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Bass drum - feeling discouraged

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  • Bass drum - feeling discouraged

    Hey all,

    I am an old beginner, in that I have been playing off and on for a number of years, but never seriously. Now 35, I have come back to drums after taking a long break. My foot work is very rough. I feel like I have very poor control... my feet feel spazzy (if that's a word), and I am not able to play what I can think (my mind is much faster than my feet). I have been struggling with pedal set-up, beater weight, seat height and that kind of thing, to complicate matters.

    I guess my main question is, is there hope for me? I have only recently started to practice more seriously, so I suppose I should give it time. I just find it really frustrating! Would any of you know of beginner technique videos that would be helpful, or would you have any suggestions? Thanks all.

    Jim

  • #2
    There's hope. Your only 35. The answer is practice that brings muscle memory. I'll be 60 in September and taking lessons. You can do it!
    Equipment: TD-30KV, DW9000 hardware, ROC-N-SOC Throne, Behringer ULTRATONE K3000FX Amp, JBL EON 615 Powered Speaker, Yamaha MG06X. 1965 Ludwig Super Classic. Black diamond pearl. Zildjian K Custom Dark cymbals, DW 7000 hardware, DW 9000 kick pedal.

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    • #3
      I started playing when I was 54 -- it was a birthday present from my wife! Hang in there. All it takes is work.
      TD-30++ (TD-30, Diamond Electronic Drums 14x5 snare+Ludwig Atlas Pro II, 2xPDX-8, 2xPDX-6, VH-11+Gibraltar 9607DL-LD, 2xCY-12C, CY-13R, KT-10) + DA200S, almost all on an MDS-4 and a bit on the floor.

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      • #4
        Same here, I started again at 49

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        • #5
          Practise, practise, practise....and guess what? MORE PRACTISE lol

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          • #6
            I started playing drums at 10yrs old, played seriously till about 20 and then took a 12yr break. Got back into it and then started learning double kick at 36ish, my left foot was completely uncoordinated and the best i could do was quarter notes, mostly using muscles in my leg (not ankle). Fast forward a year or so, and the left foot has come a long way and is getting close to my right foot coordination but not quite there from a stamina point of view....yet


            Roland TD-30KV, Pearl Demon Drive Double Pedal, Pearl H1000 hit hat stand, Shure SE530 IEMs, AKG K171 MKII Headphones, Mackie DLM PA, Yamaha MG102C mixer, Roland Studio Capture

            Natal Walnut kit (US Fusion X), Bosphorus Antique 16" Crash & 22" Ride, Bosphorus Gold Series 14" hats.

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            • #7
              I started when I was 60 (63 now) and know that my feet are maybe my weakest area. But, they are getting better through practice.
              Rick Abshier
              Roland: TD-9KX2, PD-85BK (4), PD-105BK, CY-12C (2), CY13R, VH-11, CY-8 Splash, KD-8
              DW: 5002TD3 Double Bass Pedals, 3500T Hi-Hat Stand

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              • #8
                Like Jim said, it's all about muscle memory, which, means repetitive practice. I do a lot of the same drills for both my hands and feet. Since I play double bass, I'll do paradiddles, flams, and all sorts of rudiments with my feet too. The key is always to start slow and controlled and master it before you start to add speed. Try to stay consistent on one speed, then slowly increase and stay at the new speed for 60 seconds, the speed up and stay controlled at that speed for 60 seconds, etc.

                Only go as fast as you can play the pattern while under control and do it as long as you can before your legs catch on fire, lol. At the very end, you can go all out for fun even if it's sloppy. But to improve, you really need to stay under control, imo.

                I good warm up I like to do is start with quarter notes, go to 1/8 notes, then 16th, etc. You start at a tempo where you can play the 16th's under control but feel like you are right at your limit. Each week, try to increase your starting tempo a little.

                Also, adding an accent on the first beat of a measure, or any beat you would like, so long as it's planned and not random will help you master control.

                I think this is a decent exercise as an example of the kinds of things I do. Not exactly this, it's just the only video I could find. But this looks like a good one too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxoms7LsXDo

                A great example of warm ups you can do can be found with drum lines.Stuff like this, you can see how she accents certain hits, that really helps with control and you can do the same exercise with your feet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBUv7RPPe0o

                Hope you find that useful!
                TD50 Digital Pack, TD30 and TD9 Modules, custom made pads, Gen16 crashes, and hats plus a few other things that I'm not sure what to do with or why they're still in my kit. Bands: Espada http://www.musicaespada.com/ and JamCo https://www.facebook.com/JamcoEntertainment, https://www.jamcoband.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BWaj View Post
                  I think this is a decent exercise as an example of the kinds of things I do. Not exactly this, it's just the only video I could find. But this looks like a good one too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxoms7LsXDo

                  Hope you find that useful!
                  Drumeo - great guys. I find that in that video, exercise #1 is the hardest! I always find string 4 beats in a row together to be difficult. The doubles and triples always seemed easier.

                  I would say the doubles are the best place to start.
                  Yamaha DTX-502 / (3) PCY155 Cymbals / HH65 HH Pedal
                  Roland KD-9 Kick / DIY Snare (1 zone with DTX...)

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                  • #10
                    Don't forget the metronome and start slow. Sometimes slower is harder than faster. I am practicing quarter notes for 2 bars then eighth notes for 2 bars, repeat about 20 times then go to quarter notes for 2 bars and then eight notes for 2 bars except the kick is on the and of the beat again 20 times.

                    Also working on the Up on Cripple Creek groove this week. I didn't realize how much Levan is doing on the drums.
                    Equipment: TD-30KV, DW9000 hardware, ROC-N-SOC Throne, Behringer ULTRATONE K3000FX Amp, JBL EON 615 Powered Speaker, Yamaha MG06X. 1965 Ludwig Super Classic. Black diamond pearl. Zildjian K Custom Dark cymbals, DW 7000 hardware, DW 9000 kick pedal.

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                    • #11
                      I was also going to suggest Drumeo and YouTube. Things like your seat height and thighs parallel to the ground, heel up or down method, and practice. Beater type/weight and pedal is also crucial. What type of music are you playing? What pedal do you have now? I'm not saying get the best out there, but get what's best for your budget and your comfort zone. The kick pedal is probably the hardest abused piece of equipment and depending on what music you're playing, can be quite a workout. Don't go cheap on that...you can go cheap on shells and other hardware, but not on modules and kick pedals for instance. Hopefully you will get a literal feel for what you need.

                      K ;-)
                      My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
                      E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
                      A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
                      A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

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                      • #12
                        All good sensible advice so far. Building muscle memory by practising regularly is your best bet, nice and slow to start with.

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                        • #13
                          Hey all,

                          I am sorry it has taken me a while to respond. I just wanted to say that I appreciate all the advice, and positive support. This is a great community and I am happy to be a part of it. I have been working on my footwork, and I must admit it is slowly coming along. Now I will just need to double my practice efforts. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Thanks all! I hope you have a great weekend.

                          Jim

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                          • #14
                            Glad you are seeing progress. It really is all about the practice. Also if you can swing it take lessons. I practice a lot but still when my teacher sitsvat my kit for starts playing, I am just amazed at how good he is and how far I still have to go. Still having lots of fun.
                            Last edited by jimorlando; 09-01-14, 08:31 PM.
                            Equipment: TD-30KV, DW9000 hardware, ROC-N-SOC Throne, Behringer ULTRATONE K3000FX Amp, JBL EON 615 Powered Speaker, Yamaha MG06X. 1965 Ludwig Super Classic. Black diamond pearl. Zildjian K Custom Dark cymbals, DW 7000 hardware, DW 9000 kick pedal.

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                            • #15
                              I skimmed the responses, but did not see anything about working out your calf muscles in a gym. There are a couple machines I used to use -- one standing up and one sitting down. The sitting down machine probably works out the part of the muscle that you use for drumming. I'm out of practice now and just getting back into it, but I used to find working out my calfs essential to quick and precise drumming on the bass drum. Just be sure to keep your back straight when you lift weights to put on the machine! Best of luck.

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