Problem with my heel down technique. Please help.

jeffc

Junior Member
Hi everyone I am new to this forum. I'm having bit of trouble with my heel down foot technique. The problem is that no matter what type of pedal I use or what shoe I wear, my foot progressively slides up and eventually hits the chain. I have trouble keeping in that one spot with the best leverage. I tried planting my heel down on the ground harder and pushing off my seat more, but it just took longer for my foot to slide up and made me bobble a lot.

I've been using Colin Bailey's Bass Drum Control book and the 8 pages of the Syncopation book for my development, but this problem is impeding my progress. Is there something I can change? Do I just need to keep at it and strengthen my muscles to the point where it won't slide? Can any experienced heel down players help?
 

Gunnarsen

Member
for how long have you been playing with your heel down?
in my case it was just a matter of getting used to this technique. i had the same problem but after a couple of weeks playing with my heel down it kind of solved itself...
 

Monica McCoy

Senior Member
I used to have this problem when I first started playing. I think the correction had to do with releasing the beater after playing a note. If you leave it beater buried, your foot is going to be applying pressure to the pedal and your toes make a bee line for the chain.
 

jeffc

Junior Member
I've started heel down recently after playing heel up for years. I actually am trying to let the beater stay off the head as I did with my old technique but its a bit tougher now. I think playing for a few weeks and seeing if it fixes itself will be the way to go for me.. Thanks for the help you guys.
 

grannydrums

Senior Member
When I used to play heels down I used a toe guard on the pedal to stop my foot creeping up . Then i moved to heels up. Now though I do some heels down work at the start of foot excercises because I read that it develops the muscles and funnily enough my foot is not creeping up--so I suspect it just comes with practice
 

jeffc

Junior Member
If it got bad enough I was going to consider a toe stop, but I'm happy to report after a couple days that the problem is going away. It's feels strange re-learning my foot technique but my whole body feels more relaxed now. Thanks for the help from all of you.
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
If it got bad enough I was going to consider a toe stop, but I'm happy to report after a couple days that the problem is going away. It's feels strange re-learning my foot technique but my whole body feels more relaxed now. Thanks for the help from all of you.
Wow, lucky you that it went away after just two days! What was the trick? Because I've been having this problem for quite a while now. I can't remember exactly when I switched to heel down, maybe a few months ago. I switched for two reasons: slight groin pain and to practice quieter. I also read that all serious drummers should learn both ways. I can still play heel up, just not for an entire practice session. Anyway, I still can't get the foot from sliding forward.

The thing is, the pedal is quite small. It's a Yamaha Manu Katche Hipgig Junior kit. Very small, the bass drum is 16". My foot is quite big, too. I wear a size 11 1/2 shoe. Do you think that could be to do with it? If I bought a longer pedal, would that make any difference?
 

jeffc

Junior Member
Hey. I may have overstated the fact that it went away that soon. It wasn't fixed in two days but the problem was dramatically improved. The problem just recently went away for me. I practiced the first two pages of bailey's book and played the bass drum as the melody on the syncopation book while keeping a rock beat with my hands. The former helped a lot because it was just basic exercises isolated only on the feet. I've played a lot heel down years before I switched to heel up (with the sliding and all) so maybe that helped me too. I'm not 100 percent sure but I think maybe a bigger pedal might help. In Colin Bailey's book, he says that the "sweet spot" of the bass pedal is about 4 inches down from the top. Perhaps your foot is too big for the sweet spot on your pedal. Hope this helps.
 
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