Desperately Seeking Fast Bass Drum Speed!

DrumNut!

Well-known 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.
Yeah man. A lot of really good solid advice. Appreciate your thoughts…If I may ask, what was the price for the Drumeo course? The swivel technique sounds like a Jo Jo Mayer kind of thing? But that’s great you feel like your improving, that’s what it’s all about! I’ll check out that app you mentioned. I never heard of it! Interesting title, Lol! Your right on about time.
Totally agree! Thanks.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Yes. A lot of really good solid advice. Appreciate your thoughts…If I may ask, what was the price for the Drumeo course? The swivel technique sounds like a Jo Jo Mayer kind of thing? But that’s great you feel like your improving, that’s what it’s all about! I’ll check out that app you mentioned. I never heard of it! Interesting title, Lol! Your right on about time.
Totally agree! Thanks.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I’m at that point ladies and gentlemen…been playing 4-5 years. I’ve played heel up, heel down, heel- toe, and everything in between.
I’ve taken lessons, I’ve watched videos and You Tube, etc. I can’t hit quick triples - I use single pedal and want to stay that way for now.
There’s days when I get it and feel like I’m making progress and other days when I want to quit drumming. I switch my technique but It’s just not working. I think I’m going to spend all my days now on my feet. I can’t advance without getting better in this area! I’m frustrated. I’m sure there are plenty of you who understand where I’m coming from. I really would appreciate your feedback and help! Thank you..
Hey guy, you know what? I never heard of a guy being fired from a gig because he couldn't play fast triplets on a single bass drum. I never heard of a guy losing a gig because his rolls weren't fast enough. Time and musicality, tune and tempo. Generating a great groove. That's what matters. If speed was the musical priority, they'd have hired a lawn mower. Don't sweat that shit, man. Get the basics together. Listen to Charlie Watts, Ringo, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm. None had killer chops; all were, however, exceptionally musical drummers who made their bands sound great.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
Hey guy, you know what? I never heard of a guy being fired from a gig because he couldn't play fast triplets on a single bass drum. I never heard of a guy losing a gig because his rolls weren't fast enough. Time and musicality, tune and tempo. Generating a great groove. That's what matters. If speed was the musical priority, they'd have hired a lawn mower. Don't sweat that shit, man. Get the basics together. Listen to Charlie Watts, Ringo, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm. None had killer chops; all were, however, exceptionally musical drummers who made their bands sound great.
Ahh yes, the standard unhelpful and completely ignorant and unnecessary response from the jazz guy who has no interest in speed and thinks everyone should think the same way he does.

Now that that's out of the way:

DrumNut, having played for 20+ years with the same sort of struggles, (and to be fair I haven't read the whole thread), I've followed all the standard advice of "just play fast music" etc. But honestly, it doesn't work unless your technique is good to start with. So after 20+ years I have been working hard on resetting and fixing my technique. I've tried everything. The best advice I found was "let the pedal do the work".

To enable this, maximise the amount of travel with the beater and footboard, and just practice letting your foot 'swing' it around. You'll only be focusing on the downstroke, and letting the footboard's momentum do the work.

Groupings of 4, 8, 12, 16 and more will help you warm up and get used to the tempo, and then I do what I call 60/30/10 training, which is where you playing 60 second intervals, rest, increase tempo, rest. etc., and then record where you max out at 60 seconds, then the same at 30, and then finally 10 seconds. My hands are also quite slow, and my feet are definitely improving faster than they are - and are faster at all three intervals (187 over 60 seconds, up to 210 at 10 seconds).

Look up the videos by Eugene Ryabchenko and Marthyn Jovanovic on Youtube, they give pretty great advice. Eugene is the current drummer for Fleshgod Apocalypse and recently posted his playthrough of one of their songs at 290bpm. It was their advice (and another guy from Instagram whose name unfortunately I can't recall) who got me started on the right track after over 20 years.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Hey guy, you know what? I never heard of a guy being fired from a gig because he couldn't play fast triplets on a single bass drum. I never heard of a guy losing a gig because his rolls weren't fast enough. Time and musicality, tune and tempo. Generating a great groove. That's what matters. If speed was the musical priority, they'd have hired a lawn mower. Don't sweat that shit, man. Get the basics together. Listen to Charlie Watts, Ringo, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm. None had killer chops; all were, however, exceptionally musical drummers who made their bands sound great.
Hey guy, you know what? I never heard of a guy being fired from a gig because he couldn't play fast triplets on a single bass drum. I never heard of a guy losing a gig because his rolls weren't fast enough. Time and musicality, tune and tempo. Generating a great groove. That's what matters. If speed was the musical priority, they'd have hired a lawn mower. Don't sweat that shit, man. Get the basics together. Listen to Charlie Watts, Ringo, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm. None had killer chops; all were, however, exceptionally musical drummers who made their bands sound great.
I agree with you. I’m playing better because I’m slowing it down. My last teacher helped me with that. I’m not trying to play metal or go blazing fast etc, etc…Perhaps my post was misleading?
I’m just trying to play rock tunes at around 130-180 bpm that have multiple kicks - songs like Communication Breakdown, Don’t Fear the Reaper. Measure like ( K K SN K K K SN K )
Thats a typical beat you see alot of. Not getting a good rebound on 3and…
I play alot of Jazz, I’m into smooth grooves, etc.
You make a great point. I’ve slowed things down and I sound much better and I’m recording myself much more. Those drummers you named are all time greats! Thanks. I don’t want to sound like a lawnmower- Lol! 😀
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Ahh yes, the standard unhelpful and completely ignorant and unnecessary response from the jazz guy who has no interest in speed and thinks everyone should think the same way he does.

Now that that's out of the way:

DrumNut, having played for 20+ years with the same sort of struggles, (and to be fair I haven't read the whole thread), I've followed all the standard advice of "just play fast music" etc. But honestly, it doesn't work unless your technique is good to start with. So after 20+ years I have been working hard on resetting and fixing my technique. I've tried everything. The best advice I found was "let the pedal do the work".

To enable this, maximise the amount of travel with the beater and footboard, and just practice letting your foot 'swing' it around. You'll only be focusing on the downstroke, and letting the footboard's momentum do the work.

Groupings of 4, 8, 12, 16 and more will help you warm up and get used to the tempo, and then I do what I call 60/30/10 training, which is where you playing 60 second intervals, rest, increase tempo, rest. etc., and then record where you max out at 60 seconds, then the same at 30, and then finally 10 seconds. My hands are also quite slow, and my feet are definitely improving faster than they are - and are faster at all three intervals (187 over 60 seconds, up to 210 at 10 seconds).

Look up the videos by Eugene Ryabchenko and Marthyn Jovanovic on Youtube, they give pretty great advice. Eugene is the current drummer for Fleshgod Apocalypse and recently posted his playthrough of one of their songs at 290bpm. It was their advice (and another guy from Instagram whose name unfortunately I can't recall) who got me started on the right track after over 20 years.
Ahh yes, the standard unhelpful and completely ignorant and unnecessary response from the jazz guy who has no interest in speed and thinks everyone should think the same way he does.

Now that that's out of the way:

DrumNut, having played for 20+ years with the same sort of struggles, (and to be fair I haven't read the whole thread), I've followed all the standard advice of "just play fast music" etc. But honestly, it doesn't work unless your technique is good to start with. So after 20+ years I have been working hard on resetting and fixing my technique. I've tried everything. The best advice I found was "let the pedal do the work".

To enable this, maximise the amount of travel with the beater and footboard, and just practice letting your foot 'swing' it around. You'll only be focusing on the downstroke, and letting the footboard's momentum do the work.

Groupings of 4, 8, 12, 16 and more will help you warm up and get used to the tempo, and then I do what I call 60/30/10 training, which is where you playing 60 second intervals, rest, increase tempo, rest. etc., and then record where you max out at 60 seconds, then the same at 30, and then finally 10 seconds. My hands are also quite slow, and my feet are definitely improving faster than they are - and are faster at all three intervals (187 over 60 seconds, up to 210 at 10 seconds).

Look up the videos by Eugene Ryabchenko and Marthyn Jovanovic on Youtube, they give pretty great advice. Eugene is the current drummer for Fleshgod Apocalypse and recently posted his playthrough of one of their songs at 290bpm. It was their advice (and another guy from Instagram whose name unfortunately I can't recall) who got me started on the right track after over 20 years.
I definitely need to adjust my beater and spring tension. That makes sense to get more space between the beater and the drum head. My current pedal is too easy to hit and when I pull the beater all the way back and let go it only strikes the head once. I need to look at that for sure. Your workout is arduous. That’s some shredding man. I agree about technique and letting the pedal do the work. Thanks for those suggestions and references. 290 bpm is insanely impressive…I’ll look at your thread often. I appreciate your help! Thanks.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known 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!
Thank you so much!
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Short answer for speed is to practice ALOT with a click. push yourself. you don't become faster at swimming by swimming slow, or racing by driving slow. You aren't going to win a 100m race without pushing yourself.
The key is to play JUST above your limit. not too fast.. practicing sloppy doesn't help.
Stick to a speed for a while and when it becomes easy or not too much effort, bump it up a few BPM. It's mostly muscle memory after a while.
When you watch good players play REALLY fast it's effortless. If you are straining yourself, you burn out and can't do it for a long time.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Short answer for speed is to practice ALOT with a click. push yourself. you don't become faster at swimming by swimming slow, or racing by driving slow. You aren't going to win a 100m race without pushing yourself.
The key is to play JUST above your limit. not too fast.. practicing sloppy doesn't help.
Stick to a speed for a while and when it becomes easy or not too much effort, bump it up a few BPM. It's mostly muscle memory after a while.
When you watch good players play REALLY fast it's effortless. If you are straining yourself, you burn out and can't do it for a long time.
I have to warm up my foot instead of just jumping in. Some days I’m locked in and feel like I can play anything…the following day I’m slow?
I’ve been working out of Ted Reeds book. It’s really tough once you get it going! I think I’m going to start working out Bailey’s book. I relearning heel up…sometimes I get a little pain in my upper groin, I tend to hit the bass drum too hard on the first hit which prevents a rebound.
I’ll work it out. I do a Steve Smith exercise also.
But, yes, I agree with everything you said and try to abide by it! Thanks for your help…I appreciate your advice!
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
How’s it working for you??
I received an incredible amount of information from some really good drummers and teachers!
It’s going good! Thank you! I work on my foot technique everyday and I see improvement. I was playing heel down for too long out of laziness. There’s a lot ways to strike the bass drum. Im trying to keep as simple as possible! Im also relaxing more when I play buy doing things slower in order to learn, but challenging myself at the same time. Im just happy I own a drum set and am able to drum! I feel lucky, and it’s great to know there are others out there doing the same thing. It’s a process! My goal is to play with others and perform! Appreciate it !
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I received an incredible amount of information from some really good drummers and teachers!
It’s going good! Thank you! I work on my foot technique everyday and I see improvement. I was playing heel down for too long out of laziness. There’s a lot ways to strike the bass drum. Im trying to keep it as simple as possible! Im also relaxing more when I play by doing things slower in order to learn, but challenging myself at the same time. Im just happy I own a drum set and am able to drum! I feel lucky, and it’s great to know there are others out there doing the same thing. It’s a process! My goal is to play with others and perform! Appreciate it !
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I have to warm up my foot instead of just jumping in. Some days I’m locked in and feel like I can play anything…the following day I’m slow?
I’ve been working out of Ted Reeds book. It’s really tough once you get it going! I think I’m going to start working out Bailey’s book. I relearning heel up…sometimes I get a little pain in my upper groin, I tend to hit the bass drum too hard on the first hit which prevents a rebound.
I’ll work it out. I do a Steve Smith exercise also.
But, yes, I agree with everything you said and try to abide by it! Thanks for your help…I appreciate your advice!

As a guy who has played extreme metal and punk for many many years, I have days where I feel slow, some i feel really slow, and some I can play extremely fast. That is normal.. the more I practice, the less the gap closes.

I warm up before EVERY show I play.. it's funny because when I didn't, I always felt dialed in right around the end of our set.. Now I come out feeling better.

This last year I phoned it in on the practice with no gigs.. The saying if you don't use it, you lose it is VERY true... back to the pads for me.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
That information is very helpful to me! Thank you. How do you warm up? I play single pedal so maybe that’s a tough question for you to answer? Amazing how when you stop doing something ( warming up) it effects your playing!
 
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