Beginner seeks kick drum 16ths tips

MazdaRex

Active Member
My lessons are going great and I'm learning tons. Working on a song with two sixteenths together on the kick drum at 100bpm, and I feel like my foot isn't fast enough. Obviously, drummers play one-foot sixteenths a whole lot faster, so what should I learn?

It feels like both my foot isn't moving fast enough and that the pedal is not rebounding fast/strong enough. My practice kit is a Yamaha DTX430K e-drum kit with FP6110A 'real' pedal and KP-65 kick pad. I'm playing heel down and it feels like my foot is coming off the pedal since it isn't coming back up fast enough. I cranked up the spring a bit on both my practice kit and the acoustic kit at my lessons. Cranking the spring way up so the pedal rebounds faster might help, but it seems better to learn correct technique.

What can I do to get my foot moving faster?
Thanks!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
At that speed, quarters at 100 bpm, you may need some sort of double technique.

Some do a a slide technique where you play one note and then slide up the of to catch another.

The more common, I guess, is to play with the whole leg and then catch the second one with ancle motion. In a way slightly opposite of the first one.

Both of these are sort of heel up, but if you're generally playing heel down or you're mainly a heel down player you simple rest the heel down on the plate afterwards. There are several variations that are pretty similar to this.

Noting wrong with just doing it heel down either which is just rebound and timing.

Spring tension works for some, but this is mostly about rebound.,
 

roncadillac

Member
Tighter tension/faster rebound doesn't necessarily mean more control. That is like saying an amateur racer would do better in a race with a faster car... It doesn't mean they can handle the faster car, yet. Also not to imply that higher tension is better, it's just different. When I was young and focused on foot speed, first with double pedal then when I switched exclusively to single pedal, I too always thought higher spring tension meant faster. I personally just found myself fighting the pedal more. I'm no Zach Hill but I do have a pretty fast single pedal right foot that I've been slowly developing for 15+ years and still to this day can 'gallop' doubles and triples much cleaner and longer with a looser pedal.

And @Rock Salad comment above mine is spot on, you are at a pretty solid point and it may merely be you becoming more aware of your progress. That's not a bad spot to be and just keep at it.
 

MazdaRex

Active Member
Thanks, everyone! Roncadillac, once again you're helping me out! So, did you learn anything in your 15 years of hard work that I can copy and master in two weeks? ;-)

(Years ago, I actually moved from a too-fast race car to a slower one, since I was becoming "that guy" with the highly capable car but who hadn't mastered car control, so that was a great metaphor.)
 

roncadillac

Member
Thanks, everyone! Roncadillac, once again you're helping me out! So, did you learn anything in your 15 years of hard work that I can copy and master in two weeks? ;-)

(Years ago, I actually moved from a too-fast race car to a slower one, since I was becoming "that guy" with the highly capable car but who hadn't mastered car control, so that was a great metaphor.)
The funny part is, the older I get and the faster my foot gets the more I find myself playing music that calls for simple 4/4 back beat haha.

If we are talking single pedal, learning to 'flick' your foot on the pivot point can really help you pull off faster strokes. Playing heel down may make this more difficult but relying solely on your ankle will be tiring.

If we are talking keeping a fast steady groove on a double pedal... Can't help there unfortunately since I haven't really used one in a very long time.

This is more a long term practice tool but maybe look into a silent bass drum pad? This way you can practice bass drum without the audible fatigue. I have even heard of people going as far as putting a bass drum practice pad under a desk at work or under a coffee table while watching TV.
 

MazdaRex

Active Member
If we are talking single pedal, learning to 'flick' your foot on the pivot point can really help you pull off faster strokes.
Yes, that's what I mean. Can you please expand on 'flick' and talk about the pivot point?
The pedal is hinged at the heel side - is the pivot point high up where the chain/strap attaches? Or under the pivot axle?
 

Sebenza

Member
You said you're playing heel down, as do I. Me personally, I prefer the spring to be loose , the power and speed in the strokes come from the velocity with which I play them, so a tight pedal only hinders that. I've never really examined how I play the bass drum, but if I were to describe it, I'd say it's much more of a whipping motion using the pedal than a stomping one.

As for tips to get your heel down strokes faster and (if necessary) more powerful, just annoy your coworkers by playing rudiments under your desk with your feet. That's the good thing with heel down technique, you can basically practice it anywhere. Play paradiddle combinations, mommy-daddy rolls, irish spring exercise, etc... Eventually that long muscle on the outside of your tibia will develop enough endurance and strength.
 

roncadillac

Member
Yes, that's what I mean. Can you please expand on 'flick' and talk about the pivot point?
The pedal is hinged at the heel side - is the pivot point high up where the chain/strap attaches? Or under the pivot axle?
Sorry, I wasn't very specific. I mean like the pivot point of your foot, the 'ball' of your foot. Meaning the padded area between your toes and arch where you pivot if you are say playing a sport or moving quickly in a tight area. By flicking my foot I mean... Well this (while not the best video) will help to give a visual:

This may be a better video as this is the exact type of technique I began building off of many years ago:

Playing heel down may make this all moot for you but I wanted to share anyway.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
@MazdaRex I play metal and run lots of double kick. I realize this isnt what the thread is about, but this might still help.

Your drumhead is also responsible for rebound. You can lower spring tension to make the pedal move freely, and increase head tension to return the pedal to start. You arent fighting spring tension this way.

Your pedal has a sweet spot, they all do. It will act for your foot the same way a stick acts for your hand. Too far up or down and you are fighting bounce. Keeping your foot on the sweet spot makes manipulating the pedal easier.

To find the sweet spot, use your fingers to operate the pedal. You will find the spot where its easiest to move continuously. That is the sweet spot.

Finally, practice. The more you do something, the easier it becomes.

You will get there, just give it time. Eventually some other issue will arise and these doubles will be a thing of the past.
 

pinstripe

Active Member
I can relate! I've been playing for about 1.5 yrs and quick BD doubles is what I've been wrestling with lately. What I'm finding is that you have to get two muscle groups involved so that you can interleave their actions. This gives you "two for the price of one" and makes the speed possible. The two groups are 1) your calf and the opposing muscle on the front of your shin, and 2) the muscles that raise and lower your leg (hip adductor and glute). What happens is that Group 1 does a downward toe flick followed by a stomp from Group 2. The timing of the stomped note is controlled by locking your ankle at just the right instant as your leg is falling. That sudden ankle lock is what transfers the motion of your leg meat to the pedal.

What's tricky is that because your leg is massive and doesn't move instantly, you actually have to start your leg rising and falling slightly ahead of the note, especially at faster tempos. Being aware of the need to get things moving slightly in advance is what unlocked it for me. It's tricky to coordinate at first but becomes automatic once you get the feelz for it.

My breakthrough came past week and it's been nice to finally be able to do those little pickup notes on the BD that you hear all the time. I will add that my only point of contact on the pedal is the ball of my foot.
 

Akincer5

New Member
My lessons are going great and I'm learning tons. Working on a song with two sixteenths together on the kick drum at 100bpm, and I feel like my foot isn't fast enough. Obviously, drummers play one-foot sixteenths a whole lot faster, so what should I learn?

It feels like both my foot isn't moving fast enough and that the pedal is not rebounding fast/strong enough. My practice kit is a Yamaha DTX430K e-drum kit with FP6110A 'real' pedal and KP-65 kick pad. I'm playing heel down and it feels like my foot is coming off the pedal since it isn't coming back up fast enough. I cranked up the spring a bit on both my practice kit and the acoustic kit at my lessons. Cranking the spring way up so the pedal rebounds faster might help, but it seems better to learn correct technique.

What can I do to get my foot moving faster?
Thanks!
Practice practice practice. And start slow and build your muscles and tendons up. It's the only way you're gonna get good at it. I've been playing for 43 years and if I dont condition myself to play double pedal I will stay up all night and the next day with cramps from H E double hockey sticks.
 

Trigger

Senior Member
@MazdaRex
Your pedal has a sweet spot, they all do. It will act for your foot the same way a stick acts for your hand. Too far up or down and you are fighting bounce. Keeping your foot on the sweet spot makes manipulating the pedal easier.

To find the sweet spot, use your fingers to operate the pedal. You will find the spot where its easiest to move continuously. That is the sweet spot.

Finally, practice. The more you do something, the easier it becomes.
This times a million.
 
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