Keeping Time with your left foot. Why?

tfgretsch

Junior 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.

.
Thanks jim will work on that !
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Maybe you really don't need to. In another thread seperating men from boys I think it was they put videos up of Iron Maiden and took away key elements of the original song. And Dio and Sabbath. I thought that was amazing. The only rule in music to me. Is there are no rules. Appreciate you all.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Since you mention Sabbath, you can't play War Pigs without keeping time on the hats with your foot.
In my ear, the hi-hat part is ESSENTIAL in that particular song. I mean, even more essential than keeping time. Does that make sense? The hi hats are integral in that song. It seems a bit rare to me in rock. Maybe Good Times Bad Times as well?

In jazz, I see TONS of drummers with the left foot going on the hats the entire song. And I would think that has a lot to do with what they're doing around the rest of the kit--off beat syncopations. I'm NO GOOD with keeping time with the left foot. I've struggled with that since I began playing in the 80s.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
In my ear, the hi-hat part is ESSENTIAL in that particular song. I mean, even more essential than keeping time. Does that make sense? The hi hats are integral in that song. It seems a bit rare to me in rock. Maybe Good Times Bad Times as well?

In jazz, I see TONS of drummers with the left foot going on the hats the entire song. And I would think that has a lot to do with what they're doing around the rest of the kit--off beat syncopations. I'm NO GOOD with keeping time with the left foot. I've struggled with that since I began playing in the 80s.
I can keep time with my left foot and play around the drums with my hands no problem. But I can't introduce my right foot into the mix so I don't. I don't struggle with it I just don't do it. Ain't no rules in music I have a smoke and a smile and enjoy my day. Appreciate you.
 
Last edited:

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Since you mention Sabbath, you can't play War Pigs without keeping time on the hats with your foot.
I just listened to that song again and he keeps time with his left foot but only when hes not playing his right foot. Then goes back into the song. I can do that. But other drummers keep that hat going the whole song sometimes. I can't do that. Mans got to know his limitations.
 

iCe

Senior Member
I just listened to that song again and he keeps time with his left foot but only when hes not playing his right foot. Then goes back into the song. I can do that. But other drummers keep that hat going the whole song sometimes. I can't do that. Mans got to know his limitations.
Also stamina i guess. If i look at Taylor Hawkins i get acute cramp in my left leg haha. He plays 16th notes with his feet every time he is playing the ride, doing tom fills etc.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I used to avoid it because it seemed to me like it would just add to the complexity, i.e. require even more limb independence than I'm already using. Actually this probably is the case at first, but in time it comes around and becomes more of an aid than a challenge.
 

Tony Trout

Senior Member
I've been playing drums since I was around 7 or 8 but I've never been able to use my left foot & my right foot together. I guess it's mostly due to having mild Cerebral Palsy - but the latter (keeping time with my left foot) is something I've tried and I just can't do it.
 

mrjones

Well-known 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.
My teacher had me recently playing quarter on ride and 8th notes on highhat foot .very hard to do i still haven't nailed it
 
Top