which foot technique ?


Senior Member
ok, I've only ever played heel down, and always swore, I'd never need anything else, but I'm currently obsessed with learning " I hate everything about you" by 3 days grace. I know every part of the song, but the right foot during the verse is just too fast, I'm slowly incorporating basic heel up to my playing, but this seems to require maybe dribbling foot thing....it's got hints of " immigrant song, any suggestions on how to approach this on the (single) bass pedal thanks.


Platinum Member
The way that your foot best responds to.

These various foot techniques don't necessarily work universally. More often than not, what works "best" is specific to the individual player. One guy may find heel down is the best option, another might find heel up works best. The reason why many guys advocate exploring several different techniques is purely to allow you the option of choosing the most effective and efficient avenue for each application.

In your case, I'd play the song and allow my body to figure out the easiest and most efficient way to get the pattern down. If that means "dribbling" on the ball of the foot in order to kick out the doubles.....so be it.


Platinum Member
Oh man. IMHO, it's too simplistic to say "whatever works for you" when what you're doing just isn't working. There's a difference between developing your own style and replicating something you like (so that it can become part of your style).

You'll get more force with a heel-up approach. You can use the weight of your leg to create a more powerful double stroke, compared to heel-down. You can get as fast a double stroke with either technique, but a powerful stroke creates a different sound from the bass drum, besides the added volume. Meaning, the sound will be more "thwack" than "boom", which is totally appropriate for this style of music.

But you just can't work on a song and call it a day. You need a bunch of different exercises and contexts in which to work on playing a smooth, controlled, and powerful double stroke, in order to develop a reliable technique. And that usually requires lessons, my friend.

Matt Ritter hangs out here and wrote a book on the subject. Hit him up for a Skype lesson if he offers them. If he's not available, hit me up! ;) You really need someone to watch you and guide you through the process.


Platinum Member
That's why I started learning various foot techniques - not all of them at the same time but gradually picking up more. Heel down and slide is what I'm neglecting (at least for now) but I'm glad to have addressed swiveling also. All those techniques - singles (heel up, flatfoot), doubles (interlaced, vs. straight - that is, whether you're playing heel-heel-toe-toe with both feet intertwined or heel-toe/one foot, then heel-toe/your other foot), as swiveled vs. non-swiveled give you a good arsenal to choose from. But be prepared to invest some time. Some stuff was happening quite quickly for me (heel up/fast singles), with other stuff I've been struggling a lot. Not really struggling but working on as it took quite a while until the motions started happening by themselves - that would be swivel (still not perfect). As for doubles, getting the timing right (esp. interlaced doubles) might take some time, too. But I think it's well worth it. It'll enable you to play decent speed in an ergonomic way.

So as for "which foot technique" I'd say - all, or at least as many as you can learn.
Same with hands.

Matt Ritter's tutorial (Unburying The Beater) is great. It has certain pro's but it doesn't display everything you can do with your feet (which isn't the focus of that tuturial in the first place). It's great for more motion awareness and to clean up your technique though.

I'd couple that tutorial with buying Tim Waterson's DVD "Techniques, Motions and Applications for Bass Drum Playing".
Now this DVD has 99% of what can be done with your feet/on the bass drum. Crazy stuff but having watched it, there won't be any more surprises/mysteries concerning foot technique.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Oh man. IMHO, it's too simplistic to say "whatever works for you" when what you're doing just isn't working. .
Who said this? And what's wrong with a simple approach? Sometimes a practical approach is best - learning how to do something to get a particular thing done. Whenever someone suggests a whole methodology to study along with exercises to obliterate the original issue, that would take all the fun out of it for me. It's all about making the music happen, right?


Senior Member
Thomas Lang teaches the best method of foot technique, and his reasoning is perfectly valid. The idea is to not hang yourself on one thing, and play using whatever is dynamic at the time. For example, let's say you're playing such a song where the chorus bass drum work is much faster - obviously it's dynamic to play chorus parts heel-up.

It's difficult to get used to, but after forcing myself to switch between heel up and heel down in the same songs, I've noticed I have much more kick drum stamina, and I can incorporate accents in my playing using bass drum patterns. So it really is worth practicing whatever music you may play, and I'm actually pretty old school on foot method. I don't play with my foot down the center of the footboard - it doesn't feel right. The only difference between my heel-down and heel-up is my heel being raised slightly off the plate. I do use slide technique a lot in my playing, but because I've practiced it so much and used it over the years, it isn't really 'slide' anymore. It's more like a twitch.


Platinum Member
Who said this?
The OP (or at least that's the way I read it):

ok, I've only ever played heel down, and always swore, I'd never need anything else,
I just told the guy to get some lessons, so that someone can look at his leg and foot and guide him as he practices heel-up exercises. It's not an issue that's easily solved for many drummers, myself included.

I think it's good that we're talking about new approaches and a "do what's best for the music" attitude, rather than the somewhat dogmatic "I play this way only" approach.