Kick drum problems

arfartt

New member
hi. i'm a new fairly new drummer, i've been playing for about 5 months and play alot of rock and metal. for the most part im progressing really well, but there is one reoccuring problem that is really making me mad. when i play faster kick drum beats, i find myself stuttering and not being able to press down all the way, and the pedal never hits the drum. its weird because some days ill be able to play those beats for the most part, and another day i have so much trouble being able to get it to connect. i tried tightening the spring on my kick pedal, but it cant be tightened anymore than the setting it came as. right now i have a PDP PDDP402 double bass drum pedal. any tips on how to fix this?

for the most part i play with my heel up but my toe is all the way at the top of the pedal.

Here is a video of my problem as well :
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Five months isn't much time behind a kit, especially when you're attempting to develop all limbs at once -- presuming you didn't start with rudiments on a pad but rather jumped right into the demands of a full drum set. Getting "mad" isn't helping matters, as you're probably starting to associate your bass pedal with frustration. Relax and give yourself time to take it all in. I worked on a pad for almost two years before I ever sat behind a drum set. Drumming requires very complex motions. You're asking a lot of yourself in a very short time. Don't expect your technique to flourish over night.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Just keep playing. If you need to slow down a little to play it right then do it. Play it right first and foremost. Enjoy the what you can do now because you‘ll get better with time. 5 months is nothing. I’ve been playing 50yr and not nearly as good as I’d like to be but I enjoy what I can do while I’m trying to get better. Enjoy the ride.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Trying using your ankle more. From your video, it looks like you're using every muscle in your leg except for your ankle. Using your upper leg is ok for slower, heavier stuff, but usually not for faster tempos. At faster tempos, you should be using little of your upper leg, and mostly your ankle.

Keep in mind, using your ankle doesn't mean playing from your toes, which is what it looks like you're also doing. Sure, play with your toes, but not from them. Try using your calf muscle (ie. contract your calf) - and develop that - to get your foot to pivot at the ankle and play the pedal.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Great suggestions here! The core is practice, practice, practice... you can't do a marathon without working out and building op endurance, stamina etc.
Although drumming is (generally) less demanding than running a marathon, it still takes practice and patience.
When i started out i had problems with the bass drum part in Beasty Boys - Fight For Your Right (To Party). Took me quite some time to nail the 2nd bass drum note on 3e but after playing it slow and speeding up i finally 'mastered' it.
 

Birch4Punch

Junior Member
You may want to try using a heavier beater. In order to get a good strike on the bass drum, you need momentum. A lot of the newer bass drum beaters are small and plastic. They don't have enough weight to give a good thump when they land. Also, the heavier beater will help you to practice at a slower pace and build up your calf muscles. Your springs should be at a medium tension. If they are too tight, you won't get the beater to the drumhead easily. If they are too loose, the beater won't return fast enough. I use a wood beater to get a nice thump.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
You may want to try using a heavier beater. In order to get a good strike on the bass drum, you need momentum. A lot of the newer bass drum beaters are small and plastic. They don't have enough weight to give a good thump when they land. Also, the heavier beater will help you to practice at a slower pace and build up your calf muscles. Your springs should be at a medium tension. If they are too tight, you won't get the beater to the drumhead easily. If they are too loose, the beater won't return fast enough. I use a wood beater to get a nice thump.
spend less time fiddling about with your bass drum pedal settings and more time practicing on your bass drum.
 

pbm2112

Senior Member
First off, you're doing really well for 5 months, and respect for putting up a video and having people comment on it!

Lots of great comments here already, but I'll tell you what I think I'm seeing and maybe it will help in some way.

Firstly, if you want to play heel up, your heel only needs to be an inch or so off the pedal. This gives you the right angle to press down with the ball of your foot. (There are loads of examples of this on YouTube).

Looking at what you are doing, you are starting off in this position which works well for you, but as you get tense your ankle is coming up very high. This means you can't put enough pressure on the footboard to strike the drum without using your whole leg. From that point everything goes into spasm and you stop. This is very common and totally fixable. Like everyone has said, go slow and get your foot position nailed first. Spend time just playing beats of the same volume - not very loud - at a tempo that allows you to pivot from the ankle with the heal an inch off the footboard. If you are struggling to figure out what is your ankle verses what is your leg, play for a few weeks heel down only - that's all ankle. Get used to this movement and then lift the heel up a little.

Also, your strokes will be more efficient in the long-run if your toes are always in contact with the footboard. Your foot comes off the board and you catch it with you toes (or another way of thinking about it, you make your foot/toes rigid and the pedal bounces of them). This can work up to a point, but is another reason you are tensing up.

I hope this makes sense and good luck.
 

Phil A.

Junior Member
I would suggest playing that pattern heel down slowly and slowly speeding it up. In my experience, heel down really embodies the fundamental motion, which is relevant even when you're using heel up. Once you've practiced like that, my guess is your heel won't come up so high and you'll use more ankle motion like beatdat said above.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Tighter spring is fighting his foot, surely?
Isn't the principle 'little as possible'
Nah, his motion is all wonky. As he is pushing down with his toes, his heel is going up and away from the footboard. That's counter productive. It's also lifting his toes off the board.

He needs to lower his heel significantly, like almost parallel, and leave it there while pressing with the toes. If he does it more towards the middle of the footboard it will bounce more, like a stick. The footboard has a fulcrum too.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Nah, his motion is all wonky. As he is pushing down with his toes, his heel is going up and away from the footboard. That's counter productive. It's also lifting his toes off the board.

He needs to lower his heel significantly, like almost parallel, and leave it there while pressing with the toes. If he does it more towards the middle of the footboard it will bounce more, like a stick. The footboard has a fulcrum too.
But he also says he's 'tightened the spring as far as it will go'.
The opposite of what he needs if he's not hitting the drum, surely?
 
Top