Setting up left-handed

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Since the problem I had with the slave pedal on my Speed Cobras I thought I'd do something I've been intending to do for ages...I've set up my kit backwards as if I was left-handed:



It's so interesting! Like being a beginner again, but I'm also impressed with how quickly I'm managing to adapt. I can feel a huge physical difference between this and just playing open-handed, I think it's going to do wonders for my playing. Has anyone else ever tried this? What were your experiences?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I tried it once ... it was pretty dismal. Definitely can see the benefit, though. One thing I noticed right away was the altered beat placement on the kick drum. I wasn't expecting that, but it was somehow more Phil Rudd and huge-sounding, if nowhere near as capable in terms of speed, fluidity, or just playing without thinking about it.

My take-away from the experiment (after setting up righty again) was to play left-footed 'bass drum patterns' on the hihat against the more normal right-footed bass drum patterns. It's cool how much extra dimension that adds.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Since the problem I had with the slave pedal on my Speed Cobras I thought I'd do something I've been intending to do for ages...I've set up my kit backwards as if I was left-handed:



It's so interesting! Like being a beginner again, but I'm also impressed with how quickly I'm managing to adapt. I can feel a huge physical difference between this and just playing open-handed, I think it's going to do wonders for my playing. Has anyone else ever tried this? What were your experiences?
I'm still practicing this years later, but only with practice pads. I feel as though the left-handed and open-handed playing are nearly on par with each other now, which is pretty cool. Mastering left foot/right hand coordination versus the right foot, is above my level right now.

I think the best benefit was moving the ride to the left side a few years ago, or having two rides. Not really pertaining to the topic, but my left hand improved quite a bit working out the different sounds and touches which my right hand was accustomed to.
 

Sjogras

Silver Member
I've done this as well, except I played open handed with right hand and foot on the hi-hat, and bassdrum with the left foot. I played that setup for about three weeks, got sick of it after a while. But at that time, I was in the process of getting used to letting the BD beater rebound from the head, and it was good practice doing that using only the left foot.
 

porter

Platinum Member
I've been playing with an "Orbinated" setup for a couple months now and it's super interesting for me. I love just putting stuff on my left that I would normally have on my right, and I can tell my left hand has gotten a lot better at... well, everything in this time, especially with a crash/ride like Brian kind of mentioned. I don't have two hi-hat stands to fill out the experience yet, though I have been playing open-handed on a typically placed hi-hat. I actually switched it to the other side for a while but it took me out of commision for actual playing so I had to change it back, now I'm just waiting for my second stand to arrive in a couple weeks so I can practice both at once. The only thing that I have a lot of trouble with is the power of my left foot on bass drum, but of course, that'll get better with time.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
The biggest difference I have found is the way I play when the hi-hat is on that side. I'm developing all the muscles that get neglected when playing the snare or open-handed hi-hat. I really think this is the most important part of it.

The first time I played the kit like this, it was a real struggle. The second time, not so much. Yesterday I was working my way, slowly but surely, through the 'Fool In The Rain' shuffle pattern, which would have been unimaginable the first time. If I can get my left-handed proficiency up to a decent level I think my overall technique will take a gigantic leap forward.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I've tried it a few times, but never actually sat down to try and practise it.

I quickly noticed that I could play a reasonably basic beat with my hands and my left foot. However, my right foot was completely unable to use the hihat pedal. After just playing stomping beats all its life, it has no concept of how to operate the finer adjustments of a hihat pedal.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I can really understand the overall benefits Ben, especially as an exercise in opening up your playing possibilities/techniques, but a bit over the top in response to a faulty pedal surely?

For the last few years (although I'm stopping doing this now) I've used a double pedal so I can finish a set with my left foot on bass drum if necessary (leg dysfunction), so I'm sort of used to left foot as a main bass drum foot, but only on simple stuff. Aside from that, I've tried a few left hand sets & sucked royally, but that was only for a few minutes at a time.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I've tried it a few times, but never actually sat down to try and practise it.

I quickly noticed that I could play a reasonably basic beat with my hands and my left foot. However, my right foot was completely unable to use the hihat pedal. After just playing stomping beats all its life, it has no concept of how to operate the finer adjustments of a hihat pedal.
That was my experience the first time, but after only a few more goes I find I'm much more articulate with it already. I've only played the kit like this three times now.

I can really understand the overall benefits Ben, especially as an exercise in opening up your playing possibilities/techniques, but a bit over the top in response to a faulty pedal surely?

For the last few years (although I'm stopping doing this now) I've used a double pedal so I can finish a set with my left foot on bass drum if necessary (leg dysfunction), so I'm sort of used to left foot as a main bass drum foot, but only on simple stuff. Aside from that, I've tried a few left hand sets & sucked royally, but that was only for a few minutes at a time.
I'm not quite sure what you think is over the top about this. The purpose of this is to work on my left foot and hand. Since my left pedal isn't working, and I haven't replaced the drive shaft yet, I need to use my left foot on the main pedal.
This is a primarily psychological exercise. Every time I sit down at the kit and play, my weak limbs are doing most of the work, whether I concentrate or not. By forcing myself to do this, and effectively handicapping my stronger limbs, I've already made considerable progress with my weaker side.
 
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