13 Apr, 2016

Free Your Feet (Pt 1)

Technique

If you’re anything like me you probably find your bass drum chops are a little sluggish compared to your hands. I recently realised my feet just weren’t present as a linear voice in much of my soloing, so over the past year or so I have been developing ways to practice this.

FIND THE GAP
One great place to begin is by playing 8th note strokes on either hand and "filling-in" with off beat 16th note strokes on the bass drum. This helps to improve the speed in which you can play between your hands and your feet. It also helps to smooth out grooves that require tricky off-beat bass drum hits!

WHERE ARE YOUR FEET AT?
Today’s warmup takes this simple idea and gives you a few different ways to play the exercise with either your hands leading or your bass drum leading. It’s the same Filling In 8th Notes warmup as I’ve shown you before, but this time you are filling in 8th notes with off beat 16th notes on the bass drum. Use this simple exercise to evaluate your bass drum speed on a daily basis.

FINDING YOUR THIRD VOICE
This difficult act of independence is often neglected by drummers. The feet are just as important as the hands, yet it’s hand speed that drummers talk about most frequently. If you can begin thinking of your bass drum and hi-hat foot as a third and forth voice in your playing it opens many more linear ideas to your vocabulary.

EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT RUDIMENTS
This is just the beginning. You can experiment with different rudiments, not just the single stroke roll as we have done so here. A great place to find some inspiration is George Lawrence Stone’s “Stick Control” book. Just by playing the first page with the bass drum filling-in on off beat 16th notes you'll notice an increase in your coordination in no time. I’ll have some more ideas for you in upcoming lessons.

CONTACT
Let me know how you get on with this by leaving a comment below! Better still, make a practice video and upload it to the drumadiddle Facebook page. Remember to tag your videos #WarmUpWednesday!