Problem with heel up double bass

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
Hi!

I've been practising heel up ankle motion double bass on and off for about a year now. With on and off I mean for a few months I played about 4 hours every day while other months I had work and played other stuff and barley played anything. Now I can play fairly good at tempos like 180bpm but only after about 30 mins to 1 hour of sloppy playing. I know you need to warm up but it goes from my left foot not being able to play at all(Right is good though) to be able to play pretty well. Am I doing something wrong or will it just come over time of practising(Some say it takes years)? It's not realistic to need one hour for me to be able to remotely play my bands songs when we rehearse or play gigs.

Thanks in advance!
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
It's all about practice, practice and more practice. Also at 180bpm you are just entering a zone where you are transitioning from mostly leg to some leg and a little ankle, which takes...

......you guessed it .........more practice to get things in order.

As you increase the tempo you will use less leg and more ankle and things smooth out, provided your ankle playing is up to it.
 

BobbyP

New member
From my own long experience (and mistakes along the way!) I'd suggest that you construct drum parts for your band's songs that fit with your current level of technique, so your beats sound solid and consistent. Meantime, try to include a short period of focussed foot technique practice each time you have a practice session ie do a little often. I also recommend the Jojo Mayer foot technique DVD.
 

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
From my own long experience (and mistakes along the way!) I'd suggest that you construct drum parts for your band's songs that fit with your current level of technique, so your beats sound solid and consistent. Meantime, try to include a short period of focussed foot technique practice each time you have a practice session ie do a little often. I also recommend the Jojo Mayer foot technique DVD.
Thanks for the tip. The problem is I'm not their original drummer, been with them for about a year(Not playing so many show obivously though) so there are a lot of fast songs already recorded.
 

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
It's all about practice, practice and more practice. Also at 180bpm you are just entering a zone where you are transitioning from mostly leg to some leg and a little ankle, which takes...

......you guessed it .........more practice to get things in order.

As you increase the tempo you will use less leg and more ankle and things smooth out, provided your ankle playing is up to it.
Thanks! I know practice is everything but it seems weird to me to have to start with up to 1 hour of not being able to play with the ankle technique on my left foot at all to later being able to play pretty well. I mean I've been proving to myself I can play it but every time I start a session it's like my left foot doesn't remember the motion. Cause it's not like warming up were you might start a little sloppy but then get tighter, this is like a real struggle.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You need more practice. Double kick requires constant (read daily, and not just for 5 minutes) work to keep consistent.

Need to play for an hour? Practice for two. Everyday. Push yourself. This is the key.

Anyone who is successful at playing double kick has done the work. We run ourselves ragged outside of gigs and band practice in order to not kill ourselves while performing. It's a mindset, you have to WANT it. Not just like "yeah I want that", but "I'd claw my own eyes out I want it so bad".

Put in the work and you will start to see results.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
I see the advice often, and I wonder how many people actually do it? Play songs with your weak foot as the primary BD. I don't mean intricate, fast patterns. Just basic back beat stuff. And include some call and response between hands and feet in your practice time, which usually helps your hands since you have to play slow and determined.
 

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
You need more practice. Double kick requires constant (read daily, and not just for 5 minutes) work to keep consistent.

Need to play for an hour? Practice for two. Everyday. Push yourself. This is the key.

Anyone who is successful at playing double kick has done the work. We run ourselves ragged outside of gigs and band practice in order to not kill ourselves while performing. It's a mindset, you have to WANT it. Not just like "yeah I want that", but "I'd claw my own eyes out I want it so bad".

Put in the work and you will start to see results.
Yeah thats right! So even though I've played fast double bass for a year it's normal? Today I played for about 3 hours and played double bass stuff most of the time, couldn't play with my left at all the first hour but then it got better. I guess i just gotta practise till I won't need that hour warm-up, I just wanted to make sure that i didn't to anything wrong:) I did play like 4-5hours a day everyday for a few months but the work and other music got in the way some periods.
 

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
I see the advice often, and I wonder how many people actually do it? Play songs with your weak foot as the primary BD. I don't mean intricate, fast patterns. Just basic back beat stuff. And include some call and response between hands and feet in your practice time, which usually helps your hands since you have to play slow and determined.
Good tip! I did some of that when I got bored of just playing metronome or with nothing today. Played bass drum-heavy songs like No Brains by Sum41(But with only left foot) and seems like a good practise that's actually fun as well!
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
So even though I've played fast double bass for a year it's normal?
Yes it is. You're still a beginner at fast double bass. You're still developing your foot technique on both feet.
You may want to focus on doing consistent 8th notes with you're left foot to a metronome. Find a tempo where it's comfortable and do it for a minute. Rest for 30 seconds, bump up the tempo 5bpm and do it at that tempo. Keep increasing it till you start dragging. Then do the same thing with both feet. You can also do this with your hands moving around the kit.
Do this every other day. It's important to rest and give your body time to repair itself and give yourself a break from focusing on your feet. Remember, your only as fast as your slowest limb.
 

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
Yes it is. You're still a beginner at fast double bass. You're still developing your foot technique on both feet.
You may want to focus on doing consistent 8th notes with you're left foot to a metronome. Find a tempo where it's comfortable and do it for a minute. Rest for 30 seconds, bump up the tempo 5bpm and do it at that tempo. Keep increasing it till you start dragging. Then do the same thing with both feet. You can also do this with your hands moving around the kit.
Do this every other day. It's important to rest and give your body time to repair itself and give yourself a break from focusing on your feet. Remember, your only as fast as your slowest limb.
Thanks again! Yeah i guess so, makes sense for my right foot to actually be fast and relaxed since i've played with that for 7 years but the left for onl 1 year(Unless you count stomping hi hats on songs and slow double pedal). I guess it's a good sign that I actually can play decent at faster tempos after a while, I just need to practise so that I won't require one hour warm up haha :D
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Do endurance runs at about 2/3 of your top tempo 3-4x weekly
Get the runs up to 20-30 mins. Watch your form.

if you practice too close to your top speed you will be forcing too much and not training a really clean motion.
 

Nilsdrums

Junior Member
Do endurance runs at about 2/3 of your top tempo 3-4x weekly
Get the runs up to 20-30 mins. Watch your form.

if you practice too close to your top speed you will be forcing too much and not training a really clean motion.
Good tip! For my left foot though it for some reason just can't play at any speed for the first hour, really weird and makes practicing harder and more frustrating. Just want it to be able to play with the same relaxed motion as the right.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Good tip! For my left foot though it for some reason just can't play at any speed for the first hour, really weird and makes practicing harder and more frustrating. Just want it to be able to play with the same relaxed motion as the right.
Do what Jeff said and this issue will go away. You just need more practice.
 
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