THE HEEL TOE THREAD

Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

Ok I feel a need to step in...
The heel-toe technique is NOT a heel an toe there is actually NO HEEL STROKE!
The ''heel stroke'' is actually a toe down stroke.
For example, if you want to start with toe up stroke or toe stroke, rise ur upper leg and in the same time move your foot down. This part is pretty simple, now comes the hardest part, now the toe down stroke or the ''heel stroke'', it is the opposite, you have to move your upper leg down and your foot up (just a bit) so now you have the double stroke motion. Now try to keep it fluent.
If you don't understand my explanation watch the
Jojo Mayer's Nreve video clip from MD 2005
(1:33 min) as you can see, his heel never touches the foot board (well it does, but not in order to make a stroke)

also, check out Steve Smith's DVD - The History Of US Beat, great explanation of the heel-toe technique.
 
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Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

here is what Jojo Mayer says about heel-toe technique:

''In regards to your questions about the "reverse stroke", Heel Toe,"push pull" or "watheverthef'#$%k" -Foot technique i would point out the following:
I like light, low mass pedals like the old flexi flyer or the old camco or gretsch floating action pedals ( all of 'em out of manufacturing) .In any case,I use very minimal spring tension on my pedal. The spring is real loose, so the beater almost falls back to me after impact (as opposed to snap back at me). Personally,I preferre longer footboards (tama iron cobra, Sonor phonic, the new Pearl pedal's good too), but you can do the technique on any pedal if executed the right way. I also HATE toe stops and i remove'em if neccessary. They reduce the aera of my foot's action.I need every inch of my footboard.
The basic idea is to generate the first "down"- stroke launched from your heel up position, generated from your knee, not your toes (important!).Followed by a 2nd " up"- stroke, generated by the calf. So your leg goes :
up-down, up-down,(bam-bam, bam-bam..).

It LOOKS's like a heel toe action but really it is kne (heel) -toe. That's the secret !

Experience the best way for you to push yourself. If you get cramps or pains, You obviously push yourself too hard or you did'nt observe the mechanics of your technique carefull enough.Therefore you have to "compensate" for the lack of agility, balance or training in a particular part of your body action, wich will result in "overemployed" muscular action hence cramps. I pay lot's of attention to the way i feel when i play. Dont' squeeze. If you "squeeze" when you practise, you will "squeeze" when you perform. Be patient let it grow naturally...experiment,observe yourself, use your immagination, relax, relax, RELAX, be patient! It took me a long time to cultivate and master this technique, and as im trying to improve it's still a work in progress to this day..
Learning a new technique is like growing a rare tropical plant. It requires sensitivity and all the above more than just hours of mindless shedding...
To conclude : wathever you do with your feet, allways be aware of were your balance and center is. Try to stay balanced and relaxed, it's important to every aspect of your playing and it starts with the way you sit and your pedal work. It's easy to loose center when getting into that kinda' right foot stuff!

Good luck,
Jojo Mayer''
 

Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

The size of your feet isn't important, if your toe fits on the footboard you can play using heel-toe technique :)
 

EXIT

Junior Member
Re: Heel Toe

jammaster said:
here is what Jojo Mayer says about heel-toe technique:
That's absolutely fantastic...I got that Steve Gadd book mentioned above, but - crucially - not the video, so I had no idea how its done.
And another thing, I have big (size 12 English) feet. And i play in my socks...I've been fitting the chain (standard Pearl pedal, simple and fine for me) between my big toe and the one next to it for this technique..grotesquely awkward. :)
Oh well...back to school!

Thanks jammaster!
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

jammaster said:
Ok I feel a need to step in...
The heel-toe technique is NOT a heel an toe there is actually NO HEEL STROKE!
The ''heel stroke'' is actually a toe down stroke.
For example, if you want to start with toe up stroke or toe stroke, rise ur upper leg and in the same time move your foot down. This part is pretty simple, now comes the hardest part, now the toe down stroke or the ''heel stroke'', it is the opposite, you have to move your upper leg down and your foot up (just a bit) so now you have the double stroke motion. Now try to keep it fluent.
If you don't understand my explanation watch the
Jojo Mayer's Nreve video clip from MD 2005
(1:33 min) as you can see, his heel never touches the foot board (well it does, but not in order to make a stroke)

also, check out Steve Smith's DVD - The History Of US Beat, great explanation of the heel-toe technique.
Thank you jammaster for the wonderful explaination.

This is a very clear explaination. I was watching John Blakwell DVD yesterday and John foots was exactly the way you had described it here. John says that he uses the Ball of the Toe to move and I don't see his heels touching the pedal in the DVD.

Seems like the toe is place somewhere slightly above the centre of the pedal when you do this kind of Single foot roll...
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

jammaster said:
The basic idea is to generate the first "down"- stroke launched from your heel up position, generated from your knee, not your toes (important!).Followed by a 2nd " up"- stroke, generated by the calf. So your leg goes :
up-down, up-down,(bam-bam, bam-bam..).

It LOOKS's like a heel toe action but really it is kne (heel) -toe. That's the secret !

i pay lot's of attention to the way i feel when i play. Dont' squeeze. Be patient let it grow naturally...experiment,observe yourself, use your immagination, relax, relax, RELAX, be patient! It took me a long time to cultivate and master this technique, and as im trying to improve it's still a work in progress to this day..
Learning a new technique is like growing a rare tropical plant. It requires sensitivity and all the above more than just hours of mindless shedding...

To conclude : wathever you do with your feet, allways be aware of were your balance and center is. Try to stay balanced and relaxed, it's important to every aspect of your playing and it starts with the way you sit and your pedal work. It's easy to loose center when getting into that kinda' right foot stuff!

Good luck,
Jojo Mayer''
Thanks again...jammaster...clear & precise explaination offered here on Heel-Toe Techniques for developing the Right Foot Techniques on Bass Drum.
 

kzdruma

Senior Member
Re: Videos of Heel toe bass method

mr_hayward_99 said:
After watching the vieo, I started practicing this nonstop. problem im running into is i dont think my pedal tension(sp?) is high enough anyopne out there have any tips on finding the right tension to get good rebount on the foot pad. i use DW4000 double bass pedals FYI

Whitey

so i think not so much tension, i have never used a DW pedal, apart from in a shop once. so dont really know what that ones like

I use a basic mapex pedal with not much bounce on it at all, and i find that easier beacuse if youy have to much tension the pedal just bounces to much and ur foot can t keep up with it,
Most pedals have adjustable parts. They sometimes are black, about 2 inches tall, and rotate.
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

jammaster said:
I'm really glad that I could help someone :) Your welcome
Hey bro, you know what?...I tried it last night and the method you put up here works..not well, ... but damn blady well (sorry for using words like these) kekeke.

I was playing my Single Bass Pedal at the Fastest Speed I ever did. Me wify said "Wow...that's fast"...how did you do that...I said "Secret Dear"...hahaha.

I feel real good and I'm gonna practice it everyday from now on, at least spending 15 minutes on it. I started doing 1eta, 2eta ... and the wonder of this technique is - You can gain control of it.....I've learn - Knee Down 1st in making the 1st stroke is most important ...than use Ball of Toe ...

PS:- I didn't place my (Ball-Of Toe) at Centre of Pedal...it was slightly below the top of the Pedal...anyway..I feel very comfortable with that...just Great !

Thanks again my friend.
 

Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

Yeah, it's really cool feeling when you get the motion and some controll over it. I was excited at the first moment and actually I'm excited now either :DD
still have a long way to go! I started to practice this after seeing Jojo Mayer in clinics, you know seeing probably the best heel-toe player from a two feet distance was pretty damn shocking :D
 

PocketBoy82

Member
Re: Heel Toe

yeah I have been practicing that technique for a while and now I can do it with my heel the ball of my foot and my toes.
 
S

Stu_Strib

Guest
Re: Heel Toe

Has anyone seen the Steve Smith version? On his 'History...' dvd he spends a large chunk of time describing his motion. His foot plays down, then he kind of 'lifts' his foot, maintaining contact, then he comes down again. Its almost as if his foot is connected and acts like a counter-cam shaft.

I'm not sure if its super fast, but it is easily the most solid and even fast technique I've seen. That JoJo style tends to get erratic at times with uneven volumes (the Blackwell one too). Smith's seems to give perfectly equal volume beats.
 

Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

Stu_Strib said:
That JoJo style tends to get erratic at times with uneven volumes (the Blackwell one too). Smith's seems to give perfectly equal volume beats.
I tell you Jojo's technique is that perfect that he can play whatever he wants at whatever volume or dynamics. The Steve Smith's heel-toe aproach is pretty much the same.
 
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Stu_Strib

Guest
Re: Heel Toe

jammaster said:
I tell you Jojo's technique is that perfect that he can play whatever he wants at whatever volume or dynamics. The Steve Smith's heel-toe aproach is pretty much the same.
Smith's foot doesn't go all floppy though. It maintains contact pretty much the whole time.
 

Raymond Bloom

Pioneer Member
Re: Heel Toe

Stu_Strib said:
Smith's foot doesn't go all floppy though. It maintains contact pretty much the whole time.
Yes, Jojo has a bit different approach but the idea and the basic motion is the same. It's for the sake of power, notice that Steve does it pretty light
 
R

Rich

Guest
Re: Heel Toe

Hey Guy's, I have a size 12 shoe and have no problem with heel toe technique. I don't use this method all the time while playing however, I use the toe most of the time. If I am doing some solo work I will use heel toe and solo over top that. When I use heel toe I use Vruk Pedals. You can check them out at vrukpedals.com Take care and have fun!
Rich
 

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Stu_Strib

Guest
Re: Heel Toe

man you can probably get heel toe stompin' pretty fast with those things!

You can take the toe stop off of your iron cobras too, to give your foot more room.

Stu
 

BrokenGlass

Senior Member
Re: Heel Toe

I wear a size 10 and a half and I still can't seem to get it down. I can hear every now and then the double beat of how its supposed to sound, but can't get it consistant.
 
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