Bass Drum Fundamentals

Remember: Repetition is the key. If you’re new to this, practice a little bit every day, and soon the movements will become second nature as you develop muscle memory.

HEEL DOWN

1.Your foot is flat on the footboard and you play from the ankle.

2. Your foot doesn’t leave the pedal when you wind up, but stays on the pedal throughout the sequence.

3. It’s a very light technique and mostly used at lower volumes. You only need to push down a little bit to set the beater in motion — it’s like tapping your feet on the floor.

HEEL UP

There are 3 steps to this technique:

  1. Wind Up (lift your leg)
  2. Release (the transition to step 3)
  3. The Actual Stroke (when you drop your leg)

Step two and three practically merge into one motion: you come down on the ball of your foot and immediately bounce back to release pressure. This is when the stroke happens. It sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Make sure you LIFT your leg, get your heel off the pedal, while your toes stay on the footboard. If you’re having trouble with this sequence, try practicing in socks, or shoes with leather soles.

DOUBLE STROKES

With the first tap, kick your leg up from the ball of your toes and let your foot naturally roll down to generate the second stroke. (You are no longer actively generating two strokes from your ankle, but only the upbeat. The downbeat happens automatically as your leg drops down.)

To finetune this technique, you can pull your foot slightly back on the upstroke and push it forward on the downbeat. It happens automatically at faster tempos, given you are relaxed and allow your foot to slide on the footboard.

 

Published by beckbeat

Hawaii-based drummer, musician, and educator.

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