Slide vs heal toe ?

RAKBEATZ

Member
Hey guys ive just started learning double strokes for bass and im finding it quite difficult to make the slide technique and im thinking of trying the heal toe since im not usually a heals up player

So i have a couple of questions

1.I have a yamaha pedal that came with the drums should i upgrade my pedal ??

2.how long does it take to develop the technique and play it comfortably at lets say 120 bpm for example

3.which technique is easier ??

4.should i practice barefoot or with socks or shoes ???
 

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1. Keep the pedal - it's a good one! I have the older version and it's great for gigs because it's light and you can fold it.
2. Don't put a timer on your progress, everyone's different - take the time to develop a feeling for the pedal. There's a Steve Smith video where he shows an exercise of raising the leg and lifting the heel off the plate while / after making a heel down stroke and then dropping the leg for the second stroke. He said that he practiced that motion for months without even going for a sound / hitting the head. Maybe somebody can find it on youtube - I had no success.. Try it for a few minutes each time you're at the kit and you'll probably play much cleaner and faster doubles in a few weeks. You don't need to switch to "heel up" for your regular playing - it's just a slight lift of the heel while the front of your foot stays on the pedal.
3. Probably heel toe but that might be different for different people.
4. However you like. It might be easier to develop a feeling without shoes but on a gig you're probably wearing shoes, so try both.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You can spend a lot of time watching videos and following suggestions-which are great. But as Swissward stated "Take time to develop a feel for the pedal". That's the secret-you "can" play anything heel up or down and all the sliding, bouncing, etc methods work fine too. Just you need to find what works for you. Watch Colin Bailey (he's got some exercises to play here on DW) play "heel down" with great dexterity and speed with such ease-that works for him (I can play it heel down but its much easier for me to move heel up for the speedier more intricate stuff). I like to suggest to get on floor and use a finger to find the sweet spot on pedal (tap out William Tell Overture-nice speedy triplets). If you can do it with one finger then move up and try with toe/foot and find your sweet technique to allow you to do the same.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Personally I found heel-toe (in barefeet) to be the easiest but it comes down to the individual to find what's best for them.
It probably wouldn't hurt to learn a few different techniques to have in your arsenal anyway.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
There's also the option to simply play doubles with neither technique. It's really just like playing them with your hands. From a heel up position just drop the knee and barely rotate the ankle/foot forward to get a down beat and a rebound beat.
I know that sounds a lot like heel toe but it's done entirely with the ball of your foot.
 
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toddmc

Gold Member
There's also the option to simply play doubles with neither technique. It's really just like playing them with your hands. From a heel up position just drop the knee and barely rotate the ankle/foot forward to get a down beat and a rebound beat.
I know that sounds a lot like heel toe but it's done entirely with the ball of your foot.
Sounds interesting- what's the name of this technique?
 

toddmc

Gold Member
I think it's just plain old "doubles" lol.

Like this:

Cool- so it's heel-toe without the heel :)

That way might be less taxing on the muscles around the shin (don't know the technical term) which I find burn out when using heel toe for too long.
 

RAKBEATZ

Member
Hey guys i tried doing the heel toe

Can someone critique my technique please and tell me if there is anything wrong, i dont want to develop bad habits
This is my video for trying heel toe for the first time

Thanks for all the help guys, much appreciated !!

 

Gottliver

Senior Member
There is no heel impact in heel toe. It refers to “dropping” your heel from the heel up position to engage the first strike with the ball of your foot and then pressing with the ball of your foot for the second strike. At the same time, that second strike puts you back into the heel up position for another stroke. Ensure that the ball of your foot is in the sweet spot of the pedal.
 

RAKBEATZ

Member
There is no heel impact in heel toe. It refers to “dropping” your heel from the heel up position to engage the first strike with the ball of your foot and then pressing with the ball of your foot for the second strike. At the same time, that second strike puts you back into the heel up position for another stroke. Ensure that the ball of your foot is in the sweet spot of the pedal.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how good is the technique ??? Is it bad ? Should i work more on It ??

Thanks !!

Thank you
 

toddmc

Gold Member
There is no heel impact in heel toe. It refers to “dropping” your heel from the heel up position to engage the first strike with the ball of your foot and then pressing with the ball of your foot for the second strike. At the same time, that second strike puts you back into the heel up position for another stroke. Ensure that the ball of your foot is in the sweet spot of the pedal.
Well clearly I've been doing it wrong all these years because that's exactly the way I've been playing it?

Are you referring to the video Bud posted above about doing doubles without the heel? As far as I can see the OP is doing heel-toe just the way I do (ie heel impact is involved).
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
On a scale of 1 to 10 how good is the technique ??? Is it bad ? Should i work more on It ??

Thanks !!

Thank you
For double bass I say it's 10. It's the only "technique" I would use for doubles. But for single bass doubles (and triple strokes) it's probably best to be able to incorporate a bit of everything - heel toe, slide, etc. Just like playing up top, maybe you lean a certain way to play one thing, or rotate your shoulder a bit to play something else.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
I won’t argue with what works for the individual, but my understanding is that the intent of heel toe was not to hit with the heel. It is pretty well explained in many videos by the top players of our times.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
So I’ve been going through a lot of videos and realize that there are many versions of heel toe. Some involve dropping the heel the initiate the stroke and others involve actually hitting the pedal with your heel. So I guess i’m wrong. And right. To me, it seems like wasted effort to strike with your heel when a simple rocking motion will get you a quick double.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
What most would refer to as heel toe is a roling motion on the ball of the foot that is also refered to as constant release. It can take a while as it's sort of like push.pull for the feet. Getting it down will certainly help your doubles instead of having to muscle them out. Good to be able to do both though, to a certain degree.
 
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