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Drummers - Any Tips Please?


Guest bluesxman
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Guest bluesxman

Does anyone have any handy tips on how to achieve and maintain a steady fast rhythm on the kick drum with single pedal without the calf cramping up? Is it down to position and tension of the beater? Am I setting my drum stool too high or low? Is there a general position guide for setting stool height whereby the angle between calf and thigh should be at a certain point? Or am I just unfit and need to exercise my limbs more?

Sensible advice from those who know what they are talking about much appreciated!!! :up:

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Does anyone have any handy tips on how to achieve and maintain a steady fast rhythm on the kick drum with single pedal without the calf cramping up? Is it down to position and tension of the beater? Am I setting my drum stool too high or low? Is there a general position guide for setting stool height whereby the angle between calf and thigh should be at a certain point? Or am I just unfit and need to exercise my limbs more?

Sensible advice from those who know what they are talking about much appreciated!!! :up:

Stool height, or from now on throne/seat height as that just kicked up to many images, is a matter of personal preference but generally in a position that allows a relaxed downward motion with a slight, where desired forward motion. Works for me and I can fair rattle up a speed with one kick pedal with absolutely no control however as I rarely practice. If your 'seat is too high then all the energy is going straight down and if you seat is to low then you are expending too much energy lifting your knee. My rule of thumb for my seat height is when I can comfortably play heel down and heel up on the pedal.

Experiment with the pedal tension as well and find the right balance.

Horses for courses I'm sure

:up:

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Try and source 'virgil donati's - Power drumming' Theres exellent exercises in there for pedal workouts and if I can remember properly he uses the '90 degree' rule.

I guess seat height is down to personal preference, I usually go by 'not too high and not too low' but comfortable.

Mike

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Agree with all points so far, seat height should feel comfortable. I usually go by if my thighs are more or less level horizontally, and like Big Jimmy Stacc if I can play heel up and heel down comfortably.

If you're cramping up though, you maybe just need to warm up a bit first. I always try to get at least 10 - 15 mins of stretching before a gig. You may look like a prick, but doing the old runners stretches - pushing against a wall will one leg straight out behind you, ankle rotations etc really makes a difference. Like any exercise if you go straight in cold, your muscles are gonna object.

Maybe also watch where your foot sits on the footplate. If your foot is too far back from the beater, you'll probably play louder but with less control, and it takes a lot more effort.

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Easier said that done, but try hard to relax when you're playing. The body naturally tries to tense up when you play something fast....focussing on staying relaxed helps me a lot.

Also, if you're keeping a fast kick rhythm, try and be as economical as possible with your technique. If you're playing a constant 8th notes for example, i would play the downstroke using the leg, and the upstroke with the foot....ie. leg-foot-leg-foot......if that makes sense. Basically, Moeller technique for the feet.

Lastly, i would keep the spring tension fairly loose on your pedal. The more tension in the spring, the more effort you've got to use to play a stroke.

....and warm-up first...obviously.

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As said before a "comfortable" stool height is going to vary but the 90 degrees is a good place to start, try fluctuating a bit on either side. I gather the 90 degrees thing is the most ergonomically "correct" way to sit, but I'm sure few stick rigidly to it.

Another thing to try is to slowly play and find a comfortable and RELAXED foot technique. Everyone will be slightly different but try heel down/up or more leg/ankle etc till you find what works for you. Then slowly build the speed up till you can hit the desired tempos in a CONTROLLED fashion without your muscles having to tense and squeeze the hits out. Sadly this isn't a speedy process though.

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For me its a bit like a bike, my feet can't sit totally vertical (or horizontal, I'm forgetting) so they are at almost 45 degree position on my pedal (resting) and I'm pushing my toes down and really smacking the drum head when I do this....same with hi hat pedal....if your legs come up too far past your waist you're doing something wrong...if you are stretching too far... you are doing something wrong. Get it where you can give the kick drum the loudest hit EVER! and you are the right spot. You're probably never going to need to hit it that hard, but if you do., its going to be easy and comfortable. I always hold the beaters againts the skin between kicks, so I know I am getting the full impact each hit.

Get a good springy pedal too. I love the Tama Iron Cobra's...espeicaly the flexi guide (material strap) as they are quickas fuck and can be as strong as you are....the double beats are sweet as and when performed with one foot will leave you audience in disbelief that you never had a double pedal!!!!!

Its all in the toes anyway......your shoes will make all the difference too. Converse all stars work for me....but I know some folk who need Doctor Martens before they can feel comfortable with the smack they're giving the drum skin. Theres is too much of course, and this can be it (DM's)...although for recording....if you are gating the kick...this is perfect as the kick will be so loud that you will know when there is no kick so you can just scrub the track up to the big transient points on the kick track!

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lift you heel' date=' put your foot as far forward as possible and play with the part of your foot just behind your toes, with practice you will be able to play very fast and with more practice you will increase the volume.[/quote']

Yes indeedy. That is pretty much what I do as well. I like my seat to be fairly low though. It's just a matter of what is comfortable to you as well.

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