Keeping Time with your left foot. Why?

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
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.
Ha! I'm in my forties, and I've been drumming about thirty-six years now. My first teacher, with whom I studied for five years, was a professional studio drummer. He had a rudiments-first outlook. I still thank him for it. It gave me discipline I might not have acquired otherwise.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Ha! I'm in my forties, and I've been drumming about thirty-six years now. My first teacher, with whom I studied for five years, was a professional studio drummer. He had a rudiments-first outlook. I still thank him for it. It gave me discipline I might not have acquired otherwise.

Hey man that's cool. I'm probably a little more of a rebel or free spirit. All good.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
First rule there are no rules. Thanks to MrP on that one with history lesson videos. Much appreciated that really meant a lot!!!
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I just eat my cigar butts. Puts hair on my chest and keeps my right foot focused on the bass pedal.
I'm going to give that a try. Oh. In watching a lot of big band drummers, mostly Krupa, it looks like he used the high hat to keep the beat more than the bass drum. The bass seemed to be used mostly for effects and accents. HMMM
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm going to give that a try. Oh. In watching a lot of big band drummers, mostly Krupa, it looks like he used the high hat to keep the beat more than the bass drum. The bass seemed to be used mostly for effects and accents. HMMM
All the way. Buddy Rich was quite the hi-hat master too. Phil Collins played double bass early in his career, but after reading an interview in which Rich touted the hi-hat as the king of timekeeping tools, Collins converted to a single-bass setup.

No disrespect to double-bass players. The hi-hat is just the nucleus of my musical makeup.
 

nolibos

Well-known member
All of my limbs keep time on the drum set. Sometimes, maybe for a few bars or maybe a whole tune, the hi hat cymbals go "chicky" on 2&4.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
My Dad taught me to keep time with the high hat by rocking my foot. Heel on 1&3, toe on 2&4. It's a big band, jazz thing. He taught me that jazz players depend on the high hat and ride cymbal to keep the tempo.
A couple of years ago I was playing at a jazz jam. So I made sure that I kept the high hat and ride cymbal going with the tempo. At the end of the first song the bass player turned to me and said, "you play really well, but you need to back off a little on the bass drum". LOL I am primarily a rock, country and blues drummer. And when I play I keep the band going using the bass drum.

When I watch other drummers play I can usually tell how good they are just by watching their high hat foot.

.
 

moodman

Well-known member
To me, it's not keeping time, it is playing a part of the rhythm.
I don't do the 8th note thing, I don't rock my foot.
I do 1/4 notes, the 3 side of the Clave or the whole Clave, maybe the &'s of each measure. I can bounce a shuffle in slow to medium tempos, play barks on 1 and '&' as well as 'e' and 'uh', if using a hat tambourine, I set it so I can open and close the hats without playing it unless I increase my stroke, I do alternate 8ths between the ride bell and left foot 'chicks' in a slow blues, (while playing uh 1 uh - uh 3 uh kick and the 8ths on the ride alternating between bell and bow, of course) I saw Ginger Baker do that in the Cream reunion concert.
(I'd only do that when chasing the solo of a player that allows interaction as opposed to lifting the feeling dynamically, and the spirit moves me)
It's all just Hi Hat fun.
 
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MntnMan62

Junior Member
Why? Listen to some of the best. While you are chicking away with the hi hat you can toss in accents as the hi hat opens while still riding on the ride and doing other stuff. And when doing fills that pulls you away from the ride, you keep the hi hat going which gives your fills added dimension. And when your left foot follows the ride it gives that steady ride a fuller sound. Study what Colaiuta and Garibaldi do with their hi hats. One listen to them and you'll know why.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
My Dad taught me to keep time with the high hat by rocking my foot. Heel on 1&3, toe on 2&4. It's a big band, jazz thing. He taught me that jazz players depend on the high hat and ride cymbal to keep the tempo.
I rocked my foot and relied on that for many years until I ran across this Joe Porcaro video. What he describes at the 6m19s mark was a big problem for me when playing jazz. Took me a while to get out of that habit! I think rocking the foot works well for rock and pop but it actually hurt my jazz playing. Maybe it’s just me.

 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
Everyone seems to do this and say if you can't you should learn how. My question is why?
Because the low boy, the precursor of the hi hat, was invented to be played with the foot on 2 and 4, and now it is part of the instrument's tradition.
Because it is relatively easy to master, but once you do you can invent other creative ways to use the hi-hat.
Because it helps your overall groove by setting your body in motion, and you get better just by practicing it.
 
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MrPockets

Gold Member
Because the hi hat was invented to be played with the foot on 2 and 4, and now it is part of the instrument's tradition.
Well, that was why the low boy and sock cymbal were invented. The hi hat was invented because people wanted to hit those cymbals with their sticks.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Because the hi hat was invented to be played with the foot on 2 and 4, and now it is part of the instrument's tradition.
Because it is relatively easy to master, but once you do you can invent other creative ways to use the hi-hat.
Because it helps your overall groove by setting your body in motion, and you get better just by practicing it.

The hi hat was invented to be played with the foot on 2 and 4. I appreciate you Alien I'm going to practice that.
 
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