THE HEEL TOE THREAD

JWM

Senior Member
After some investigation of the H/T method myself by way of the Pope vid and Tim's WFD vid (and others circulating on YouTube), I'm currently unable to do it with my current DW pedal. I have a size 11 foot, and even at an angle I cannot get enough leverage to properly execute the heel stroke. I'll have to wait until I get a longboard.

For the time being, I'm using the Steve Smith "controlled release" approach, which Pope also describes. It's not quite H/T, but it is the natural motion for accenting a downstroke or first note of a double, etc. In fact, I find that it's the obvious motion to make for playing first note accents, which helps for dynamic bass drum playing (I'm currently only using single pedal). It ends up mirroring the motion of the hands... almost the Moeller technique for the feet (whereas H/T might be the feet equivalent of the freehand technique). For controlled release, the toes essentially stay on the footboard, in a "resting" position as the leg drops for the first accented note (which I find to almost be a "flat" stroke). I've seen exercises for this that notate "L" for leg stroke and "U" or "T" for heel up/toe stroke.

Any thoughts, Tim?
 

JWM

Senior Member
BTW... I've also been putting some thought into a sort of "half stroke," which is a stream of toe strokes in the heel up position. I find myself doing this for the hand/foot blast of singles where you play 16ths or 8th triplets with one hand and then play the bass drum off of it (the blast beat basically). Since I'm doing maybe one bar of it, I do steady half strokes with the hand and foot for a "flat" stream of notes.
 

Tim Waterson

WFD ACEDRUMMER
JWM said:
After some investigation of the H/T method myself by way of the Pope vid and Tim's WFD vid (and others circulating on YouTube), I'm currently unable to do it with my current DW pedal. I have a size 11 foot, and even at an angle I cannot get enough leverage to properly execute the heel stroke. I'll have to wait until I get a longboard.

For the time being, I'm using the Steve Smith "controlled release" approach, which Pope also describes. It's not quite H/T, but it is the natural motion for accenting a downstroke or first note of a double, etc. In fact, I find that it's the obvious motion to make for playing first note accents, which helps for dynamic bass drum playing (I'm currently only using single pedal). It ends up mirroring the motion of the hands... almost the Moeller technique for the feet (whereas H/T might be the feet equivalent of the freehand technique). For controlled release, the toes essentially stay on the footboard, in a "resting" position as the leg drops for the first accented note (which I find to almost be a "flat" stroke). I've seen exercises for this that notate "L" for leg stroke and "U" or "T" for heel up/toe stroke.

Any thoughts, Tim?
heres a quick vid I made of Heel toe motion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzXH4lXHmwM
My toes do stay on the footboard...
Hope this helps
Tim
 

Jared_Falk

Member
Great vid Tim! Those Axis pedals are great for that. I can play that way on my Axis pedals...but have difficulty doing it on my Yamaha or Iron Cobra pedals. I'll turn my foot sideways, but it doesn't sound consistent.
 

JWM

Senior Member
Tim Waterson said:
heres a quick vid I made of Heel toe motion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzXH4lXHmwM
My toes do stay on the footboard...
Hope this helps
Tim
Tim--

Thanks very much for that. I just have to say man... your openness in the community in helping us with our feet has been a real blessing...

After watching the vid, I feel that that is essentially what I'm doing. I find it easier NOT to start with the beater against the head personally, but like you described, I am getting that initial second hit as well... so that's a good sign.

What I'm also getting is that you're NOT doing an actual note with the HEEL... i.e. the heel isn't an isolated stroke like Pope describes it (and I'm going to trust yours as you have the record!). Your toes stay on the board the whole time. I couldn't really see the length of the board, but when you backed your foot up, it actually looks as though your heel ISN'T on the board, am I correct? If that's the case, then this proves that the heel in H/T is more of a MOTION rather than an actual stroke? And the toes are in fact doing every stroke?
 

baddrumming

Junior Member
Thank You Tim

I feel very humbled to have had you answer my question (the man with the worlds fastest feet). Just being able to communicate with you i feel is an honour. So once again thank you.


P.S The video was also a massive help.
 

Tim Waterson

WFD ACEDRUMMER
JWM said:
Tim--

Thanks very much for that. I just have to say man... your openness in the community in helping us with our feet has been a real blessing...

After watching the vid, I feel that that is essentially what I'm doing. I find it easier NOT to start with the beater against the head personally, but like you described, I am getting that initial second hit as well... so that's a good sign.

What I'm also getting is that you're NOT doing an actual note with the HEEL... i.e. the heel isn't an isolated stroke like Pope describes it (and I'm going to trust yours as you have the record!). Your toes stay on the board the whole time. I couldn't really see the length of the board, but when you backed your foot up, it actually looks as though your heel ISN'T on the board, am I correct? If that's the case, then this proves that the heel in H/T is more of a MOTION rather than an actual stroke? And the toes are in fact doing every stroke?
This is the part that confuses drummers.
YES My HEEL is making the stroke.
when I slide past the footplate the upper part of my heel still makes contact.
when I do my WFD doubles the heels are controlling the strokes and the toes just remain stationary.
At the begiining of the clip I am rocking me heel and toe in a constant release style similar to Steve Smith although Steve Smith goes Toe first and then heel.
Freddie told me and he was very adament about Steve doing it that way?
Whatever works..
Hope this explains the confusion.
God Bless
Tim
 

JWM

Senior Member
Tim Waterson said:
This is the part that confuses drummers.
YES My HEEL is making the stroke.
when I slide past the footplate the upper part of my heel still makes contact.
when I do my WFD doubles the heels are controlling the strokes and the toes just remain stationary.
At the begiining of the clip I am rocking me heel and toe in a constant release style similar to Steve Smith although Steve Smith goes Toe first and then heel.
Freddie told me and he was very adament about Steve doing it that way?
Whatever works..
Hope this explains the confusion.
God Bless
Tim
Okay... that does clear up the confusion. It feels "officially" cleared up now that you've said it!

Throughout my practice routine today, I've been finding that the upper part of my heel makes contact as well... as my toes stay stationary. And it also seems to be the constant release style. There does seem to be a few different interpretations as to the mechanics, but I'm quite sure I'm on the right path. The toes thing seems to be the real key. Maybe I can post a vid soon and you can take a look?

But keep up the great work and thanks again for your generosity...

Blessings,
Johnny
 

JWM

Senior Member
baddrumming said:
Thank You Tim

I feel very humbled to have had you answer my question (the man with the worlds fastest feet). Just being able to communicate with you i feel is an honour. So once again thank you.


P.S The video was also a massive help.
I'd like to second this!
 

timfel

Junior Member
Hi Derrick,

Hope you're getting better. Came across your heel-toe video yesterday and thought it was fantastic. It had a perfect answer to a problem (getting fast doubles) that I've had for ages, which hasn't really got much better despite a lot of practice. Your method made perfect sense and your teaching style is superb, thank you very much.

Full of enthusiasm, I rushed to my kit to try this new method which I was convinced was the answer to all my prayers. Got sat down at the kit, everything in place, ran through it in my head, all ready to practice this new motion.

I raised my heel as instructed, dropped it for the first stroke... nothing. Nada! My heel hit the heelplate which is not hinged and made not a sound - the pedal didn't operate. Toe was fine, but the heel was silent. I thought this must be what all those guys mean when they say their feet are too big. Tried ramming my toes into the chain drive, but that didn't sound right. I thought all those guys who said it didn't work unless you had small feet must be right! Very disappointed, I retired for the night.

And then I remembered to trust you! You said it didn't matter what size your feet are so I thought about it and went back again. I found it - eureka! When you drop your heel, you're not actually operating the pedal with your heel as I mistakenly thought, but the action of dropping your heel causes your foot to drop and the pedal is operated actually with the middle of the foot. So your heel does hit the floor and that doesn't make a noise, but your foot presses the pedal and that does. I think the name is misleading - I was taking it literally trying to operate the pedal with my heel, rather than feeling the motion and almost letting the pedal operate itself. Having grasped that, it all seems to work very well now!

Would you agree with my findings? Maybe this will help all those people who think their feet are too big. There's a lesson there - trust the teacher!
 

JWM

Senior Member
timfel said:
Hi Derrick,

Hope you're getting better. Came across your heel-toe video yesterday and thought it was fantastic. It had a perfect answer to a problem (getting fast doubles) that I've had for ages, which hasn't really got much better despite a lot of practice. Your method made perfect sense and your teaching style is superb, thank you very much.

Full of enthusiasm, I rushed to my kit to try this new method which I was convinced was the answer to all my prayers. Got sat down at the kit, everything in place, ran through it in my head, all ready to practice this new motion.

I raised my heel as instructed, dropped it for the first stroke... nothing. Nada! My heel hit the heelplate which is not hinged and made not a sound - the pedal didn't operate. Toe was fine, but the heel was silent. I thought this must be what all those guys mean when they say their feet are too big. Tried ramming my toes into the chain drive, but that didn't sound right. I thought all those guys who said it didn't work unless you had small feet must be right! Very disappointed, I retired for the night.

And then I remembered to trust you! You said it didn't matter what size your feet are so I thought about it and went back again. I found it - eureka! When you drop your heel, you're not actually operating the pedal with your heel as I mistakenly thought, but the action of dropping your heel causes your foot to drop and the pedal is operated actually with the middle of the foot. So your heel does hit the floor and that doesn't make a noise, but your foot presses the pedal and that does. I think the name is misleading - I was taking it literally trying to operate the pedal with my heel, rather than feeling the motion and almost letting the pedal operate itself. Having grasped that, it all seems to work very well now!

Would you agree with my findings? Maybe this will help all those people who think their feet are too big. There's a lesson there - trust the teacher!
What you described was also my experience with a size 11 foot on a standard DW pedal. There's no way for my heel to actually play the pedal itself (at least my entire heel). And as you also described--

...but the action of dropping your heel causes your foot to drop and the pedal is operated actually with the middle of the foot.
That's essentially what I find myself doing. Or it also may still be a toe stroke, but a "downstroke" movement for it with the middle portion of the foot making contact with the pedal as well (it almost feels like a "flat" stroke to me!). Some seem to define that as the "constant release" technique that Steve Smith is known for using (and I believe JoJo Mayer does this as well). Tim Waterson's explanation seems to almost fall somewhere in between.

But this much I know... my initial goal was to be able to accent the first note of a double or triple stroke (such as 1e and/or 1e&) with ease. As I started working on it with a metronome (and this BEFORE I even knew all that much about the heel/toe method), I found myself instinctively making what seems to be the constant release movement. I keep the toes on the pedal the whole time, drop the heel for the first accented note and then play a heel up stroke for the second unaccented note (which sets me up to bring the heel down again). But again, the toes stay on the pedal the whole time, and the heel is making contact with the plate, not the pedal itself (although a bit of the top of the heel may be coming into contact... but it's certainly not a FULL stroke with the heel itself).

Whatever method this is specifically, I can say that it is enabling me to accent the first note of a double or triple stroke with great ease. And that's all I really care about now, because I'm kind of getting a little tired of all the particulars of the method/technique! :)~
 
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Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken said:
Okay, so I have to know: does my freak size 13 foot condemn me to singles for my whole life? Or is the Axis longboard big enough for that?
Feet size doesn't matter, you can do heel-toe on particulary any bass drum pedal with any size of your feet if executed the right way!
 

jeanke

Junior Member
Re: Videos of Heel toe bass method

MysteRMagnuM said:
Hi

Does anyone have a video or something that shows the proper way to do the heel toe method for playing the bass drum?
I'm not sure that the way that i am trying it is the proper way.

Any help will be much appreciated(sp).


if you look in the drum clinic of this site you can find videos of derrick pope explainig verry well how it works
 

Murderdolls172

Junior Member
triplets with Heel toe ??

I 've been have some difficulties with heel toe tring to get out triplets and differnet patterns for heel toe,(Heel Toe Method ).If theres any patterns or such for the heel toe that anybody knowswould really help. Thanks
 
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