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  #1  
Old 11-01-2013, 04:41 AM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Hi guys, I've got a strange problem and I could use your advice.

I got a new shell kit a couple of weeks ago, and since then, I've been having problems with my bass drum. Power is weaker, speed is slower, and after about a half hour of playing, I have trouble even playing two 1/8th notes in a row. I will my foot to move and nothing happens. I'm a heel-up player.

The old kick was a 22" Premier XPK birch/eucalyptus with an EMAD 2, the new kick is a 22" DW Collector's maple with the DW clear head.

Now, if it was only a matter of volume, I would blame the drum. I started off using the same Iron Cobra pedal and same throne as on my old kit. But changing drums doesn't seem to account for my foot "fatigue" or whatever it is. The rim on the DW is a bit deeper, so the beater has to travel a bit farther to hit the head.

Last week I also upgraded my pedal to a DW9002. All the adjustments are out of the box stock. It has a lighter feel than my old pedal. After some practice time with it, I feel a little better, but last night at band rehearsal I started having the same problem again. By the end of the 2-hour session, doubles on the right foot were pretty much out of the question. My shin muscle feels somewhat fatigued today.

Given the quality of the drum and the pedals, and the success that many pros have with the same equipment, I have to believe that there is something about my new setup that is causing my problem. I went from rack toms on the kick to rack toms off to the left side. I feel that my kick/snare positioning has not changed, and I am using the same throne, so I don't think my height has changed either.

Any ideas about what I should do? I'm going to try sitting closer/farther in relation to the kick, and maybe try moving my throne height up and down a couple of inches. Or maybe my foot technique is just bad. The new kick is muffled, so maybe I'm trying to play it too hard to get the volume I think I should have. I dunno. I'm open to ideas!
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:51 AM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

If you go back to your XPK, just for a trial, with old pedal setup, do you still have this issue?
If not, something in your new pedal setup or maybe even the tension (rebound) of your new batter. It sounds to me like your pedal may need a new adjustment for the different distance the beater travels on the new DW drum. It may also be as simple as extending the length of the beater rod.

Work with that. Its not like your leg or foot could have stopped working :)
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:08 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

New pedals and bass drum at the same time is a lot of changes to adjust to.

Are your new pedals set up the same as your old - pedal height, spring tension, distance of beater to head, and so on?

Also, the thing that stood out to me in your post is the beater having to travel a longer distance.
Doesn't sound like much for just one hit, but over a 2 hour session, that's a lot of bass drum hits. You might be using those muscles in a different way.
Not sure how you'd address that though, other than modifying the hoop, which probably isn't a real appealing idea for a new drum.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:15 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

I bet it's either head tension or head type or part of both. Got the funds to try another emad on your new drum?
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:17 AM
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camcoman camcoman is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Also, the thing that stood out to me in your post is the beater having to travel a longer distance.
Doesn't sound like much for just one hit, but over a 2 hour session, that's a lot of bass drum hits. You might be using those muscles in a different way.
Not sure how you'd address that though, other than modifying the hoop, which probably isn't a real appealing idea for a new drum.
This was my first thought. Is it possible to adjust (raise) the foot plate angle? Also, is the new bass deeper? It may be a matter of moving more air.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:11 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Thanks for the responses, guys, I really appreciate that.

The beater height is exactly the same on the new and old pedals. On my Premier kick, my Iron Cobra beater would strike the head when the beater shaft was about 5 degrees less than vertical (it, still a tad towards me). On the DW kick, with the deeper rim, the beater strikes the head at about 5 degrees past vertical. We're talking about a 1/4" inch or so difference.

My Iron Cobra is an old model that didn't have a beater position adjustment, but maybe I'll try moving the DW beaters forward a bit to see if that helps. The action on the DW pedals is also lighter than my old one, so I'll also try increasing the spring tension a bit.

Other differences - the new DW is 18" deep, while the Premier is 16". The DW also has the pillow inside of it. It has the stock heads which are a single ply batter, and the reso has 6 small vent holes around the edges. My Premier is wide open with the EMAD 2 batter (with small ring), and an EQ3 reso with a 5" hole.

I don't have the funds for new heads right now. But the bass drum heads on my Premier are only a few weeks old. Do you think I could put them on my new drum, or do I need to buy new ones?
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:57 PM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Just for kicks (no pun intended), try swapping the Premier hoop with the DW hoop on the batter side for a bit. A long time ago I went from small hoops to deeper ones and my feet suffered. I swapped the old hoops back and the issue was fixed. The extra distance the beater had to travel was the problem.

The heads on the Premier should be fine to swap, and that would be the perfect time to try the smaller hoop on the newer drum.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:24 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Just for kicks (no pun intended), try swapping the Premier hoop with the DW hoop on the batter side for a bit. A long time ago I went from small hoops to deeper ones and my feet suffered. I swapped the old hoops back and the issue was fixed. The extra distance the beater had to travel was the problem.

The heads on the Premier should be fine to swap, and that would be the perfect time to try the smaller hoop on the newer drum.
OK, I'm going to swap heads. I'll try moving the beaters forward before I swap rims though, because seeing a blue Premier rim on my new grey marine DW's is going to annoy the hell out of me!
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:50 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

I dunno, you should be able to play on any reasonably normal gear, so I would guess it's a technique problem-- maybe you have some bad habit that was adapted to your old rig, which is not working well the new one. If you want an instant, accurate answer, post a video of your right leg while you're doing some normal playing, and someone here will be able to help you.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:33 AM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

I made a quick and dirty video showing me playing a few notes with my old setup and new setup. I apologize in advance for the poor sound quality, the pedal sounds louder than the drum. Oh, and my slippers.

Hopefully you guys will see something that I did not. Thanks again for all of your helpful advice!

http://youtu.be/Hxg_SPLy_uI
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:10 AM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Your technique looks fine.

Here is what I see, and I watched the video 3 times and frame by frame:

The IC appears to have a longer footboard, and the angle of said footboard does not appear to be at as steep of an angle as the DW footboard. The DW pedal footboard also looks like it travels farther than the IC. This might be the video also, as the camera angle changes a bit.

The thing I did notice that you will definitely have to address is the DW pedal plate moves up and down the whole time you are playing, while the IC stays firmly planted on the ground. This may be working against you. As your foot goes down, so does the plate, and as your foot goes up, so does the plate. This would mean that your down force is used to move the pedal back to the floor as well as the beater to the head, thus robbing you of some power and control, and requiring more force to manipulate the pedal to do what you want.

Your foot definitely looks more controlled and at ease on the IC.

You may try putting the pedals next to each other and compare the footboard angle, beater angle, amount of travel, etc.

I still think the new hoop being deeper is the issue, especially if you have the same problem with the IC on the DW. The hoop depth is the only thing that has changed, and your problem occurred once this new distance became a factor in the equation.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:36 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post

....The thing I did notice that you will definitely have to address is the DW pedal plate moves up and down the whole time you are playing, while the IC stays firmly planted on the ground...

Ya - that kind of stands out right away. I agree with the rest of what you observed too.
It looks like the DW isn't clamped right - like it's clamped off center with the hoop, or the front of the bass drum is too high or something else.
Something definitely isn't right there.

The difference in the amount of beater travel doesn't look like as much as I thought from the first post.
That DW bass drum sure is a cannon though.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:46 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Hi, did you try adjusting the angle tilt of the bass drum towards you a bit more? Didn't read all of the posts, and it's an obvious suggestion, but might want to experiment with that. Also, it looks like your heel is lower than your toes, which would be awkward for me w/ heel-up type technique and cause fatigue, personally.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:00 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

I've basically fixed the pedal/drum moving up and down while playing. Part of the cause is that I have my drum rug on top of carpet, so the floor is a bit squishy there. I had previously raised the front end of the drum to try to get the head closer to the beater. But that was part of the movement problem too. I lowered the front of the drum and now the setup is stable. This was not a problem at rehearsal, where my rug rests on carpet, just at my house.

I put the Evans heads on the drum, and it feels and sounds better.

I'll play with this setup for a while before I make any more changes. Thanks again for all of your advice.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:20 AM
Grolubao Grolubao is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Is the reso head ported? You get totally different feeling if the head is ported
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:40 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grolubao View Post
Is the reso head ported? You get totally different feeling if the head is ported
Yes, the EQ3 has a 5" port. The stock DW head has 6 small holes around the outside, so it's really vented rather than ported. But for sure the EQ3 can move more air through it, since the total area of the 5" hole is much greater than the sum of the 6 smaller holes.

I practiced a couple of nights ago and started to feel the fatigue again. Where I feel the discomfort is in my shin muscles, and in my right leg near the hip joint. This would seem to tell me that I am expending a lot of effort in keeping my toes up and my leg up, right? Within 30 minutes I was having trouble just pounding out 8th notes.

Last night I played again, and this time I moved my throne farther away from the kick drum. I didn't have a long time to play, but it seemed to feel better. Is there any type of guideline for the most ergonomic leg angles? (angle of thigh from horizontal, and angle of lower leg from vertical). My throne is set up so that my thighs angle down slightly. At the larger distance from the drum that I tried last night, my lower leg was angled such that my foot was probably 2-3 inches ahead of my knee.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:25 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricT43 View Post
. Is there any type of guideline for the most ergonomic leg angles? (angle of thigh from horizontal, and angle of lower leg from vertical). My throne is set up so that my thighs angle down slightly. At the larger distance from the drum that I tried last night, my lower leg was angled such that my foot was probably 2-3 inches ahead of my knee.
If you're using your upper-leg quite a bit, that will cause pain. Might be an issue of your bass drum pedal adjustments, actually.

A while back I had some pain in my legs similar to what you describe because I wasn't using my foot/ankle enough. Upper-leg or "kick" is great or power, but if you want to play for long periods and fast stuff, the action should come from the foot/ankle/lower leg.

The moeller whip, heel-toe is excellent for this.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:05 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Update - practiced last night, sitting further back from the kick drum. While this felt better the other night, there was no improvement last night. I was practicing Tom Sawyer and by the end of the song I couldn't play 2 16th notes in a row at 88bpm.

Tonight I'll give it another shot. I'm going to start with some warmup at slow tempo this time, since I usually just sit down and start playing. I'll also try moving the beater forward to better match what I had before on my old setup. I may try increasing the spring tension a bit as well.

I'll let you all know how it goes...

Also, I meet with my instructor tomorrow, and this will be the focus of our session...
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:57 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Hi guys, wanted to give another update on this, just to close the loop. Hopefully this information will help someone else in the future.

When I saw my drum instructor, he watched me play and said that my technique looked fine. He thought it was just muscle fatigue, since I had been away from the drums for several years and then suddenly started playing much more.

I was finding some improvement from pacing myself while I played. Early in the sets, I would try not to be too busy on my bass drum, and would concentrate on keeping my leg and foot relaxed as much as possible. This helped my endurance and I was playing a bit better.

More recently, I adjusted my setup slightly, and as a result, am now sitting closer to the kick, so my right lower leg is closer to a 90-degree angle with my thigh. this seems to have done the trick, as now I can play with more speed and precision, and am able to play for longer periods without the fatigue in my lower leg.

At this point, I feel that I can play my kick drum just as well as I ever have. I am going to continue to work at my speed, control, and endurance, however, since I still feel that my kick drum skills are one of my weaker areas.

Thanks for all of the help!
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:59 PM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: Kick drum and/or R foot problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
I dunno, you should be able to play on any reasonably normal gear, so I would guess it's a technique problem-- maybe you have some bad habit that was adapted to your old rig, which is not working well the new one. If you want an instant, accurate answer, post a video of your right leg while you're doing some normal playing, and someone here will be able to help you.

This is what I was going to post. I went through what you describe here. It was my technique, without a doubt. The slightest offset in seat position, pedal adjustment, etc, and my right foot would sometimes go completely to crap. This was because my technique was not fully developed. I would make huge gains and then suddenly my right foot was like brain damaged. It's very difficult to explain.

Ironically, what really helped me break out of it was switching back and forth every few days between my iron cobras and speed cobras. Each time I switched I improved until finally it didn't matter what I played on or whether or not I was positioned perfectly.

I also am no longer losing my progress. Now every time I play I'm better than I was before. It's great! To be honest at one point I was so frustrated with my right foot issues I almost called it quits.
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