THE HEEL TOE THREAD

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Great vid on your set up.

It is easy to get caught up in the confusion, but the 'Heel-Toe' technique is just as its spelled out. The heel-makes the first strike, not the toe. Its not called toe-heel, or toe toe.

Heel making the first strike is not an easy technique to get b/c as drummers we're hard wired to make a toe stroke, we're so used to making the first hit with the front of the foot. With heel-toe proper you lead with your heel, not your toe. Heel toe is a useable stroke for doubles, there's great power in the heel.

If you hang your feet off the back of the foot board, you're not doing heel-toe proper, you're dropping your heel to accentuate a second toe strike, a different stroke definition all together, don't know why one would call that heel-toe, 'drop heel', make up any name that fits, but 'heel toe' is the heel striking the pedal board first.
This is what every metal band doing "HEEL TOE" do. you don't see any drummers doing 240-300bpm slamming their heel into the pedals. . I understand what your saying but I think your getting to caught up in terminology. (also there is no arch of foot-toe technique)

Using your heel will work for a double stroke, but I wouldn't want to use it for blazing fast 16th notes for an extended period of time. if you watch or listen to any extreme death metal you will see this is the technique used, and it is referred to as heel toe. I didn't make it up. Search Youtube and you will see.

Either way, this technique works and is easy to learn. It is fast, consistent and conserves energy. It is the same motion and essentially your heel is making the first stroke, it just isn't hitting the pedal board. I can do it with my feet up striking my heel into the pedal, it just doesn't seem as efficient. I have also heard of guys injuring their heel doing it that way, and it doesn't work on shortboard pedals.

and FYI, my first hit is with the heel, the second hit is with the toe. I am not using my heel for the second hit.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
This is what every metal band doing "HEEL TOE" do. you don't see any drummers doing 240-300bpm slamming their heel into the pedals. . I understand what your saying but I think your getting to caught up in terminology. (also there is no arch of foot-toe technique)

Using your heel will work for a double stroke, but I wouldn't want to use it for blazing fast 16th notes for an extended period of time. if you watch or listen to any extreme death metal you will see this is the technique used, and it is referred to as heel toe. I didn't make it up. Search Youtube and you will see.

Either way, this technique works and is easy to learn. It is fast, consistent and conserves energy. It is the same motion and essentially your heel is making the first stroke, it just isn't hitting the pedal board. I can do it with my feet up striking my heel into the pedal, it just doesn't seem as efficient. I have also heard of guys injuring their heel doing it that way, and it doesn't work on shortboard pedals.

and FYI, my first hit is with the heel, the second hit is with the toe. I am not using my heel for the second hit.


It may be what 'every' metal band is doing, no disputing that. Not getting too caught up in terminology either, 'heel toe' is just that, heel first, its a separate technique, and altho may not be favored by metal players its still a technique on its own... even if ppl are using a drop heel technique and erroneously calling it 'heel toe' just for lack of understanding.

So yeah, I wouldn't set my pedals up like you do in your vid to use heel toe in anything other than a musical situation where I was playing blast beats all night long.

A short(er) beater, close(er) to the head limits the travel, which limits the power. When I was learning heel toe proper in 1998 I set up my pedals in a similar way, short throw, low(er) beater height, it did make copping a double much easier, but transitioning to other foot positions wasn't easily facilitated and low power at the beater head.

I've never heard of anyone injuring their heel with Heel Toe technique, that would be abuse. The bottom of the heel is what you walk/run on, it's the first contact, takes a lot more pounding than with drumming. People don't walk on the ball of their feet. So again, first strike on the pedal board heel, second ball of the foot, that's Heel Toe. Dropping your heel with no heel to get a stroke, that's something else.

Maybe metal drummers hear double strokes and relate that to a technique they've heard called 'Heel Toe', but dropping your heel off the back of the foot board, or suspended in the air, is not Heel Toe, the heel makes 'contact' first with Heel Toe, a walking motion. If you're dropping your heel and not making contact, what sets the foot board into motion is not the heel, the contact area is the ball of the foot, you're just using the heel as Moeller type fulcrum.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
It may be what 'every' metal band is doing, no disputing that. Not getting too caught up in terminology either, 'heel toe' is just that, heel first, its a separate technique, and altho may not be favored by metal players its still a technique on its own... even if ppl are using a drop heel technique and erroneously calling it 'heel toe' just for lack of understanding.

So yeah, I wouldn't set my pedals up like you do in your vid to use heel toe in anything other than a musical situation where I was playing blast beats all night long.

A short(er) beater, close(er) to the head limits the travel, which limits the power. When I was learning heel toe proper in 1998 I set up my pedals in a similar way, short throw, low(er) beater height, it did make copping a double much easier, but transitioning to other foot positions wasn't easily facilitated and low power at the beater head.

I've never heard of anyone injuring their heel with Heel Toe technique, that would be abuse. The bottom of the heel is what you walk/run on, it's the first contact, takes a lot more pounding than with drumming. People don't walk on the ball of their feet. So again, first strike on the pedal board heel, second ball of the foot, that's Heel Toe. Dropping your heel with no heel to get a stroke, that's something else.

Maybe metal drummers hear double strokes and relate that to a technique they've heard called 'Heel Toe', but dropping your heel off the back of the foot board, or suspended in the air, is not Heel Toe, the heel makes 'contact' first with Heel Toe, a walking motion. If you're dropping your heel and not making contact, what sets the foot board into motion is not the heel, the contact area is the ball of the foot, you're just using the heel as Moeller type fulcrum.

I understand using your heel for the first hit on the pedal. Due to the 1000's of people on YouTube calling it this, and searching for this technique using the term HEEL TOE it makes sense to call it that. I personally usually just refer to it as bass drum doubles. I don't get caught up in terminology too much. I'd rather just play.

I never got into using my actual heel because it wasn't very good at high speeds. After attending some drum clinics (where this was called heel toe) and watching some big name drummers show me the technique I started working on this. I can still use this technique at slow speeds for a double here or there if I want to. It is much more versatile than "blastbeats all night long" I do play more groove stuff these days than metal all the time.

I get plenty of power with my beaters at this distance and don't require triggers in the other band I play in. It is also very easy to transition to other techniques as well. The beaters are still about 5 inches from the head. and hit in the middle of the drum.

Either way, I was just posting a video for people who want to learn the technique to have easy access to learn it, as well as how to set up their pedals to do it. The amount of people who have commented me and sent me PM's obviously states that they are interested.

For new people the following is the video in question lol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtX0k97H46A
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
I think rather than getting caught up with the fact that the heel is off the board, the term serves to describe the motion involved. First strike initiated with a heel motion, second strike with a toe-motion.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I think rather than getting caught up with the fact that the heel is off the board, the term serves to describe the motion involved. First strike initiated with a heel motion, second strike with a toe-motion.

When there is a stroke already called 'Heel Toe' where the heel actually strikes the foot board for the first strike, a foot motion which 'initiates' the ball of the foot (toe) to make the first (and second) strike should have a different name, maybe 'Rocking Stroke'.

Tough when a guy like Steve Smith puts out a video on bass drum technique and uses 'Heel Toe' to describe a drop heel technique. Very few drummers use, or even know about striking with the heel first, its a very difficult motion to be proficient at, bc its diametrically opposed to normal bass drum pedal striking motions. This guy explains it well.


So, altho we may not want to get caught up in terminology, it should makes sense to use proper terminology. Just b/c 90% of the bass drum double stroke videos on YouTube are called 'Heel Toe', it doesn't mean a double stroke that uses the ball of your foot for both strokes is accurately named 'Heel Toe'.
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
When there is a stroke already called 'Heel Toe' where the heel actually strikes the foot board for the first strike, a foot motion which 'initiates' the ball of the foot (toe) to make the first (and second) strike should have a different name, maybe 'Rocking Stroke'.

Tough when a guy like Steve Smith puts out a video on bass drum technique and uses 'Heel Toe' to describe a drop heel technique. Very few drummers use, or even know about striking with the heel first, its a very difficult motion to be proficient at, bc its diametrically opposed to normal bass drum pedal striking motions. This guy explains it well.


So, altho we may not want to get caught up in terminology, it should makes sense to use proper terminology. Just b/c 90% of the bass drum double stroke videos on YouTube are called 'Heel Toe', it doesn't mean a double stroke that uses the ball of your foot for both strokes is accurately named 'Heel Toe'.
Yes, that sounds right to me. If there is a technique that already uses the name, using it for a completely different technique might obfuscate the real one.

At the same time, if you just go by youtube, heel-toe is exactly as beyondbetrayal describes it. Also, I used to play heel-toe and I used to place my entire foot on the board and strike first with my heel and then my toe. The action was entirely identical. Of course, doing it this way was not suitable for doubles as it would always sound like a gallop.

How would we go about changing the name anyway? I'm not too sure. I would just go with doubles, but would the rest of the world buy it? Think it would be very difficult when the technique has already been established.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I agree. A crescent wrench comes to mind. Everyone knows what it is, but the only one that is real, is a crescent brand. It is really an adjustable wrench, but everyone calls it a crescent wrench. How can you correct the masses? Just go with the flow.
 

Salty Dog

Senior Member
Please excuse my laziness as I am sure my answer could be found somewhere within the 13 pages of replies but I'm somewhat discouraged & I need some sound advice.

I always thought of myself as a heel & toe player - I thaught myself the technique while first starting some 25 years ago on a Speed King, then on a cheap Pearl pedal, then on a Gibraltar, then back to a Speed King until a couple of years ago when I decided to switch to the new Ludwig Atlas Pro Single Pedal. I don't know what it is about that pedal but it doesn't want to obey my foot. I tried everything from changing in between the long chain, the short chain & the strap. I also played with the angle of the foot board & of the beater. Nothing. Sometimes I get lucky & there it is responding well but most of the time it's like one of my kids... just won't listen. I also tried different kind of shoes, no shoes, no socks. Now I'm at the F*ck it point. However there's one thing that is different from all those successful times: The Bass drum head is not ported like it's always been, can that be the answer?

Is there a pedal out there made for Heel & Toe technique?

Thanks
Joe
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Please excuse my laziness as I am sure my answer could be found somewhere within the 13 pages of replies but I'm somewhat discouraged & I need some sound advice.

I always thought of myself as a heel & toe player - I thaught myself the technique while first starting some 25 years ago on a Speed King, then on a cheap Pearl pedal, then on a Gibraltar, then back to a Speed King until a couple of years ago when I decided to switch to the new Ludwig Atlas Pro Single Pedal. I don't know what it is about that pedal but it doesn't want to obey my foot. I tried everything from changing in between the long chain, the short chain & the strap. I also played with the angle of the foot board & of the beater. Nothing. Sometimes I get lucky & there it is responding well but most of the time it's like one of my kids... just won't listen. I also tried different kind of shoes, no shoes, no socks. Now I'm at the F*ck it point. However there's one thing that is different from all those successful times: The Bass drum head is not ported like it's always been, can that be the answer?

Is there a pedal out there made for Heel & Toe technique?

Thanks
Joe
To be honest I have tried on many pedals and your best bet will be a direct drive (Axis, Trick, Demon drive etc,) and your going to want longboard pedals for the leverage, not to put your whole foot on.

There's tons of YouTube links in this thread talking about pedals and settings. (I know as I have posted several)

I prefer a tight batter head, and loose springs. I have never tried without a ported head, but KNOW it works with ported heads.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I just recently put an non-ported rezo on my kick, and there is definitly a difference. At first it was real different, now it seems to be getting easier. I've always ported my rezo, but this (band logo head) belongs to another band member, and I haven't talked to him about porting it yet.
 

loach71

Senior Member
ok you all no what they say about guys with big feet...they cant play the heel toe thing...so i have size 12 shoes and a dw 7000 pedal anyone who can help me leard this will be greatly admired...please help.
thanks in advance


skippy
I feel your pain. I am burdened with size 15EEEE feet!
I had a machinist friend cut some custom pedal foot boards with his vertical milling machine.

Tim
 

Skrivarna

Senior Member
Can someone please explain why this thread is pinned? 500 posts and it seems people does not even agree on what the name of the topic means...
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I think it's pinned because at one time heel toe was a hot topic. I don't see much about it lately. I'm usually a day late and a dollar short anyway. I'm still working on it.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I think it's pinned because at one time heel toe was a hot topic. I don't see much about it lately. I'm usually a day late and a dollar short anyway. I'm still working on it.

Maybe it's because this is a sticky now. hahaha

I'm sure if this thread goes We will have the weekly "how do you do heel toe" thread.
 
I have big foot. UK size 12 (us13).
Im able to do heel toe with my eliminators. Back plate is pushed all the way back. Springs are like medium tight board is on medium position and beaters are like 15-20cm from head.
When i started practice i first wanted to learn how to start my beat with heel. Usually i play heels up so it was hardest thing to get in your head and muscle memory. So i just played basic beats, tried to find sweetspot where my heels and ankle is in good position and i get powerful hit with my heels. When i memorized that thing it was super easy just to add that little motion for toe and get that double stroke. I used lots of metronome too.
Started with tempo around 100 and just did only 4’s with heel. When i added ”toe” in the game i just did slowly 8ths.
Hope this helps some one.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
they cant play the heel toe thing...so i have size 12 shoes and a dw 7000 pedal anyone who can help me leard this will be greatly admired...please help.
Foot size does not matter. You do not actually put your heel on the pedal.

I made this video like 3 years ago but you can see how far my feet are on the pedal to achive this. The longer the pedal the easier it is to get leverage.

 
Top