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Double bass help

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by griev0r, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. griev0r

    griev0r Here is Nowhere

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    Hi all, I have been having some problems with my drumming lately. It seems like for a couple months now I can't get any faster or any more endurance with my feet for double bass. I play daily just fucking around playing to tunes usually for about 30 min to an hour, don't really sit there and play to a metronome often...even though I know I should. Comfortably, I'm topping out around 125bpm 16th notes cleanly, but I get tired within 1 minute and can't keep it up. Last month or so I have been playing the single kicks with my left foot to try and bring it up to par with my right leg, may have helped a little but not much. Oh, and I play heel-up.

    Anyone have some wisdom for me to help me out? Thanks a lot! :headbang:
     
  2. Cul-Kothoth

    Cul-Kothoth The Dread Obsidian Crown

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    im not a drummer personally but my brother is and we jam alot together and when he needed to bring up his endurance he had a metronome click sixtenth notes at basically 80 bpm and slowly raised the speed to the point where it started to hurt then he stopped. He did this 3-4 times a week and within a month, month and 1/2, he was able to blast sixtenth notes at 180 bpm for an hour with out slowing down or causing himeself pain. Hope that helped and i don't know if he plays heel up so i don't know if that makes a difference.
     
  3. waif

    waif Member

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    Hi, remember me?
    Any luck with those tracks I sent you?
    [/off-topic]
     
  4. divine_torture

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    I'm a guitarist, but started out playing drums. I played in a local death metal band for a while. Here's my advice: Start jogging/running. Strengthen your legs and you'll gain a lot of endurance and ability to play faster. Stretch before and after playing. And a big one for me is raise your throne super high, so that your toes are barely resting on the pedals. Kinda like riding a bike. If your legs are bent up too much you lose a lot of motion and they cramp. Sit above the set, not level with it. And of course practice.

    Hope this was helpful.
     
  5. Therma lobsterdore

    Therma lobsterdore Self marinating

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    Exercising and whatnot actually won't help as much as you think. The problem here is not endurance, in fact that's a small part or it. The heel-up motion is a trained motion ya see (as are all motions in drumming), it's actually your brain that's the problem, it needs to learn how to perform and control the heel up motion, the more ingrained this motion is, the faster you'll be able to go.

    You will only get better/faster by doing it over and over again, period. Honestly, exercises and leg weights and whatnot won't help out that much, that's why fat guys with tree trunk legs like Gene hoglan and Nick barker can go so fast, and that's also why Olympic runners and whatnot will be as crap as everyone else when they first start playing double bass.

    There is no one answer for getting faster at double bass playing, lots of different methods have been employed by lots of different people. I've been playing double bass for two years and have gone through so many different routines and methods that it's ridiculous! I would advise you to check out the drummerworld forums (link in my sig) and also Derek roddy's forums on his site, if you search through them you will find a wealth of information on double bass training.

    Personally I think there are two things you need to focus on in order to build up speed, this applies to both hands and feet.

    First off, you need to ingrain the motion into your brain/limbs, the way to do this is to practice the motion for long periods of time at a speed where you can execute it perfectly every time, and I mean perfectly! The old adage that 'practice makes perfect' is a bit wrong, it should be 'practice makes permanent'. So say your constantly playing at speeds that your not entirely comfortable with, and hence your all tensed up and your technique is poor, all your doing is teaching your body to play tensed up and with poor technique. I practice the single stroke roll with my hands and feet at the same time for 20-30 mins a day against a metronome going at 70bpm (in 16th's), which is pretty slow. I am capable of going up to 210bpm, just to put it into context for you.

    Second, you can't play slow all the time, you need to play at speeds that your not entirely comfortable with in order push your speed higher. This is because as the speed increases the motions that your body performs change slightly, becoming smaller and less exaggerated, and your body needs to learn these motion changes in order to play at higher speeds. Now the trick is to play at higher speeds daily, but you mustn't do it for extended periods of time. I find the best way to do this is to play along to music with fast/challenging double bass bits.

    So yeah, my practice is basically split into two halves, for the first half I practice singles, doubles and diddles with my hands and feet at slow speeds for 20-30 mins a pop, then I pop on some death metal or whatever and play along for an hour or so, this has worked out real good for me! One thing that you will need to look into is using your ankle to play as opposed to your whole leg, see George explaining that here...



    Just a note, George is playing heel up, but he likes to keep his heel close to the footboard...this is called flatfoot. It's still basically heel up though.
     
    #5 Therma lobsterdore, Oct 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015
  6. griev0r

    griev0r Here is Nowhere

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    Thanks guys, especially Therma.

    I really need to get on this, I've been playing drums for over 4 years now and I can barely hold double bass for over 30 seconds at 125bpm...pretty sad. Guess that's what I get for just playing to music and fucking around when I play.

    So... I have a metronome built into my electronic kit so it's easy to use. Lately I have been just going as long as I can @ 90bpm 16th notes with a regular 4/4 rock beat on my hands, can usually last around 10 minutes. I don't really understand when you say you do doubles and diddles with your hands and feet, can you explain? I really never have done any kind of rudiments with my hands or feet...
    I really need a decent practice regime, I'm tired of playing everyday and going nowhere.

    If you can, in the thread here about wanting comments on your music I have a couple of tracks recorded so you can see my skill level and maybe assist me in making a practice routine.

    I want to progress so bad, I've been stuck at this playing level for close to a year it seems. Thanks again for all your help guys.
     
  7. Therma lobsterdore

    Therma lobsterdore Self marinating

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    No worries man! I listened to some of the tracks you posted, they sound great, your on time, you pull out nice beats and fills, good stuff all round. It really does sound like your left foot is miles behind your right, your right foot sounds great.

    I can advise you on a practice routine, it will definitely kick your drumming up a notch. There are so many different ways to approach your regime, and there is so much you can practice. However I tend towards simplicity and focusing on the basics because you want to spend at least 5-10 minutes on an exercise for it to really make a difference, and the longer you spend in sitting the better, so it makes sense to focus on a few basic patterns.

    For you I would say try to practice the single stroke roll with your hands and feet at the same time for 20 - 30 minutes a day, pick a speed where you can keep it going for that long, from the sounds of things 60-70bpm will be a good start, like I said before focus on keeping things even and relaxed and work with the rebound of the snare and the bass drum. There are loads of exercises for working on weak limb's, most of these are called 'killer' exercises, here's an example of one...

    http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32077

    And derek roddy has some video's that show a similar kind of thing, but it's more involved, there are several parts to this video so look for the other parts after this one...



    As for rudiments, here's a list of them...

    http://rudimentstudies.com/rudiments.htm

    The only ones you really need to focus on are the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll, most of the other rudiments are merely combinations of these (apart from the buzz roll), so once you get a good single and double stroke roll down then you should be able to handle the rest of the rudiments. Most people also practice the parradiddle, which is basically a combination of the single stroke and double stroke. Singles, doubles and diddles are used all over the place in most forms of music, both in beats and in fills (parradiddles and their variations make great fills), however in metal most drummers just single stroke, so really it's up to you as to whether or not you pick up the other rudiments, it will certainly go along way to taking your drumming to the next level.

    When you first start on double strokes, you will play each note directly and will see that there is a limit to how fast you can go with this method. To get faster you need to learn how to use bounce to produce the second stroke, there are many techniques for the hands and feet that achieve this and allow you to do double stroke as fast, if not faster, than you can single stroke. The main ones are push/pull for the hands, and heel-toe for the feet, I can post some youtube video's if you'd like.

    Practice routines are good, but there are two things that really helped my drumming out, the first one was totally geeking up on drums, really immersing myself in them you know! That has had the biggest impact on my playing, so spend an hour or so a day trawling drum forums (drummerworld is best I've found, there are loads out there though) and watching solo's and tutorials on youtube, you'll be surprised how much you pick up from forums and how much you absorb from watching solo's and whatnot. Secondly start playing to a variety of music, if you don't do so already, the best drummers out there know several styles and blend them all together.

    Sorry bit of a rant there, hope it helps.
     
    #7 Therma lobsterdore, Oct 20, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015

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