Things you have to "unlearn" and "relearn"

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Any nuggets of wisdom or specific exercises for playing heel up with the beater off the head? I don't find that I need it often, but it would be a nice tool to have in the tool kit.

not to "horn in" on @Push pull stroke's answer - which I am sure will be informative

but for me, to get the beater off the head with heel up, I just had to relearn some upper body balance - by way of good core strength - or, like my drum teachers and parents always said: "don't slouch". It took me about 6 months to get used to it.

Honestly, I think I use "beater off the head" in about 10% of my playing though, so it is not a tool that comes out of the box much, but it iis there
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Any nuggets of wisdom or specific exercises for playing heel up with the beater off the head? I don't find that I need it often, but it would be a nice tool to have in the tool kit.

Start out away from the kit. Sit on various different kinds of chairs while slowly playing singles and doubles with your feet. Don’t do this for more than 20 minutes a day.

Before this, just get comfortable sitting with your feet off the floor, without a backrest of any kind. This will probably take a few weeks.

Be patient with the process. Play around. Think of it as play
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Start out away from the kit. Sit on various different kinds of chairs while slowly playing singles and doubles with your feet. Don’t do this for more than 20 minutes a day.

Before this, just get comfortable sitting with your feet off the floor, without a backrest of any kind. This will probably take a few weeks.

yep....core strengthening!!!!! Allowing your legs to "float" below your upper body
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I played a gig trying to unlearn burying the beater. I don't consider it a problem, just a habit I've had for several decades, so I wanted to see if I could change it. Surprisingly, I didn't have too bad of a go, technique-wise (kept my heel up), but the extra vibrations rattled my BD mic mount loose on my Kelly Shu.
 

Yamaha Rider

Gold Member
I had to relearn almost everything. I was self taught or maybe the term is self habited and almost everything was wrong. I’ve had to work on breaking those habits and relearn correct technique. Everything from hand and foot technique to sitting and even setting up my drums, tuning, everything. Giving up the “safety” of a large setup was revelatory in flushing out some of those bad habits. Not saying big kits are bad, but for me they allowed me to hide and not grow where I needed to.

It was most of the reason I struggled with going smaller for so long. Technique was bad and creativity largely impacted by it. I kept a good beat which is what most wanted and kept me in bands solidly for a couple of decades at least, but growing beyond seemed impossible. In the last 4 years, my drumming has changed ten fold and I now also realized my suck factor. Sadly, I’m actually far less pleased with my drumming now then ever. I guess ignorance was bliss and something to be said about not knowing what I didn’t know.

Like anything, that lame excuse doesn’t make it right. Just makes you foolishly unaware. Drums have become a project since I discovered this and I spend tons more time analyzing everything than before where it was more like Animal screaming “beat drums”!
Are you absolutely sure that New You is more fun for the audience.
And more importantly - you?
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I think that unlearning something to relearn it is not what happens.

We ignore low preference skills which atrophy while concentrating on other skills which advance. This allows change.

I don't see us as removing a thought pattern then replacing it like a part in a car....its more like a tree branch growing in exclusion of existing branches-where the existing branches continue to exist but may die off if the tree does not focus on feeding them.

I have extended my knowledge and ability but i don't think i have removed then added....I can still hold my sticks like clubs but I extended that ability to a more refined technique that does not require the exclusion of the ability to use a 'club grip'.

So i don't think i have unlearned in order to relearn...I think i have continued to learn while retaining old patterns that could be examined and possibly built on later.
 
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ColdFusion

Active Member
I just had to relearn some upper body balance - by way of good core strength - or, like my drum teachers and parents always said: "don't slouch". It took me about 6 months to get used to it.
just get comfortable sitting with your feet off the floor, without a backrest of any kind.
I think of it more as coordination than strength. Your core is always strong. It’s just a matter of coordinating that strength with the musical beat and your limbs.
I'm noticing this distinctly when I do my double-kick practice. As my second heel leaves the floor, I can feel my Roc & Soc settle underneath me as my body weight centers over my spine. IME I tend to agree with Ex Straight Edge. My core muscles feel like they are getting a new workout with my extended double kick sessions. There are a lot of little "drummer muscle groups" that never really get worked with anything other than drumming. My fitness game is pretty good. But still, when I'm heel up drumming, the tops of my thighs get sore, and the muscles above and around my hips definitely feel like they are "working" to keep the rest of my body balanced and coordinated.

I noticed that reaching for the toms while doing double kick patterns is rather awkward for the novice double kicker. It's the 'perfect storm' of off-balanced-ness. When first figuring out how to hit things cleanly and accurately with your sticks while both of your feet are floating above the solid ground.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I noticed that reaching for the toms while doing double kick patterns is rather awkward for the novice double kicker. It's the 'perfect storm' of off-balanced-ness. When first figuring out how to hit things cleanly and accurately with your sticks while both of your feet are floating above the solid ground.

Yeah, this takes a while to develop. I find it helpful to treat it like a dance, like I’m jamming to the beat as I drum, and use those core motions to help me hit the toms.
 

eric_B

Senior Member
Honestly, I think I use "beater off the head" in about 10% of my playing though, so it is not a tool that comes out of the box much, but it iis there
Just curious: when do you think 'unburying' the beater is a better fit to the music?

I also play heel up and learned keeping the beater off the head when I started tuning for higher resonance.
An 'unburied' bassdrumhead, similar to putting suspension feet on a floortom, gives a more resonant, fuller (and boomy) sound.
It didn't take me a lot of time to learn, a matter of lifting your foot a bit after the hit.

When I don't pay attention to it nowadays, I keep the beater buried when I have to play a lot of quick double hits and keep it off the head otherwise.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Are you absolutely sure that New You is more fun for the audience.
And more importantly - you?
I still keep the beat as I had. Fills have gotten better, but still challenged. So far as if the audience is enjoying things more, I would hope so or at least not notice. I guess creativity has to be defined. Some may claim freedom to solo over absolutely everything as creativity. In my case it's the ability to do the same or more with less and not carry as much gear.

So far as realizing my own suck factor. Playing cleanly was one of the biggest changes I made. Leaving some gaps was not the easiest thing to learn. Took way more coordination to leave notes out where they needed to be left out than to add in for the most part.

As far as the new me being more fun to me. Depends, I still miss my as many as 6 toms and 8 cymbals at times, especially when playing 80s stuff, but I've been able to make it happen on 3 toms. They were usually far less work on 6 which was part of the initial struggle of downsizing in the first place.

Take Missing Persons Mental Hopscotch as an example. Having 3 or 4 rack toms on that song makes playing that song a breeze. 1U2D....not so much. Took time, but I finally got it down. The left hand wasn't liking making the jump from from the rack tom, over the ride and onto the FT with the speed that song requires. Still feel like I'm twisting myself into a pretzel a bit to make it happen, but I can play it. Some times more fun is just a matter of how easy and sometimes overcoming a limitation. I guess to answer your question around which me had more fun....depends!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Did you mention the "disdain" at your interview?

yep...but I didn't really "interview"...I was already playing with the core group as a jjazz group, and then the leader asked if we could do a side project of country/rockabiilly stuff. I told them right up front that I knew nothing about the genre, but wanted to learn. They all said "you will do fine"

I'm noticing this distinctly when I do my double-kick practice. As my second heel leaves the floor, I can feel my Roc & Soc settle underneath me as my body weight centers over my spine. IME I tend to agree with Ex Straight Edge. My core muscles feel like they are getting a new workout with my extended double kick sessions. There are a lot of little "drummer muscle groups" that never really get worked with anything other than drumming. My fitness game is pretty good. But still, when I'm heel up drumming, the tops of my thighs get sore, and the muscles above and around my hips definitely feel like they are "working" to keep the rest of my body balanced and coordinated.

I noticed that reaching for the toms while doing double kick patterns is rather awkward for the novice double kicker. It's the 'perfect storm' of off-balanced-ness. When first figuring out how to hit things cleanly and accurately with your sticks while both of your feet are floating above the solid ground.

yeah....when you get into the double kick stuff, i think balance is the key to not having a speed roadblock...at least for me

it took me a couple of months - way back when I started focusing more on double bass - to find the right placement of my throne to be able to play the toms and kicks together. Previous to that, I had always sat with the throne too close to the snare

Just curious: when do you think 'unburying' the beater is a better fit to the music?

I also play heel up and learned keeping the beater off the head when I started tuning for higher resonance.
An 'unburied' bassdrumhead, similar to putting suspension feet on a floortom, gives a more resonant, fuller (and boomy) sound.
It didn't take me a lot of time to learn, a matter of lifting your foot a bit after the hit.

When I don't pay attention to it nowadays, I keep the beater buried when I have to play a lot of quick double hits and keep it off the head otherwise.

when ever I want a sustained sound.

Ii only really ever unbury the beater when I "drop bombs" in jazz stuff; but now that I think about it, even when keeping the steady quarters in jazz, the beater is floating - or rebounding - as well....that comes from the core strength and body positioning that I have been talking about above for double bass.

knowing that my drum is going to be mic'd 99% of the time when I play rock stuff allows me to not have to unbury the beater to get boom. The boom comes from the tuning, the mic placement and effects from the board
 
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