal and a good one can make your old pedals feel like new again. Unless of course you've been looking for an excuse to buy new pedals.;)

Glad you got it figured out, though. The comment below had me VERY worried. :)
same here...avoid hair metal covers at all costs!!!
 
dude....I am a metal/punk drummer from back in the day!! Started drumming to heavy stuff in the late 70's and early 80's. Have played in many punk, thrash and metal groups over the years...in front of 10 people, all the way up to 5-6000...

and I just started working on my double bass chops 5 years ago. I had been in the Nicko McBrain camp of having a fast single foot as being the "source of pride" so I didn't really care about double bass for me. I love hearing it, and finally said "I am an idiot...I should have been working on this all along"...I am nowhere near where I should be, but better than I was

So don't feel bad...just redefine your technique!!! Take all the advice given above!!! The only thing I can add is that if you reduce the amount of wasted energy - by not being worried about "playing big and loud", you will gain speed. Think of how many of the Greats play "big and loud" on the set....at least in my eyes, not many. They play with Ergonomic Power. Benanate, Hoglund, Roddy, Lombardo...new guys like Aaron Kitchner...it is all about Ergonomic Power!!
Man, Inspiring post, I seriously want to leave work and go play drums right now!! Thank you!!!


Is the sticking slave due to a worn out driveshaft? That's a lot cheaper to replace than a double pedal and a good one can make your old pedals feel like new again. Unless of course you've been looking for an excuse to buy new pedals.;)

Glad you got it figured out, though. The comment below had me VERY worried. :)
haha, well, the hair metal post was kind of dry humor but yeah, honestly it was a "little true" too though ;) Seemed an easy option but nah, just not me, it would just be a slow death for my favorite hobby in the world :)

It could be sticking, I've had it for sooooo long and never done a thing to it. It's been thrown in the back of vans/etc, it's rusty, squeeky, dirty, etc.. You guys have got me so freakin pumped up right now though I'm just going to buy a brand new pedal (I've got more than my money worth out of this one) and play the shit out of it. New pedal, new techniques, it's gonna be rad. I'll post a vid when I'm hitting consistent 180 bpm and we'll have a big party lol

Thank you everybody, I'm not done yet!! :)
 

J-W

Well-known member
Curious as to what pedals you're considering.
I went from DW5000's to Axis Longboard A's and never looked back, but there are a LOT of other great options out there. Good luck in your quest to find the right feet.
 
Curious as to what pedals you're considering.
I went from DW5000's to Axis Longboard A's and never looked back, but there are a LOT of other great options out there. Good luck in your quest to find the right feet.
Hey man! Thanks for asking...

Well, I've used these DW's for so long I was thinking about just getting another cheap set of DW's, there is a nice looking one in my area right now for $100....
dw7000.jpg
but then I started thinking about trying something completely different. Was eyeing these TAMA dyna syncs...direct drive...
They cost more than my entire kit honestly but something about them is making me consider an impulse buy. It's a rare opportunity right now where I actually have a little cash to play with (coincidentally just about enough for these lol) if I don't get them now I probably never will...tamadyna.jpg
I don't know, I feel like doing something a little crazy hahaha, maybe I should finally buy something nice ;) I play a LOT so they will get used...
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Hey man! Thanks for asking...

Well, I've used these DW's for so long I was thinking about just getting another cheap set of DW's, there is a nice looking one in my area right now for $100....
View attachment 99031
but then I started thinking about trying something completely different. Was eyeing these TAMA dyna syncs...direct drive...
They cost more than my entire kit honestly but something about them is making me consider an impulse buy. It's a rare opportunity right now where I actually have a little cash to play with (coincidentally just about enough for these lol) if I don't get them now I probably never will...View attachment 99030
I don't know, I feel like doing something a little crazy hahaha, maybe I should finally buy something nice ;) I play a LOT so they will get used...
The cam on that slave pedal is wayy out of alignment. Not sure if it's cracked or what, but that's your sticking issue.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
You might wanna consider this:


The driveshaft is typically the failure feature of double pedals. This one wont fail, and if it does, its rebuildable. There is also 0 slop with this driveshaft. It's like having 2 drums without the second drum.
Look at the pic he posted of the DW. That cam is is so crooked it belongs in Congress.
 
Top