Keeping Time with your left foot. Why?

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Everyone seems to do this and say if you can't you should learn how. My question is why?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Gives you another limb to use. Your left foot can be more than a weight for keeping the hats closed. Since it's probably the least used, you can assign it a new function, cowbell on a pedal for example. If you want to play metal, you need to learn to use your left foot.

Check this out: Play 4/4 with the kick on 1 and the snare on 3. Keep quarters with your hi hat foot. Play the ride as quarters. You are now playing the same pattern with your feet as you are with your hands, only its opposite side limbs and the pattern is backwards.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
It's another sound to have.

The hi hat came from the low boy which was used as an up beat sound that emulated the ubiquitous "boom chick" that a bass drum and crash cymbals made in early marches for the 2 feel. This tradition went through jazz and stayed with rock. It's just timekeeping.




 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Keeping time with my left foot on my hi-hat is so engrained in my approach toward drumming that I find the question almost unanswerable, not unlike a metaphysical interrogative such as "Why do we exist?" Here's my best left-foot explanation: It's a way to give materiality to your internal clock, a means of bringing into the physical world what vibrates in your rhythmic spirit. My left foot is my metronome. It's going all the time. Even when my hi-hat is closed tightly for maximum stick definition, my heel is moving up and down to fuel my subconscious sense of meter. My hi-hat is the stopwatch of my drum kit. Time comes to a halt without it, and if there's one thing a drummer can never do without, it's time.
 

gish

Senior Member
Hi hat footwork can be so subtle yet have so much impact. For example play a simple 4/4 groove, play quarter notes on the downbeat with your hi hat foot. Now switch it to the upbeat while keeping everything else the same; drastically changes the feel.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Hey right quick C.M Jones. How and when was it so engrained in your approach toward drumming?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Everyone seems to do this and say if you can't you should learn how. My question is why?
Off the top of my head:

1. If you're just starting out, you'll probably find that you play more evenly, as soon as you've developed the necessary coordination. The extra limb acts as a sort of personal metronome, because you're that much more aware of the 8th or quarter note pulse throughout a song.

2. In rock or pop, you can keep that left foot hi-hat going as you play a fill, which adds fluidity to the overall sound. This way, there isn't a "gap" whenever you depart from the beat to play an accent with the band, or a fill.

3. If your soloing or fills get too "out there", the rest of the band has something to listen to, in order to stay on the beat. It's a nice skill to have when you're playing with people you haven't played with before, or that aren't very advanced.

4. Sometimes, the song just sounds better. A steady left foot hi-hat may even be on the original recording.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
So my right foot can be free to stamp out my cigar butt. Hadn't thought of that John but I appreciate you man thanks.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
I don't know how to quote people. I'm sorry but still learning. Thank you though I'm going to research this and figure it out.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Hey right quick C.M Jones. How and when was it so engrained in your approach toward drumming?
Pretty much from the time I got my first kit. My lessons started on a practice pad, graduating to a snare drum about six months later. I spent almost two years studying nothing but rudiments before I ever sat down behind a drum set. When the day finally came, my instructor introduced the hi-hat as the organizing principle of timekeeping. He wanted it to be incorporated into everything I played, whether I was sticking it or working it with my foot. This is one, among several reasons, I've never dabbled with double bass. My style is too high-hat centric to abandon it for even one measure.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Pretty much from the time I got my first kit. My lessons started on a practice pad, graduating to a snare drum about six months later. I spent almost two years studying nothing but rudiments before I ever sat down behind a drum set. When the day finally came, my instructor introduced the hi-hat as the organizing principle of timekeeping. He wanted it to be incorporated into everything I played, whether I was sticking it or working it with my foot. This is one, among several reasons, I've never dabbled with double bass. My style is too high-hat centric to abandon it for even one measure.

I appreciate your info. Check out this Priest video.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Pretty much from the time I got my first kit. My lessons started on a practice pad, graduating to a snare drum about six months later. I spent almost two years studying nothing but rudiments before I ever sat down behind a drum set. When the day finally came, my instructor introduced the hi-hat as the organizing principle of timekeeping. He wanted it to be incorporated into everything I played, whether I was sticking it or working it with my foot. This is one, among several reasons, I've never dabbled with double bass. My style is too high-hat centric to abandon it for even one measure.

One thing I will say about your start in drumming. I don't know how old you were but I would have thrown out the practice pad first and the instructor next. I'm sure you are a great drummer good luck.
 
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