Desperately Seeking Fast Bass Drum Speed!

DrumNut!

Active member
Don't worry about your current speed, what you have to try is to play accurately (even if you have to slow the song down to say..70%) and once that becomes the norm (you playing the song accurately at 70 percent, then start to increase speed maybe in increments of 5% if you need to but keep that speed until you are able to finish the song accurately, then so on and so forth. I am not against using exercises, they are just so boring to me sometimes.
That’s a great way to learn. Never thought of doing that! I’ll do it! I know just the song to work on. Thanks again ! I appreciate that advice.
I agree with you on the exercise books they can get very boring !
 

Ghede

Well-known member
Try this for quick doubles:
Stroke 1: point the toe down
Stroke 2: drop your foot

Once your foot is dropped, pointing your toe gets you stroke 1 again. There is your third stroke. You can also invert the strokes so its foot then toe then foot again.
This is the best video I know explaining this technique:

 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Colin Bailey "wrote the book" on this sort of thing. Sadly, he passed away very recently.



Not to hijack the thread but this is so unfortunate. I see he passed away yesterday but can't seem to find any announcements. He was the authority on effective single bass drumming (I still use Bass Drum Control as a regular foot conditioner). RIP to a technical monster.
 

DrumNut!

Active member
Colin Bailey "wrote the book" on this sort of thing. Sadly, he passed away very recently.


I appreciate the video. It looks great! I’m going to watch it in full. Wow! I didn’t know Colin Bailey died. I have one of his books. He was a great drummer and teacher! He was also very skilled in Jazz, among other things. The technique in the video does remind me of how Mr. Bailey kept his foot on the pedal sort of! That’s sad. I appreciate all the information!
 

DrumNut!

Active member
Not to hijack the thread but this is so unfortunate. I see he passed away yesterday but can't seem to find any announcements. He was the authority on effective single bass drumming (I still use Bass Drum Control as a regular foot conditioner). RIP to a technical monster.
Yes. It’s very sad to hear that! I recently seen him on an educational video or upload and he seemed to have aged! But, he was drumming like he was ageless! RIP is right!
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
Exercising your legs can make a HUGE difference in your kick drum playing. After I go for long walks or a bike ride, my playing is noticeably better.

Sometimes I'll go a few weeks without exercise and realize my kick playing isn't as effortless as it should be. Then I take my dogs on a 2-mile walk and my drumming is instantly better again.

Amazing how that works!

If my limited vascular knowledge is accurate that would be because your warm-up opened up your capillaries therefore increasing blood flow. This would aid in performance for sure.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Single bass drum speed. I assume you are talking about double strokes? I don't see anyone looking to increase their 8th note one footed singles much so I'll assume that.

A bass drum double stroke, to have power at high speed must come from a heel up position. The heel up position requires more coordination and muscle groups and has much more potential for development than heel down. Heel down in mainly used for less demanding, quiet playing. The heel down motion relies mainly on one small muscle group, the tibialis anterior. This is why it's easier to control at the outset (less muscle coordination required) but it is also a big limitation as muscle groups work synergistically together via multi-joint leverage..

Set the tempo at 80-100 BPM. Play RLFF as 16th notes. Use a heel up motion and rather than thinking about a million different techniques just let your body take over and simply LISTEN and COUNT. Lock your eyes on the beater, NOT the foot. Don't hit the first note too hard.

Play for extended periods of time, stop before the burn occurs or you get too tired. Rest a few mins and do it again. Raise the tempo when it gets easy, not the first time you get it right.

Put in 8 hours of practice like this for 30 mins a day (16 sessions) and you will improve.

Good luck.
 

DrumNut!

Active member
Hi.
I appreciate your response and advice. Specifically, in its most simplistic form, I’m talking about successive hits on the bass drum with a single beater! Example: A one or two bar phrase where the notation consists of three or more hits in a row. It could be notated as double and a single, three straight single strokes or four straight, etc. 8th Notes- ( Two Bars): K SN K K/
K SN K K and loop it several times.
So. Yes. It’s a double combined with a single. Another example would be 3 or 4 straight single strokes at a fast tempo.
My assumption is that what you are describing will make your leg stronger and enable it to hit successive single strokes, ( a group of three, a group of four.). I think you understand my point?
Thank you for that exercise. I’ve been working out of Ted Reed’s Bass Drum Exercises- it’s difficult!
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
That’s a great way to learn. Never thought of doing that! I’ll do it! I know just the song to work on. Thanks again ! I appreciate that advice.
I agree with you on the exercise books they can get very boring !
More songs to add to the list:

Under and Over it by Five Finger Death Punch
American Capitalist also by FFDP
Waking the Demon by Bullet From My Valentine
None of those are particularly hard to play, the hard part on the first two specially the second one is to maintain the clean playing all the way through, the third song has a cool snare breakdown in the middle , all 3 are a good workout
for a more "chill" song try Take This Life by In Flames, not super fast double bass but a very fun song to play.
don't be intimidated by the drum rolls there, they sound hard but they are not. if you need to see some of those songs being played look in YouTube for Fumie Abe and Meytal Cohen, also Tarn Softwhip (Tarn is my inspiration).
Now a goal for the future to play Behemoth's Ov Fire And The Void like this guy plays it with the one handed roll and the perfect heel toe technique:
In case that doesn't load look for that cover by Stefano Reynoldz Brognoli. (and he makes it look easy!) I saw the drummers that Behemoth has played live with (Inferno, Krimh and others) and none of them play that snare roll one handed, and Inferno wrote it!.
I personally probably would play it with swivel which comes easier to me.

And finally A random one that I wish was the original song because her voice works well with Metal:
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
If my limited vascular knowledge is accurate that would be because your warm-up opened up your capillaries therefore increasing blood flow. This would aid in performance for sure.
That's true, but it also improved my playing the next day. So it's not just about being "warmed up" in the moment.
 

DrumNut!

Active member
More songs to add to the list:

Under and Over it by Five Finger Death Punch
American Capitalist also by FFDP
Waking the Demon by Bullet From My Valentine
None of those are particularly hard to play, the hard part on the first two specially the second one is to maintain the clean playing all the way through, the third song has a cool snare breakdown in the middle , all 3 are a good workout
for a more "chill" song try Take This Life by In Flames, not super fast double bass but a very fun song to play.
don't be intimidated by the drum rolls there, they sound hard but they are not. if you need to see some of those songs being played look in YouTube for Fumie Abe and Meytal Cohen, also Tarn Softwhip (Tarn is my inspiration).
Now a goal for the future to play Behemoth's Ov Fire And The Void like this guy plays it with the one handed roll and the perfect heel toe technique:
In case that doesn't load look for that cover by Stefano Reynoldz Brognoli. (and he makes it look easy!) I saw the drummers that Behemoth has played live with (Inferno, Krimh and others) and none of them play that snare roll one handed, and Inferno wrote it!.
I personally probably would play it with swivel which comes easier to me.

And finally A random one that I wish was the original song because her voice works well with Metal:
Good stuff mate! Thank you! I probably should switch to a double bass. I would think it would be the ultimate in four way coordination and stamina. It’s probably hard in the beginning stages! I’ve often wondered what the hi hat does? Lol. I’ve never seen that one handed roll…Wow!!!
 

DrumNut!

Active member
That's true, but it also improved my playing the next day. So it's not just about being "warmed up" in the moment.
Yes. I would think it has a carry over effect! I don’t warm up enough…Do you think playing barefoot is ok or a hindrance? I would think it prevents you from any time of improvisation one would like to do…meaning the foot won’t slide, it sticks to the pedal, that sort of thing..
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Yes. I would think it has a carry over effect! I don’t warm up enough…Do you think playing barefoot is ok or a hindrance? I would think it prevents you from any time of improvisation one would like to do…meaning the foot won’t slide, it sticks to the pedal, that sort of thing..
Playing barefoot is perfectly ok if that's what you're into. Some like the feel. It just depends on your technique.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Good stuff mate! Thank you! I probably should switch to a double bass. I would think it would be the ultimate in four way coordination and stamina. It’s probably hard in the beginning stages! I’ve often wondered what the hi hat does? Lol. I’ve never seen that one handed roll…Wow!!!
The one handed roll is also called a gravity blast, it is really not that hard to do once you understand the technique.
 

defregano

Member
Balance on the throne is imperative. Try this exercise daily. At around 1:50.

also work on this exercise here by steve smith. This will loosen up the ankle nicely. Just take it slow at first. Start with one technique at a time. Notice your balance. Are you leaning back, forward? The more you do it the better It will get. Also try playing nice tight quarter notes on the hihat with your left foot while doing the exercise with your right.
I understand your frustration man. I’ve dealt with the same issues and still do but it’s improved quite a bit.


Hope this helps!
 

DrumNut!

Active member
Hey, thanks so much! Appreciate the information and embedded videos! I never hear anyone really talk about balance, I thought it was just me overthinking things, but that’s a revelation! I’ve been working on this now and playing heel up!
Balance is essential! I’ve struggled with this even when working with teachers. I fell off the throne once, not a pretty sight! Lol!
I don’t plan on playing DB anytime soon! But by next spring I’ll get that going. I have that Steve Smith DVD and saw that exercise. I forgot about it, but will revisit it …that’s the problem when you have a lot of techniques/ books, etc- you start forgetting what you have and start jumping around too much. I admire Steve Smith, great drummer, great jazz drummer also. The one thing that bothered me about his video was that he spent a lot of time performing a solo…and not enough instruction. If you say this exercise was very helpful I will revisit it!
Your information was very helpful! Thank you!
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Single bass drum speed. I assume you are talking about double strokes? I don't see anyone looking to increase their 8th note one footed singles much so I'll assume that.

A bass drum double stroke, to have power at high speed must come from a heel up position. The heel up position requires more coordination and muscle groups and has much more potential for development than heel down. Heel down in mainly used for less demanding, quiet playing. The heel down motion relies mainly on one small muscle group, the tibialis anterior. This is why it's easier to control at the outset (less muscle coordination required) but it is also a big limitation as muscle groups work synergistically together via multi-joint leverage..

Set the tempo at 80-100 BPM. Play RLFF as 16th notes. Use a heel up motion and rather than thinking about a million different techniques just let your body take over and simply LISTEN and COUNT. Lock your eyes on the beater, NOT the foot. Don't hit the first note too hard.

Play for extended periods of time, stop before the burn occurs or you get too tired. Rest a few mins and do it again. Raise the tempo when it gets easy, not the first time you get it right.

Put in 8 hours of practice like this for 30 mins a day (16 sessions) and you will improve.

Good luck.
Although he uses double bass, one song you can try to play with a single bass pedal is Stricken by Disturbed, very attainable speed for a single bass drummer but it will be a challenge if you are not used to continuous fast single notes so again reduce the speed to a speed you can play it then adjust as necessary, the idea is to play as clean as possible. Another song of theirs is "Mistress" way harder for a single pedal but still doable.
 

jpainter

Junior Member
Hey man, you have a ton of good advice in the previous posts. If there’s anything I can add, been playing same amount of time as you. Here’s what has really helped.

Todd Sucherman has a course on Drumeo call Rock Drumming Masterclass, and one of the exercises is going through literally every variation possible of kick drum patterns. I did this daily for months and it was worth the price of the course alone.

Another thing, as mentioned, was learning the swivel method. It’s one of those things where once you’ve practiced it enough, your leg will just throw a swivel in here or there and you don’t even think about it. It just happens.

Lastly, download an app like “Amazing Slow Downer” or my new favorite, “Moises.ai” and slow down a song that you want to play. Increase 1-2 bpm every so often to where you can’t even tell. Pretty soon you’re playing a song at 100%. “My Hero” by Foo Fighters was excellent for this.

I’ve found that at the end of the day, for me, the answer always seems to be “more time.”
You just need to spend more and more time on it.
 
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