new to blast beats...

drumhedd

Senior Member
Having recently decided to take my drumming in a more "extreme" direction, I've been trying to beef up my double bass and blast beat chops, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start! Anyone have any tips on how to start off? warm up/endurance/speed excercises?

Thanks!!!
 

andSometimesY

Senior Member
I don't use weights but I have an exercise that really helped me (hands at least)

1. Get a pillow or practice pad
2. Get a metronome
3. Make sure to use your fingers, not your wrists (when blasting)
4. Play the following 4/4 measure over and over at the fastest tempo that you can comfortably play it.
5. The exercise is as follows:
1e+a (right hand 16ths) 2e+a (left) 33ee++aa (alternating 32nds) 44ee++aa (alternating)
6. As you get faster, turn the bpm up on the metronome, but make sure you are playing at a speed at which you are comfortable. You should be able to work up some speed fairly quickly (don't expect Marco Pitruzzella blasts overnight though)
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
I don't use weights but I have an exercise that really helped me (hands at least)

1. Get a pillow or practice pad
2. Get a metronome
3. Make sure to use your fingers, not your wrists (when blasting)
4. Play the following 4/4 measure over and over at the fastest tempo that you can comfortably play it.
5. The exercise is as follows:
1e+a (right hand 16ths) 2e+a (left) 33ee++aa (alternating 32nds) 44ee++aa (alternating)
6. As you get faster, turn the bpm up on the metronome, but make sure you are playing at a speed at which you are comfortable. You should be able to work up some speed fairly quickly (don't expect Marco Pitruzzella blasts overnight though)
hmmm I will definetly give that a try... thanks! would paradiddles help as well?
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
You could always talk to Derick Roddy
i totally agree! what a great resource he is! he has a whole bunch of videos of himself on youtube. he has his own thread over in the "drummers" section of this forum where he answers questions from anyone. he even wrote a whole book about the history of blast beats and blast beat drumming in general. he's your one stop shop for anything you want to know about blast beats!
 

andSometimesY

Senior Member
hmmm I will definetly give that a try... thanks! would paradiddles help as well?
Well paradiddles certainly couldn't hurt! I never really use them when blasting, but you can get groovy on the bell of the ride. Do paradiddles with right hand on the bell, right foot with the right hand, and accent 2 and 4 on the snare with the rest being ghost notes. Then put the diddle in the middle (rllr, lrrl) and on the front (rrlr, llrl) for some variation. If you speed those up with your fingers it will sound super groovy.
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
thanks for all the awesome tips everyone! I'll definetly check out Derek's stuff, I've also been meaning to get George Kollias's new DVD, i don't know if anyone has it... it looks like he's got some craaazy stuff on there!
 

Crazy+Hands

Senior Member
I"ve got george's DVD, its great and very in-depth but its geared for experienced players and the exercises are challenging. Worth every penny.

You should be using wrist and fingers during your blasts. Only at "hyper blast" speeds (250+) should you exclusively use your fingers.

The hardest part about blasting is not usually hand technique ( you can always work on your speed/endurance with a pad and click) but foot technique and coordinating your hands and feet so that the notes line up. Try practicing some 16th note rolls between your left hand/right foot, right hand/right foot, and also work on your weaker side by doing right hand/left foot and left hand/left foot. Ideally, you want to be able to switch feet/hands without stopping. Focus on building up your leading foot, as it will keep your consistency going strong.

You could always just two foot the blasts but they don't sound the same, a well rehearsed single foot blast is much more energetic and aggressive while the two foot is more straight, mechanical rhythm. I'm a big DRoddy GKollias fan and they will tell you pretty much the same thing.
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
Try practicing some 16th note rolls between your left hand/right foot, right hand/right foot, and also work on your weaker side by doing right hand/left foot and left hand/left foot. Ideally, you want to be able to switch feet/hands without stopping. Focus on building up your leading foot, as it will keep your consistency going strong.
thanks for the info! When you say rolls "between" my hands and feet, does that mean alternating 16ths between my right foot and either hand? Or 16ths with both my foot and my hand?
 

Crazy+Hands

Senior Member
thanks for the info! When you say rolls "between" my hands and feet, does that mean alternating 16ths between my right foot and either hand? Or 16ths with both my foot and my hand?
Yes, alternating between your lead foot and r/l hand(s). if you focus on each foot individually your bomb blast (16ths with hands and feet, usually with the snare on one) will sound much better. The traditional way is to lead with your right foot, so that your snare hits on the up beat (i.e NOT on one but the "&" of one). This is the real challenge of the blast beat because it will really confuse you at first unless you can clearly hear the kick drum. A big part of playing clean blasts is listening, and for that reason triggers will help you out because they require you to play with more precision while making it easier to hear what your doing. Eventually, you won't have to worry so much about this listening aspect as you develop a feel for various tempos and the motion begins to drive your playing (you wont have to think/listen as carefully, ideally). Again, George Kollias does the best job of emphasizing using different motion for different tempos, because playing a blast at 200 bpm is completely different than 220, or 250 and so on. Focus on controlling that motion and you'll see some good results.

Another way to practice your foot control is to play 16ths with one foot while counting 8th notes on your ride/hihat and hitting the snare on two and four or one and three. You want the create the illusion of playing 8ths with two feet, but with one...its called "single-double bass" and it will really help even out your blast beat.
 
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