Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do I Use Heel Up or Heel Down?

Hey Travis,

Of course I remember you bro! Glad the downloads are working now.

I get this question alot and I'm probably going to do an extended post on the topic in the future...the 'ol heel up or heel down conundrum. Here's the most recent question...

"Hey Stephen, my name is Travis. I actually have a question regarding the killer bass drum speed lesson. I have been taking lessons for about 2 years and that said am very curious about your pedal technique. Do you use the same pedal technique during the constant 16th notes hits versus the doubles and sextuplets section? Would love to see some shots of your foot during the video, but don't know if that's possible. I agree the internet is full of cure all bass drum techniques that don't deliver. I understand that lots of practice with solid technique is the only answer. I guess, as a beginner, I am asking if you might have any tips in pedal technique or videos available. Thanks!"

Hey Travis,

I don't have any lessons available on pedal technique. That being said, here's my two cents on it.

Yes, I use the same technique on both. It's a cross between heel up and heel down that allows me to get the beater off of the head quickly after I make the initial stroke but also gives me the speed and agility and power associated with heel up. I think you should know all three equally well...heel up, heel down, and neutral. You should be able to play quickly and slowly with all of them. They're just tools to use. One isn't right or better. It's your personal preference and what feels best to you. But most of all, you have to just put the time into practicing. I'm working on heel/toe technique right now...I think the possibilities with that position are countless, but it's really hard to reteach yourself technique, so it'll take a while.

I don't know if that helps at all, but that's my two cents on the topic. Foot technique is frustrating to deal with...I applaud you for taking the time and effort to really try and make yourself the best player you can be. You inspire me to go practice!

Don't hesitate to shoot me any other questions you may have in the future!



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