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Right-handed/footed playing

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  • Right-handed/footed playing

    I'm kind of in a dilemma right now. I'm left-handed but have been playing a right-handed setup since I started in April 2008. I noticed my right hand is weaker on the hihat than my left hand on the snare. I can sneak in soft ghosts notes and other thrills on the snare but have more trouble playing different notes on the hihat (than the usuals 8ths). But, after more training, both hands could eventually be equally fast and strong.

    Lately I have been trying the heel-toe technique with my right foot to speed up my bass drumming (BTW: I have a single pedal). I'm struggling with it but I can see a very small improvement. Today, I was sitting sideways on the throne when I heard a song and just started to play along on the bass drum with my left foot using heel-toe. To my surprise, as I haven't played bass drum before with my left foot, kicks came out very easy and naturally without any effort. So my left foot is already better now without any traning than my right foot after 8 months of practising.

    I prefer right-handed playing for being able to play anywhere on a 'traditional setup' and I'm used to having the hihat on the left and the toms on the right. But the power and accuracy of the left foot is so much better than the right foot.

    So, what to do: switch to a left-handed setup (maybe playing openhanded) or just continue?

    Edit: I just did a little test: I'm playing Radiohead's Creep now almost as good or even better with my left than my right foot.
    Last edited by eric_B; 12-30-08, 09:48 AM.

  • #2
    Well, I'm left handed and play a right handed kit as well. You could definitely switch over to a left handed kit or with the ease of mobility of V-Drums, you could even set your kit up so that you played lead with your right hand and kick with your left foot, although that would be pretty weird. I personally chose to play right handed, despite being left handed, because it's easier to sit down at any kit in the world and play. I didn't want to have to try and rearrange kits if I were sitting in, or playing around at a store or something.

    I say you have to decide how much more you think you can improve by switching (including playing hi-hat with your left hand) and decide if the learning curve that comes with switching and the downside of playing a "backwards" kit is worth the improvement you think you'll gain.

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    • #3
      I made the decision a while ago to be totally ambidextrous and I havnt regretted it. I do lights for allot of festival and if the drummer cant make it I jump in (happens amazingly often!) So I just play whatever kit is up there. It has served me well!

      I am still heavily bias to right-handed playing. But I trained my self as I was training for double bass drum playing. I switched my bass drum and hi hat pedal around so that primarily my left foot got stronger but I was still playing everything right-handed apart from the feet. I found my right foot useless at the intricate little lifts that a hi-hat has to do and my left foot useless at stomping out a beat and the little grace-notes created by a tremor in the ankle before the main beat.

      I then realised that this was an ideal opportunity to try out a left handed set up. So I did! kept it that way for a few weeks and I was relativity competent with my "wrong" hands! I love it it is actually allot of fun! But I find that if I play a LH kit now I play 'open' as I haven't practised for a while :s

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      • #4
        Originally posted by eric_B View Post
        I'm kind of in a dilemma right now. I'm left-handed but have been playing a right-handed setup since I started in April 2008.
        <snip>
        So, what to do: switch to a left-handed setup (maybe playing openhanded) or just continue?
        My take is .... do what feels most natural to you. Its your set. Are you a gigging drummer? If this is the only set you 'll be playing, even better reason to make it feel natural. I'd go with a left-hand set up if you have the ability to use your set(s) exclusively in your performing situations. Why 'handicap' yourself unless you can become comfortably ambidextrous. If on the other hand you'll be sitting down to sets other than your own to perform, then a right-handed set would be the better choice.

        Go with your strengths. If a left-handed set allows you to play better, then that seems to be the answer I feel.

        BTW, Ian Paice is left handed, plays a lefty set. Maybe Jimmy Hendrix would have been equally skilled on guitar using his left hand on the frets, but he went with his strengths and used his left on the strings. Exaggerated examples I suppose, but they went left-handed because it was natural.

        Lyle
        and the jukebox plays..... !! (the Nails - Home of the Brave )

        E-set : TDW-20, 2 up & 2 down, VH-12, 6 cymbals (5 CY14, 1 CY15), 2 Pintech Dingbats all on a Gibraltar rack, thru a Simmons DA200S
        VExpressions Gigging Kits & Top 50 Drummers #1

        A-set : 1968 Ludwig Hollywood in Burgundy Sparkle

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        • #5
          Originally posted by slyone View Post
          My take is .... do what feels most natural to you. Its your set. Are you a gigging drummer? If this is the only set you 'll be playing, even better reason to make it feel natural...
          Go with your strengths. If a left-handed set allows you to play better, then that seems to be the answer I feel.
          Thanks for the replies. I don't gig yet, but maybe I will. That also depends on how much I will improve and if I ever get good enough to gig. And that's why I would prefer right handed, to be more versatile. Playing both LH and RH would be nice, but keeping in mind the limited amount of playing time I have, I would rather learn to play one way well instead of playing both ways so so.

          What would you more experienced players advice: go with the natural flow or just work harder on the other way?

          For now, switching the hihat and the bass would seem the most natural flow, but that would prevent using the toms as the VH-11 would interfere. I guess I'll try the switch for a couple of hours and don't use any toms.

          And if I would want to use a RH setup: maybe I could get one of those remote hihats and a double pedal so only the left and right foot are switched?

          Comment


          • #6
            have you seen superpusses setup? she has a centrally mounted hi hat. you coul mount your hihat in the center and have your bass on your left foot. You can still keep your toms left to right.

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            • #7
              Yes, but she has a CY-5 for a hihat so she can move the FD-8 to where ever she wants. That's going to be hard with the VH-11 on a regular hihat stand. But it can be done with a remote hihat.

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              • #8
                it doesn't have to be. you can simply put your hi hat stand where the bassdrum was bassdrum with leftfoot. and it should work. It does in my mind anyway. I dont have a VH-11/12 so I cant really try it.

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                • #9
                  Well, take a look at my kit and imagine switching the VH-11 and KD-8; the VH-11 would block 2 toms (I tried it) and it would have to go quite a bit towards the throne to be able to open and close:



                  I just tried placing the bass to the left and connecting my 'old' FD-8 and placing it on the right (to control the open-close sound of the VH-11). After playing for a while (especially 16ths bass notes like in Radiohead's Creep), I'm starting to feel like a weirdo myself. The most natural feeling to me would be left foot - bass drum, right foot - hihat pedal, left hand - snare and right hand - hihat. And it didn't really matter much playing cross handed with the hihat on the left or open handed with the hihat on the right side.

                  So it seems I prefer playing a mix of left and right handed. What to choose now? I'm not sure I can imagine the consequencies chosing an odd playing style may bring. But I think that choosing now will be a more or less permanent choice. What to do ?
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eric_B View Post
                    For now, switching the hihat and the bass would seem the most natural flow, but that would prevent using the toms as the VH-11 would interfere. I guess I'll try the switch for a couple of hours and don't use any toms.
                    Perhaps you understand what I meant, but by saying try a left hand setup I mean to fully mirror the positioning of the parts so that everything is rearranged. This would place the hihat fully to the right side of the set, leaving the bass pedal in the center. It sounds like you want to exchange the hihat and the bass pedals only, which does create interference issues. With a rack setup its actually quite easy to convert from a fully left handed set to a right handed set and back to a left handed set as desired. Being able to swap cables as opposed to rearranging toms and cymbals makes it even easier. If you want to become ambidextrous, then set up in one orientation for a fixed period of time, then reverse it for another period of time



                    Ultimately its your set, do what works for YOU

                    Lyle
                    Last edited by slyone; 12-31-08, 09:30 AM.
                    and the jukebox plays..... !! (the Nails - Home of the Brave )

                    E-set : TDW-20, 2 up & 2 down, VH-12, 6 cymbals (5 CY14, 1 CY15), 2 Pintech Dingbats all on a Gibraltar rack, thru a Simmons DA200S
                    VExpressions Gigging Kits & Top 50 Drummers #1

                    A-set : 1968 Ludwig Hollywood in Burgundy Sparkle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Slyone, I know what you mean to fully mirror a kit. On the TD-9 it requires a little more work. The snake cable for the hihat is too short and the hihat stand has to be removed from the left foot and placed on the right foot, so the rack has to be dis- and reassembled. And still, for now I prefer just switching the hihat and bass drum.

                      Any other experienced players have some advice or tips?

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                      • #12
                        Eric,

                        If I get a chance I'll try show you what I mean by having the VH-11 centrally mounted, Ill mess about with some gear and take a photo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by eric_B View Post
                          Playing both LH and RH would be nice, but keeping in mind the limited amount of playing time I have, I would rather learn to play one way well instead of playing both ways so so.
                          I can understand that thought, but I think what you're missing here is that going to a symmetrical kit will strengthen both "sides", so to speak, and you'll be better both ways. It's not RH vs. LH that way. It might take a little longer, but you'll be way ahead of the game down the road.

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