Weird problem (double bass pattern)

schist

Silver Member
Hello again all,

Recently I've encountered a unique issue regarding playing, I guess you would call them,"gallop" double bass patterns (clusters of 3 16th-notes, usually RLR RLR etc.) By themselves, with no backbeat/hands on top, I can play them just fine, but once I start playing a backbeat, or a blast beat/whatever over it I no longer get that RLR RLR separation and it usually occurs that the left foot flams with the right foot (so RL R RL R etc.), which would be cool if it were intentional, but it isn't.

The issue it would seem is to separate the left foot from the hands, but what exercises would people suggest to clear this problem up? I've pretty decent balance/endurance/speed etc. but this is one of the main areas of my playing that needs addressing.

Cheers in advance!
 

kyledrums

Junior Member
Hi, I'm suggest getting the pattern going at a comfortable tempo. Then starting with quarters over the top. Then 8ths, 16ths with different accent permutations. Then some different rudiments that you are already comfortable with.

Once you've done that you will have practiced the foot ostinato so much that playing grooves with your hands over the top will be a lot easier.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
I do.

Be aware that I'm not making excuses here, I've tried seemingly everything so far.
Practice some more.

Really that is all you can do besides what the other guy said (Treat the foot pattern like an ostinato and play different hand patterns on top, that really does help).
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Start doing rudiments with your feet. This will help improve your foot independence and control.

You can also play that pattern as RLR LRL. It puts less importance on one foot over the other, and takes less effort than RLR RLR.
 

schist

Silver Member
Start doing rudiments with your feet. This will help improve your foot independence and control.
Yeah, I've worked the first page of 'Stick Control' as a regular exercise into my double bass routine, I'm currently at 140bpm, going up by 4bpm every time I've successfully completed the previous tempo.
 
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Arky

Platinum Member
As for RLR RLR - when I'm doing those I'm thinking of my lead foot doing constant 8ths while the L foot would simply fill in the missing 16th notes here and there. Try eliminating your L foot for a bar or two while continuing with your R foot, then bring in your L foot again etc. Might help. (This feels way harder with my L foot leading though.)

RLR LRL is a nice alternative of course - practice both.

BTW, I feel it's comparably easy to play hertas up to high speed using the above method - focus on your leading foot as continuous 8ths and fill up any off-beat 16ths (e.g. the herta) to create whatever patterns you want. ATM this feels easier to me than using the alternating 'sticking' for hertas.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Yeah, I've worked the first page of 'Stick Control' as a regular exercise into my double bass routine, I'm currently at 148bpm, going up by 4bpm every time I've successfully completed the previous tempo.
Kind of off topic but Schist, I noticed you're using Dr. Steve Brule as your avatar haha Do you like Tim and Eric as well? I love all three, I watch them so much (on DVD anyway) that I can quote stuff from the episodes..
 

schist

Silver Member
Can't you practice the ankle motion at a slower tempo?
Technically I can, but it's not strong/powerful enough below 190. The way I have my pedals set up (~3/4 spring tension, beaters ~6.5" from the head) there's simply not enough resistance below that speed for me personally to use strict "ankle motion".

I guess the best option is to keep practicing them and trying to nail it, as 'MrPockets' pointed out. That said, I'm not ruling out any other suggestions people might have ...
 

Servant

Junior Member
Ankle motion is much more difficult to control than leg motion. I don't think that practice it at a very slow tempo will help you, since this is a motion that naturally occurs at fast tempo. You can try but I think it will be "forced". Ankles comes into play when you need speed, for slower motion it's better to use legs or a combination of legs and ankles.

IMHO the best thing to do, as another user already suggested, is to practice at that speed over and over until you gain control.
 

schist

Silver Member
IMHO the best thing to do, as another user already suggested, is to practice at that speed over and over until you gain control.
That's what I've been doing now. I wrote myself up an exercise where I play 8th-notes with one foot for 2 bars, then 16th-note "gallops"* (RLR RLR etc.) for 2 bars, and repeating this for 4-5 minutes. I managed to nail a good 60% of them today, so that's progress ...

* - I suppose gallops refer more to a 1 &a 2 &a etc. rhythm (so R RLR RLR RLR etc.), and "reverse gallop" just sounds stupid, so I dunno what the actual name for it is - still the same principle though, obviously ...
 

Arky

Platinum Member
* - I suppose gallops refer more to a 1 &a 2 &a etc. rhythm (so R RLR RLR RLR etc.), and "reverse gallop" just sounds stupid, so I dunno what the actual name for it is - still the same principle though, obviously ...
There is no name. And 'gallop' would be any sequence/variation of 3-note grouping in a 4-note period of time. And all of those are musically useful. "Just sounds stupid" is a purely subjective impression. Actually I'm slightly shocked to read this from a musician (expecting more tolerance towards rhythmic patterns) but hey, our ears may differ.

The gallop variation starting with all 3 notes in a row definitely has its use, e.g. in fast medal where it's pretty standard.

Why not mix them up? Now that's a step up as compared to learning each pattern individually.
 

schist

Silver Member
There is no name. And 'gallop' would be any sequence/variation of 3-note grouping in a 4-note period of time. And all of those are musically useful. "Just sounds stupid" is a purely subjective impression. Actually I'm slightly shocked to read this from a musician (expecting more tolerance towards rhythmic patterns) but hey, our ears may differ.

The gallop variation starting with all 3 notes in a row definitely has its use, e.g. in fast medal where it's pretty standard.

Why not mix them up? Now that's a step up as compared to learning each pattern individually.
No, I meant the term "reverse gallop" sounds stupid, not the rhythmic figure itself. ;)

If I thought the rhythmic figure sounded stupid, I wouldn't be working on it, and I wouldn't have posted this thread
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I see. Haha. Thanks for the info.

(You know, some people practice stuff just for the sake of practicing/learning it. You don't have to like every rhythmic figure you're practicing but it all adds up to more precision/control.)
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I have the same issue with a bunch of other stuff. The key is to practice just below the tempo where you screw up. Takes time and patience.
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
Technically I can, but it's not strong/powerful enough below 190. The way I have my pedals set up (~3/4 spring tension, beaters ~6.5" from the head) there's simply not enough resistance below that speed for me personally to use strict "ankle motion".
Don't worry about the sound at a slow tempo; worry about the motion. If the motion isn't controlled at a slow tempo, it's not going to be controlled at a fast tempo either. At least give it a try.
 
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