question for double bass players

bud7h4

Silver Member
For those of you playing at 250 bpm or more, is your single foot speed as fast (sustained) as it is when alternating LRLR? In other words when playing say, 16ths at 280 bpm, can you stop alternating and play the 8ths with one foot at the same tempo?

I can't even come close. Playing 16ths at 280 is a breeze, yet my single foot speed (the 8th notes) drops to 210 max, if both feet aren't engaged.

Just poor technique?
 

calan

Silver Member
I find I'm kind of the opposite, but that's probably because my alternate foot is underdeveloped and gimpy. But there's a range of tempos (I'm guessing probably around 120-160) where I'm usually better off playing sixteenth notes one footed because it sounds cleaner and more consistent, and my alternate foot tends to drag behind. Move up the tempo to the more foot twitching speeds and everything is fine again.

However, when doing something like a traditional blast, I can go much faster when I'm actually playing the full kit than when I isolate the single foot with the metronome.

Could be poor technique, or just one of those weird mental hurdles.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
For those of you playing at 250 bpm or more, is your single foot speed as fast (sustained) as it is when alternating LRLR? In other words when playing say, 16ths at 280 bpm, can you stop alternating and play the 8ths with one foot at the same tempo?

I can't even come close. Playing 16ths at 280 is a breeze, yet my single foot speed (the 8th notes) drops to 210 max, if both feet aren't engaged.

Just poor technique?
Honestly, I've never met anyone for whom playing singles at 280 "is a breeze".

And the right foot by itself will always be faster if you are not doing a roll. This is because there is less coordination required. Very often the LEFT foot will be slower when playing it alone because it is just following the right foot during a roll.

So your case seems very strange/unique. Are you sure you are doing single stroke 16th notes at 280? Can you post a video because you would be one of the fastest double bass players in the world if you can actually do it.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
And the right foot by itself will always be faster if you are not doing a roll. This is because there is less coordination required.
Both my feet are the same speed. Footwork is better with the right, but speed is the same.

My issue is not about right vs left. Both feet are way, way faster when both are alternating LRLR compared to just one foot playing R R R R. For one thing I'm totally relaxed and letting the pedals do the work, even at my max speed. But at my max speed - with one foot only - my leg tenses up.

Here's a perfect example of George Kollias playing double bass 16ths and single bass 8ths at the same tempos. I can't play sustained single bass like that beyond 210 bpm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mnxm1qh_1rw
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
For those of you playing at 250 bpm or more, is your single foot speed as fast (sustained) as it is when alternating LRLR? In other words when playing say, 16ths at 280 bpm, can you stop alternating and play the 8ths with one foot at the same tempo?

I can't even come close. Playing 16ths at 280 is a breeze, yet my single foot speed (the 8th notes) drops to 210 max, if both feet aren't engaged.

Just poor technique?
I learned to play fake double bass between double stroke ft and double stroke bd. 32 notes at 105 is an achievable goal if you begin slowly. 120 is not out of reach. It should lead you to your 16th at 250 (125bpm 32nd notes), if i counted it right. As an ex double pedal lover, I have come to apreciate and most of all respect the double bass feel with an added left foot syncopated hh as bonus! It always sends out the message that I worked a great deal to make it happen.

If i'm wrong and i am way off, then call me out. I mean no disrespect, it is all in good faith.
 

Servant

Junior Member
For those of you playing at 250 bpm or more, is your single foot speed as fast (sustained) as it is when alternating LRLR? In other words when playing say, 16ths at 280 bpm, can you stop alternating and play the 8ths with one foot at the same tempo?

I can't even come close. Playing 16ths at 280 is a breeze, yet my single foot speed (the 8th notes) drops to 210 max, if both feet aren't engaged.

Just poor technique?
Maybe it's because you get used to do a roll with both your feet. You said that you're totally relaxed and that you're letting the pedals do the work, this is great. I would try to practice straigth single foot 8th notes focusing on the feel and technique that you get when you're doing a single stroke roll.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Maybe it's because you get used to do a roll with both your feet. You said that you're totally relaxed and that you're letting the pedals do the work, this is great. I would try to practice straigth single foot 8th notes focusing on the feel and technique that you get when you're doing a single stroke roll.

I think you nailed it. It's simply a matter of having devoted much more time to practicing both pedals. The irony is that I believe practicing single foot speed almost certainly helps increase double bass speed (if your DB is already solid) or at least endurance.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
While I can't play at that sort of speed, it should be fairly simple to correct.

Starting at 200bpm, alternate bars of 16ths with both feet and 8ths with a single foot, eg:

Code:
R R R R R R R R RLRLRLRLRLRLRLR L L L L L L L L LRLRLRLRLRLRLRL
1...2...3...4...1...2...3...4...1...2...3...4...1...2...3...4...
or
R R R R R R R R LRLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL L L L L L L L RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL
That being said, it's probably worthwhile to double or quadruple the amount of bars you play, i.e., switch patterns every 2 or 4 bars rather than every bar. Given your maximum speed is 280 you should be able to get away with increments of 10bpm when you want to up the speed each time.

My theory is that you simply need to re-train your central nervous system so that your legs aren't co-dependant on each other. With that being said, I know I can generally play longer bursts with both feet than I can play with my left foot on my own - but that's not true for my right foot. I use this to my advantage, to increase my speed and endurance of my left foot.
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
When I'm just doing straight sixteenths, I feel like I can go a little faster and have more stamina than doing eighths on one foot (especially my left foot). I play my bass drum pretty hard, and when I'm doing fast double bass I feel like I'm keeping my balance. The energy of kicking one pedal goes up my leg and through my hips to the other leg and then bounces off the other pedal to go back again. Eighths at the same (high) speed with one foot always seem more fatiguing than when I'm "running".
 

Servant

Junior Member
I think you nailed it. It's simply a matter of having devoted much more time to practicing both pedals. The irony is that I believe practicing single foot speed almost certainly helps increase double bass speed (if your DB is already solid) or at least endurance.
Glad to hear that I've at least understood what your problem is :)

I don't know if this can help, but at least you can give it a try to get used to the feeling... start by doing a single stroke roll (which you're used to) and then leave out the left foot (or viceversa), without changing anything in the single foot playing (I know, it's a lot more easy to say it than to do it)
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
as someone who plays fast double bass I agree.
Lately for over 240 I do heel toe to save energy buy used to do more singles... up to 230/240

I think your confusing your speeds though. 280 singles is insane. I mean, there's a handful of drummers in the world doing consistent solid 16th at 280. I could be wrong but I'd love to see a video of it being a "breeze"

Heel toe i can get to around there but It involves putting the beaters way to close for my liking.

anyways. back to the topic.. doing 16th notes i can fly.. single foot blast beats my right foot sucks. i think you get into a running type motion and used to it.. either one of my feet solo I can't go as fast (1/8 notes) as both in 16th

my hands are the opposite...I can hyperblast no problem when just doing a single hand.
 

MattRitter

Senior Member
I think your confusing your speeds though. 280 singles is insane. I mean, there's a handful of drummers in the world doing consistent solid 16th at 280.
You could be correct here. If the person is mistaken in thinking they can play alternating 16ths at 280, then it would immediately explain the entire paradox of not being able to do 8ths with one foot at the same tempo. I have no idea if this is what's going on in this particular case, but I can absolutely say that I've seen this many times with students trying to learn a single stroke roll with the hands. They set the click to some absurd tempo and proceed to alternate their sticks with wild abandon believing that they are actually playing in time. The blur of sound is too much for their brain to really process, so they don't even realize that they aren't actually playing 16th notes, nor 16th note triplets, nor any clear rhythm whatsoever for that matter. Again...I'm not saying this is what is happening with the person who started this thread. I don't know that person, and I know absolutely nothing about their drumming. All I'm saying is that this phenomenon I've described above is quite common.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I can do max 240 singles at 16th notes.. but ive been playing death metal for about 12 years and drums for closer to 19.

well, i USED to do up to 240.. it would make my legs burn and took years to build up endurance.. now I do heel toe and its great.

when i play 16th notes, its 16th notes.. RLRLRLRL. or in heel toe RRLLRRLL

i see guys mix up 1/8 and 1/16 notes.. or like you said triplets or whatever.


Playing to a metronome with a video is a good way to show us what is going on. 280 (singles) is insane.... the faster you get, the harder it is to squeeze a few bpm.. going from 180-200 is not bad,, 200-210 harder.. etc.. 230-240 takes forever...

that being said.. i still find it harder to play very fast 1/8 notes on one foot at the exact same speed as doing 1/16 notes on 2 feet.. its a mental thing perhaps.. but i can do 220 singles all day in 16th RLRLRLRL... but 220 1/8 notes on my right or left foot alone feels harder. like one foot blast beats.
 

MattRitter

Senior Member
when i play 16th notes, its 16th notes.. RLRLRLRL. or in heel toe RRLLRRLL
Absolutely. I've seen one or 2 of your videos over the years, and you have really speedy feet. I don't doubt for a moment that your 16ths at 240 are truly 16ths. Keep up the good work!
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Playing to a metronome with a video is a good way to show us what is going on. 280 (singles) is insane.... the faster you get, the harder it is to squeeze a few bpm.. going from 180-200 is not bad,, 200-210 harder.. etc.. 230-240 takes forever...
For me it was slow going until I reached about 220 (that took about 3 years), then it was like a door was unlocked and in a few weeks I was going 260. Actually 260 takes no more effort than 220, to me it feels identical only faster lol. Dialing in the correct ankle motion not only increases speed but makes it less arduous. As a result, for me, the newly attained speed is actually easier to play than my previous max speed.


that being said.. i still find it harder to play very fast 1/8 notes on one foot at the exact same speed as doing 1/16 notes on 2 feet.. its a mental thing perhaps.. but i can do 220 singles all day in 16th RLRLRLRL... but 220 1/8 notes on my right or left foot alone feels harder. like one foot blast beats.
Glad it's not just me. Since my original post I've really focused on single bass and I'm about 10 bpm faster already.
 
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porter

Platinum Member
When I'm just doing straight sixteenths, I feel like I can go a little faster and have more stamina than doing eighths on one foot (especially my left foot). I play my bass drum pretty hard, and when I'm doing fast double bass I feel like I'm keeping my balance. The energy of kicking one pedal goes up my leg and through my hips to the other leg and then bounces off the other pedal to go back again. Eighths at the same (high) speed with one foot always seem more fatiguing than when I'm "running".
That's my experience too. Doing a single foot, I feel like I'm putting more into each stroke, whereas with two feet, I feel like I'm just gliding on the top of the pedal and producing the same volume anyways.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
It is possible.. I'm not saying you can't do it.. But can you post a video? 280 singles is insane.. I need to see it to fully believe it.

I'd like to see the beater angle/distance and a few other things at those speeds. if you post it..

I can probably do 280 heel toe but id have to move my beaters too close that when i do singles I wouldn't like it.. I trigger in the metal band but not when i play punk, rock, blues, jazz etc. so I like to keep my leg/ankle strengh up as much as I can. Doing heel toe has made me very lazy lately. haha

and Porter is 100% on the money. When i do single foot I think I strike the drum different, or hit harder. While doing 16th its almost like I'm floating and just running in spot as opposed to forcing out hits. same volume, same speed...
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
It is possible.. I'm not saying you can't do it.. But can you post a video? 280 singles is insane.. I need to see it to fully believe it.

I'd like to see the beater angle/distance and a few other things at those speeds. if you post it..
I've borrowed a camcorder, now I just need to figure out how to record audio off a TD-30 module to the camcorder.

My beaters are not close to the head. I know some people try to get speed that way but that's a mistake IMO, and the sporadic strokes they produce that way sounds terrible.
Mine are about 45 degrees and I play normal strokes. In fact, with speed my volume goes up.
 

Servant

Junior Member
My beaters are not close to the head. I know some people try to get speed that way but that's a mistake IMO, and the sporadic strokes they produce that way sounds terrible.
Mine are about 45 degrees and I play normal strokes. In fact, with speed my volume goes up.
Totally agree on beater distance.
 
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