Insoluble muscle control problem in left foot/ankle

xymonthra

New Member
I have been playing drums since 7 years old, but only dedicated the last 15 - 17 years. Since 3.5 years back, I had a 1-On-1 whole day teaching lesson at Marthyn Jovanovic i Vienna to learn the ankle technique. The eternal issue now seems to be, that I never get control over my left foot over 200 bpm 16th. I really have to raise the foot a little more as my right foot to achive higher tempos. But when doing that, it just stops. It is like a broken electrical circuit. It acts as an electrical play, it twitches hysterically. I really focus on being relaxed in both feet and legs. I am sittng very comfortable, and I have really good and precise control in my right foot. But my left leg also seems to be a little heavier. I need to have a higher spring tension on my left pedal, otherwise I bury the beater into the bass drum. I am stronger in my left foot, but no control when I performing the relaxed ankle "bouncing-basket-ball" technique. I can easily perform bigger strokes, bigger beater dynamic, than in my right foot which is weaker, but it seems that my muscles are extremely different in my left foot. I have no injuries, just probably bad luck with very unruly muscles in my left calf muscle. Do you guys here have any serious suggestions for this issue? Shall I go for the heel toe instead? I am practicing 2 - 3 hours 5 times/week. I am using the Axis A shortboards.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Unusual problem, good question, best not to rely on internet advice. It’s more of a medical question in conjunction with a teacher versed in preventing problems.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
If you're planning on doing blasts at 300bpm then I would persist with ankle technique as it seems to be the most energy efficient technique out there (but very hard to learn/ master from what I've read).

Anything under that however, heel toe will serve you just fine and it's a LOT easier to learn (plus there's a million Youtube vids out there to help you out with it).
 

xymonthra

New Member
If you're planning on doing blasts at 300bpm then I would persist with ankle technique as it seems to be the most energy efficient technique out there (but very hard to learn/ master from what I've read).

Anything under that however, heel toe will serve you just fine and it's a LOT easier to learn (plus there's a million Youtube vids out there to help you out with it).
Thanks for the answer! Yes, nothing new to me. No plans for 300 bpm. The goal is 240 bpm. I have managed heel toe "almost" 30 bpm for short times, but I I will start practicing it seriously from scratch at approx. 180 bpm to slowly achieve control. The slightest error in performing the heel toe is heard. Extremely important to master the motion in the right manner and time here.
 

xymonthra

New Member
Unusual problem, good question, best not to rely on internet advice. It’s more of a medical question in conjunction with a teacher versed in preventing problems.
Thanks for answering! Indeed. It seems that no drummer out there have understood my issue. I have always been advised to practice "that" and "this"....and so on. But it always end up in the same problem. My left foot is twitching, stops, goes faster/slowly.....totally unpredictable. I managed 230 bpm some years ago fairly controlled with both feet by a "homemade" extreme twitching angle up both feet as much/high as possible, bending the toes up, and just using shaking force. I practiced this for a long time so I could control it, but it was terribly heavy and exhausting. Regarding the medical. This is hard to solve. Surgery?...don´t know. Some physical exercises?....don´t know. I'm completely out of ideas regarding exercises on the pedals anyway. But the rescue can be the heel toe technique. Just have to put as much discipline in the heel toe motion as I have done in the ankle technique.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Thanks for answering! Indeed. It seems that no drummer out there have understood my issue. I have always been advised to practice "that" and "this"....and so on. But it always end up in the same problem. My left foot is twitching, stops, goes faster/slowly.....totally unpredictable.
You arent alone. My left foot is more steady than my right.

Heel toe is the way to go. No point in struggling with singles if there is an easier way to do it.

Surgery? It's just drums. Try coffee first.

Remember you are just a human. We do have limitations, and perfection is one of them. Ask yourself this: How many other of the 8 billion people on this planet can do 240bpm 16ths with their feet? Not many. If it isnt perfect, no big deal. Most folks arent even doing that with their hands.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I would suggest working on both...ankle and heel-toe...and practice moving between them...alot like switching between 'normal' stick stroke and fingers...then back...as tempo varies and you hit your max with one technique, switch to the other...smooth transition is the key here!
 
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