Open handed + double bass

magno3025

Junior Member
Hey everyone. I've been messing around with playing open handed lately and since I play a double pedal naturally I want to throw in a few double bass runs here and there. My question is: which foot should I lead with? I'm early enough into this that one doesn't feel better than the other so I'm looking for some recommendations. I'm right handed so naturally I want to lead with the right foot while the left hand is on the hats. But something does feel kinda nice about locking in the left hand and foot. What do you guys do?
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
Practice leading with both, become proficient at leading with both. Most lead with the right foot on the BD w/ a double pedal, but that doesn't make it law. Playing open handed has tremendous advantages when it comes to moving around the kit. The more you are able to use all limbs equally, the greater you drumming ability will become. I always try to suggest that new drummers to take up open handed playing. You can't go wrong with it.

Have you taken drum lessons for any amount of time? Are you able to read drum music? There are many exercises out there that will help you to develop, timing, independence and coordination.
 

magno3025

Junior Member
I've been playing for 3 or 4 years now and took some lessons at the beginning of that. Free time was an issue though so I stopped. I want to start taking lessons again now, but this time money is the issue. And I can read music fairly well, drum or otherwise.

Thanks for the tips That Guy. I'll work on leading with both feet.
 
I disagree with trying double bass with left and right foot lead. If it's a right handed setup then see if right foot lead works well for you. If not then go to left foot lead but I think unless you have amazing natural ambidexterity you should commit to one or the other. To work on both might be confusing as far as independence goes-- meaning-- it may be difficult to play different sycopations on top of double bass 16ths and triplets.
 

Styx

Senior Member
I disagree with trying double bass with left and right foot lead. If it's a right handed setup then see if right foot lead works well for you. If not then go to left foot lead but I think unless you have amazing natural ambidexterity you should commit to one or the other. To work on both might be confusing as far as independence goes-- meaning-- it may be difficult to play different sycopations on top of double bass 16ths and triplets.
I disagree with you and agree with That Guy.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
The point of drumming is to be as independant as possible. I strongly suggest working both equally...the ability to play any note at any time with any limb (something I have strived for over the last many years, and not achieved perfectly, but have grown tremendously with) is the ability to do whatever you want. It also makes fixing mistakes, etc, that much easier.
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
Well, I disagree with the disagree!

Mangno, go with MrChattr and TG work on the whole drummer is my way of thinking...if it "gets confusing" work on that...do all that you can to make yourself the best drummer possible is my way of thinking and I am a noob!

Best of luck
 

VedranS

Senior Member
The point of drumming is to be as independant as possible. .
I hate to be contrary or to argue semantics, but I'm going to anyway. I don't disagree that independence should be strived for, but the "point of drumming" if anything is the creative, musical expression of ideas and emotions, the entertainment of an audience, and the supporting of your fellow musicians in their endeavors to do the same. It's not to be as independent as possible. That's just a terribly mechanistic and reductionistic way of looking at something that's so much more meaningful.
 
I hate to be contrary or to argue semantics, but I'm going to anyway. I don't disagree that independence should be strived for, but the "point of drumming" if anything is the creative, musical expression of ideas and emotions, the entertainment of an audience, and the supporting of your fellow musicians in their endeavors to do the same. It's not to be as independent as possible. That's just a terribly mechanistic and reductionistic way of looking at something that's so much more meaningful.

I second that and.....different drummers respond differently to independence issues. It should not be the goal to be independent for independents sake. Music, touch, feel, groove, these far surpass independence on my list. The drummers I see that strive for crazy independence usually spend way too much time on this and not on developing a sense of musicality or groove. They often sound like they're practicing while performing. Of course this is a generalization but it's what I've experienced. It's similar to left hand lead in certain players. Many drummers try this and do not sound convincing. Others may be as fluent on left hand lead as Will Kenedy.

If a drummer is new to double bass they should choose which foot to lead with and work on that. Once a certain level of mastery is achieved then the drummer can experiment with alternate patterns like left foot lead (if that's what's desired). I wouldn't start out trying to be ambidextrous.
If fills are played with left hand lead then maybe double bass should be left foot lead. It's also important to go with what's natural along with a teacher's guidance.

Everybody is different. It's ridiculous to say you know exactly what's best for a drummer without taking many of these things into consideration.
 

DrummerBoyManSir

Junior Member
hey man, yeah im a lefty so i started out playing open handed, i do think its better because u can move around the kit, and i wud suggest that you learn to use all 4 limbs equally, that makes it so much better and it really gives u a great deal into control, itll take a while in order to learn to use all 4 but still its worth it good luck!
 

votard

Member
Just start playing how you normal play with one foot, and then let the other one follow. If you play right footed(even though you play left-handed with open hand), I suggest you lead with your right foot. Although, of course, you could just practice both and use it to your advantage while playing like Chris Adler. Sometimes, he'll start leading with his left foot to give his right foot some rest, and vice versa. And after getting both feet coordinated, work on both heel-up and heel-down, for more versatility.

One of the things I like about leading with right foot is I can do a triplet on BD, and on the last BD note, also play open hihat, then close it fast with my left foot. I think it sounds cool anyways.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
My quick 2 cents:

1. The point of drumming is to make music. There is no other point.
2. A far as the independence concepts. It really all depends upon your musical goal. If you are playing blast beat stuff then just focus on right foot lead. Ask George Kollias or any other warp-speed drummer and they all use right lead. If you want to be a Virgil or Mangini-type, more versatile with the feet then focus on leading with both.

It comes down to expanding your ability by increasing skill with on one level or by increasing your skill across many levels. Each approach has its pluses and minuses. There is no "better" approach without a musical context to judge it by.

Peace.
 
My quick 2 cents:

1. The point of drumming is to make music. There is no other point.
2. A far as the independence concepts. It really all depends upon your musical goal. If you are playing blast beat stuff then just focus on right foot lead. Ask George Kollias or any other warp-speed drummer and they all use right lead. If you want to be a Virgil or Mangini-type, more versatile with the feet then focus on leading with both.

It comes down to expanding your ability by increasing skill with on one level or by increasing your skill across many levels. Each approach has its pluses and minuses. There is no "better" approach without a musical context to judge it by.

Peace.
I'd go along with that. It just seems that more and more, beginning and intermediate drummers focus on the extremes of speed and independence at the expense of making music. It's because of this that they'll be left out of gigs in later life. I strongly believe your formative years as a drummer will determine how you'll sound forever after that. If blast beats and extreme independence is what a drummer wants, then ok, but they'll be shut out of gigs that have nothing to do with these areas. It's about the choices we make. What music we decide defines us. I was taught to listen to as many genres of music and drummers as possible.

I'm just looking at it from a practical point. Everybody should read Steve Smith's latest interview in Drumhead Magazine. He talks about this exact subject- how in drumming today there are great strides being made in technique, speed and accuracy but not in groove and feel. Check it out.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I hate to be contrary or to argue semantics, but I'm going to anyway. I don't disagree that independence should be strived for, but the "point of drumming" if anything is the creative, musical expression of ideas and emotions, the entertainment of an audience, and the supporting of your fellow musicians in their endeavors to do the same. It's not to be as independent as possible. That's just a terribly mechanistic and reductionistic way of looking at something that's so much more meaningful.
I tend to agree - independence is a means to other goals, not a goal in itself.

I play open, left hand hats and ride, right hand snare and toms. I am just as set in my ways as someone who plays crossed. I see some people playing hats with the left hand and ride with the right hand; they are training the right hand to do what the left one does already. For me, I'd rather keep each hand to its speciality and focus on learning and improving techniques.

That said, I am not opposed to ambidexterity to cross-training the hands for feet. I just think the demands of a particular song should guide your choice, not some arbitrary requirement to cross-train the limbs.

Another thing: Don't cross your feet when you play double bass! Continue to play open. (That was a joke).
 

Derek Roddy

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
It just seems that more and more, beginning and intermediate drummers focus on the extremes of speed and independence at the expense of making music. It's because of this that they'll be left out of gigs in later life.
A BIG reason for this is....
Young people are finding less and less musicians to play with.
With the up start of Guitar hero and Rock Band....young people are losing the courage to stand in a room with 3 other people and suck at something for awhile.
They don't want to take the years to become a well rounded musician. They only want to spend a few days to get good pressing buttons on a drum or guitar controller to impress their friends. This is immediate and does not hurt the modern day ego.

I'm just looking at it from a practical point. Everybody should read Steve Smith's latest interview in Drumhead Magazine. He talks about this exact subject- how in drumming today there are great strides being made in technique, speed and accuracy but not in groove and feel. Check it out.
I know PLENTY of great groove players in the scene....Steve's not listening to the right stuff....Greb, Mayer, Prieto, Harrison, Sucherman, etc.....plus a slew of guys locals guys that most wouldn't know.
Also, these "jungle gym" type of players is what get others attention.
I mean....think about it....nobody really comes to their feet, until Vinnie plays some crazy chops.
That's what draws attention and attention is what kids need in this day and age.....god knows they're not getting it from their parents.

Nothing wrong with the young guys setting these types of goals....as long as their are other more experienced drummers leading them in the right direction.

And you have to remember....not everybody want to be a "world class drummer". Some of these guys just want to hit shit....and that's the end of it. Can't blame them for something they don't want to begin with.

The ones who DO want it.....will undoubtedly go get it.

Just another view....

Cheers.

D.
 
One other thing about speed and technique versus groove and feel:
So much drumming in music today is of course "fixed" in pro tools or other type of digital editing. With the use of grid editig, cut and paste, beat detective (I've heard some engineers describe this as evil) and sound replacer, drummers are not hearing the real deal regarding groove when it comes to so much of today's modern music.

Listening to Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, AC/DC, ect ect is so different than hearing a modern rock record by --fill in the blank--. This is because the old school classic rock is human. It's real. If drummers are cut off from this willfully then they are missing so much in learning how to make music feel good and grooving. Listening to new music exclusively is a dangerous proposition if a drummer wants to be well rounded. Forget about the left hand lead.
Check out some old records by James Brown or Zepp. How bout Deep Purple or Lynrd Skynrd? Playing along to records like this is better practice time spent than working on left hand or left foot lead. I say this to anybody who feels they could improve in the feel and groove department. And this includes so many drummers I know including myself. To me, I always have tremendous room for improvement. Learning to play open handed is far back on the list.
 

Dystisis

Member
Hey everyone. I've been messing around with playing open handed lately and since I play a double pedal naturally I want to throw in a few double bass runs here and there. My question is: which foot should I lead with? I'm early enough into this that one doesn't feel better than the other so I'm looking for some recommendations. I'm right handed so naturally I want to lead with the right foot while the left hand is on the hats. But something does feel kinda nice about locking in the left hand and foot. What do you guys do?
You know for a good while I have been having troubles learning double bass, or to be more precise, locking in with all limbs while doing double bass. I soon realized that my problem was exactly the same as yours: I am playing open handed and counting 8s, 16s whatever, with my left hand. This is hard when you are trying to time that together with the right foot (which hits on 8s).

SO, all it requires is a little mental practice. Just keep practicing, I am getting there and once I get it perfected it will be great! A really nice style to play, I think. Good luck.
 
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