Real Drummers...Advice Please

Oreo ThomasOreo Thomas Unsigned
edited November 2007 in Rock Band
Can some of you real drummers please give me some pointers on using the kick drum pedal? Where should my foot rest? Leg angle (how far away from the drums), and how should I press (via hip, calf)...Help would be great as I know I am not using it right, although I am almost thru medium...

Thanks..

Comments

  • BoomshineBoomshine Unsigned
    edited November 2007
    I'm not a real drummer, but all of those questions are answered in the game's tutorial by the drummer from the Konks. Maybe you should go check it out. ;)
  • luminary pantsluminary pants Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    I keep it held down all the time. and lift right before the note to hit it. So my heel is always down.
    Angle and all that is personal preference. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited November 2007
    I posted this in another thread already, but here ya go:

    Ok so I've been playing drums for 16 years now, and I've got some tips for you guys if you want to minimize strain on your right leg.

    1) Make sure you're sitting at the correct height. Your knee should be at a 90-degree angle, or as close as you can get it. If you have to sit higher than that, that's better than sitting lower.

    2) Don't use your whole foot to hit the pedal. Your heel should be up ALL the time, just use your toes/ball of your foot to hit the kick pedal. Again, your heel should be UP at all times. (Make sure you have your heel up when you're adjusting your seat height) This is going to feel really awkward at first, but if you're sitting at the right height, you'll get used to it and you'll never go back to doing it the 'wrong' way again.

    3) The proper leg movement should be exactly that; a LEG movement. Not an ankle or knee movement. Don't try to lift your foot with your ankle and then bring it back down again. You'll KILL your ankles doing that. You should be lifting your whole leg at the hip and then bringing it down again, with your ankle and knee at the same constant angle the entire time.

    4) If you're just starting out with this kind of movement, take breaks, and take them often. Don't try to power your way through 10 songs in a row. Playing drums is full body exercise and you're likely using muscles in ways they've never been used before.

    5) This isn't for your leg, but still a good tip: Don't hold the drumsticks like they are weapons. Search Google for techniques on how to hold drumsticks correctly and you'll greatly minimize strain on your hands as well.

    6) These are electronic pads, not real drums. You don't have to slam them to make them work, and doing that will only make them break faster.
    luminary pants;148718 said:
    I keep it held down all the time. and lift right before the note to hit it. So my heel is always down.
    Angle and all that is personal preference. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.
    You can play that way (heel down) if you want, but you'll just be forming bad habits early and you'll really be hurting later when it comes to playing the faster kick hits in Hard and Expert. Better to correct your technique now and get used to doing it the right way.

    Angle is definitely not a personal preference to a certain extent. The training video and manual are both correct, 90-degrees is where you want to be. A few degrees off won't hurt, read my point #1 above. :)
  • Oreo ThomasOreo Thomas Unsigned
    edited November 2007
    Million thanks David. That was exactly the type of info I was looking for....

    Follow up question...When you say heel should be up at all times, exactly what does that mean...Only the toes and ball of foot should sit on the pedal and than I press down from the hip? Just a little clarification on that one for the drumming illiterate...(I am a guitar player...Should have contacted one of my old drummers, but figured this would be easier)...
  • HERSHYSQUIRTHERSHYSQUIRT Unsigned
    edited November 2007
    leave it pressed down on the kick petal till you need it or else you will fatigue quickly. According to the song your playing you may have to basicly bounce up and down on the petal to keep up with the notes.
  • Conner MalvecinoConner Malvecino Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    davidshek;148852 said:
    I posted this in another thread already, but here ya go:
    2) Don't use your whole foot to hit the pedal. Your heel should be up ALL the time, just use your toes/ball of your foot to hit the kick pedal. Again, your heel should be UP at all times. (Make sure you have your heel up when you're adjusting your seat height) This is going to feel really awkward at first, but if you're sitting at the right height, you'll get used to it and you'll never go back to doing it the 'wrong' way again.
    I agree with everything except #2, I personally am a heel up player myself but I know that heel down is not an incorrect way of playing the drum, hence why the pedal is at times curved like a shape of a foot. For drummers, I couldn't fathom playing anything but heal up but to say that it's the wrong way I'd have to disagree strongly as I know many solid Jazz drummers that are heel down. Yes, they don't need to bash the beater up against the head, but neither do we need to in RB. Speed would be the name of he game later down the road in the game, I can't personally play faster kick patterns heel down, but it's not uncommon.

    On a side note, there's a cool technique that heel up drummers do for double stroke kicks which utilizes the rebound of the first note and I wish the pedal would accommodate. But heck, it is still at version 1.0. :)
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited November 2007
    Oreo Thomas;148902 said:
    Follow up question...When you say heel should be up at all times, exactly what does that mean...Only the toes and ball of foot should sit on the pedal and than I press down from the hip?
    I mean it exactly as I stated in point #3. The leg movement should be from the hip. See if you can find some of Mike Portnoy's "Liquid Drum Theater" instructional video on Youtube or elsewhere. He talks about kick technique in there quite a bit, and watch the way he holds his foot on the pedals.
    Conner Malvecino;149041 said:
    I couldn't fathom playing anything but heal up but to say that it's the wrong way I'd have to disagree strongly as I know many solid Jazz drummers that are heel down.

    On a side note, there's a cool technique that heel up drummers do for double stroke kicks which utilizes the rebound of the first note and I wish the pedal would accommodate. But heck, it is still at version 1.0. :)
    Apologies, when I said the 'wrong' way, I meant for playing rock. This game isn't called "Jazz Band" ;) When I teach drums, I'm usually teaching rock drumming.

    That double-stroke technique you're talking about doesn't require any rebound. I can do it with my foot on the floor. It just comes with practice and you'll definitely need it on songs like ...And Justice for All
  • vtjustinbvtjustinb Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    Since your question got pretty well-answered I have a question for real Oreos...

    Do you dunk them in milk first? Or split them and eat the filling then dunk? I've always been confused on that.
  • luminary pantsluminary pants Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    davidshek;149828 said:
    I mean it exactly as I stated in point #3. The leg movement should be from the hip. See if you can find some of Mike Portnoy's "Liquid Drum Theater" instructional video on Youtube or elsewhere. He talks about kick technique in there quite a bit, and watch the way he holds his foot on the pedals.



    Apologies, when I said the 'wrong' way, I meant for playing rock. This game isn't called "Jazz Band" ;) When I teach drums, I'm usually teaching rock drumming.

    That double-stroke technique you're talking about doesn't require any rebound. I can do it with my foot on the floor. It just comes with practice and you'll definitely need it on songs like ...And Justice for All
    I realize there are differences when you are actually playing a real drum kit. But considering this is a video game, the differences kind of go away. You don't have to worry about control and hitting the kick harder or softer. So I will stick to my heel down. It works just fine through hard, I just haven't had the time to progress any further then that.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited November 2007
    luminary pants;149980 said:
    I realize there are differences when you are actually playing a real drum kit. But considering this is a video game, the differences kind of go away. You don't have to worry about control and hitting the kick harder or softer. So I will stick to my heel down. It works just fine through hard, I just haven't had the time to progress any further then that.
    This really has nothing to do with hitting it harder or softer. It's all about control and speed, even in this video game. Like I said in my first post on this thread:

    You can play that way (heel down) if you want, but you'll just be forming bad habits early and you'll really be hurting later when it comes to playing the faster kick hits in Hard and Expert. Better to correct your technique now and get used to doing it the right way.


    He asked for advice from real drummers (not video game drummers), so I gave him some advice from a real drummer (and drum teacher). You can choose to heed my advice or ignore it. I'm not laying down any law, just making helpful suggestions for people who want to get better at this game :)
  • reverserreverser Unsigned
    edited November 2007
    "Your heel should be up ALL the time, just use your toes/ball of your foot to hit the kick pedal. Again, your heel should be UP at all times."

    This is actually discouraged by most professional drum teachers, so take it with a grain of salt. Most well established extremely technical drummers say you should always use a heel-down positioning for highly detailed control. The same drummers would also say that a double kick pedal is for idiots. I agree. If you are a speed metal drummer then you probably disagree.
  • edited November 2007
    Check out Vic Firth's beginning drum lessons page: http://vicfirth.com/education/drumset/houghton_beginner_lessons.html

    There's one on heel up vs. heel down bass drumming; their teacher recommends heel down drumming, but the reasons are ones that aren't relevant to Rock Band drumming, like dynamics. I'd try both, and stick to what feels comfortable.
  • CredgeCredge Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    Heel down is only viable is you have a throne, and or, an adjustable chair. If you are stuck with a non-adjustable chair that is not the right size for you, then heel down can be a major pain. In fact, it can hurt you. I'm not talking about the "Oh guitar strings hurt when you start" kind of hurt. I'm talking about major ankle problems if you do this for long periods of time.

    The best thing you can do if you don't have a throne is to keep your foot in the down position and lift your entire leg up every time you hit.
  • luminary pantsluminary pants Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    davidshek;149999 said:
    This really has nothing to do with hitting it harder or softer. It's all about control and speed, even in this video game. Like I said in my first post on this thread:

    You can play that way (heel down) if you want, but you'll just be forming bad habits early and you'll really be hurting later when it comes to playing the faster kick hits in Hard and Expert. Better to correct your technique now and get used to doing it the right way.


    He asked for advice from real drummers (not video game drummers), so I gave him some advice from a real drummer (and drum teacher). You can choose to heed my advice or ignore it. I'm not laying down any law, just making helpful suggestions for people who want to get better at this game :)
    It is all preference, as I said in my post. You just said, as well as others that it can be played heel up or heel down. Which means it will change from person to person. I can play everything heel down, and can play faster heel down. I would say that heel up is going to lead you a lot more likely to be innacurate. You are moving more/larger body parts a further distance, there is just more room for error. Sure it works and people do it, but that is not always the case. And if you don't need to smack the crap out of the kick (which may be the case playing rock on a real kit), why move your entire leg a large distance, when you can move your foot an inch and produce the same result?
    I am not saying it doesn't work, becuase it does, and it does work for people, but playing heel down is not incorrect at all.
    Don't assume I don't play music or have any music background either :)
  • Conner MalvecinoConner Malvecino Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    davidshek;149999 said:
    This really has nothing to do with hitting it harder or softer. It's all about control and speed, even in this video game. Like I said in my first post on this thread:
    [I]
    I agree that the performance success rate is about speed and control...but Rock Band is about ROCKIN! :) ...and bashing that beater until the drumhead! But unfortunately, there's no beater and no drumhead but we can pretend can't we?

    All I know is when I am rockin' out, it IS heels up, I think the leg just gives you that extra strength and leverage. I'm not sure if you can get the same strength when playing heels down so I can't agree that it produces the same results volume-wise. I could be wrong as there's probably a lot of people who's ankles that are stronger than my whole right leg!

    But I am assume somewhere down the line, Harmonix customer service is going to ask the question: "Now when you broke your drum pedal, we're you playing heels up or heels down?" :(
  • luminary pantsluminary pants Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    Conner Malvecino;150189 said:
    I

    All I know is when I am rockin' out, it IS heels up, I think the leg just gives you that extra strength and leverage. I'm not sure if you can get the same strength when playing heels down so I can't agree that it produces the same results volume-wise. I could be wrong as there's probably a lot of people who's ankles that are stronger than my whole right leg!

    ?" :(
    That is what im saying though..since there is no volume difference between smacking the crap out of the kick, or just barely tapping it, there is no added benefit to playing heel up in that aspect. The argument being used is that it is what is tought in real rock drumming, but it doesn't really apply in this situation. I know that playing heel down I am not hitting the kick that hard, but im not playing rock on a real kit either. So yes there is a difference, but it doesn't really matter in rock band.
  • Conner MalvecinoConner Malvecino Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    luminary pants;150215 said:
    That is what im saying though..since there is no volume difference between smacking the crap out of the kick, or just barely tapping it, there is no added benefit to playing heel up in that aspect. The argument being used is that it is what is tought in real rock drumming, but it doesn't really apply in this situation. I know that playing heel down I am not hitting the kick that hard, but im not playing rock on a real kit either. So yes there is a difference, but it doesn't really matter in rock band.
    Oh man, don't get me wrong I'm totally agreeing with you in terms of accuracy and speed. But with Rock Band it's all about the extra sensory rock vibe that goes all with the playing of the video game that makes it all worth it otherwise, we should just playing PS3/Xbox controllers. When I'm playing heels up, I'm "Feeling"that I'm rocking out in addition to getting a perfect score. It's my personal taste and I'm sure that many can disagree, I have no doubt that people can rock out any other style too.
  • vtjustinbvtjustinb Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    In the world of set drumming it doesn't matter. It's often been quoted that "show me any 'wrong' technique and I'll name a few dozen drummers that destroy with it." In a marching world where consistency player to player is part of the score it does, but you don't need no schoolin' to rock.

    In practical terms though, heel-down uses a smaller muscle group which is efficient from a energy point of view--but if you induce tension in your legs in the process it actually isolates your front calf muscles and much like lifting weights (which is focused exertion) you will tire quickly. The point is you can definitely be efficient with heel-down, but make sure you retain a relaxed approach in the process or you'll pay for it pretty quick.
  • Conner MalvecinoConner Malvecino Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    vtjustinb;150289 said:
    In the world of set drumming it doesn't matter. It's often been quoted that "show me any 'wrong' technique and I'll name a few dozen drummers that destroy with it." In a marching world where consistency player to player is part of the score it does, but you don't need no schoolin' to rock.

    In practical terms though, heel-down uses a smaller muscle group which is efficient from a energy point of view--but if you induce tension in your legs in the process it actually isolates your front calf muscles and much like lifting weights (which is focused exertion) you will tire quickly. The point is you can definitely be efficient with heel-down, but make sure you retain a relaxed approach in the process or you'll pay for it pretty quick.
    Thanks for the anatomical insight...as I wasn't sure of the muscle groups that were involved. I guess that's why I see a lot of jazz players playing heel down because they're all very relaxed where I'm all angst-ridden and ready to destroy!
  • vtjustinbvtjustinb Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    Conner Malvecino;150381 said:
    Thanks for the anatomical insight...as I wasn't sure of the muscle groups that were involved. I guess that's why I see a lot of jazz players playing heel down because they're all very relaxed where I'm all angst-ridden and ready to destroy!
    More than the anatomical concerns, phrasing in the bass drum is paramount to jazz drumming so a heel-down approach gives you more fine-grained control over dynamics and timbre (burying the beater, rebounding, etc.).

    Heel-up just lets you beat the crap out of the drum, and because you're diffusing most of the (largely inefficient) work into your thighs and hips as a coarse motor movement a lot of beginners find it more comfortable to start out with.

    FWIW I usually play heel up for most rock/fusion drumming, but almost exclusively play heel down for jazz or latin drumming (especially fast sambas or other afro-cuban beats). Use what works. :P
  • Yorchi117Yorchi117 Unsigned
    edited November 2007
    I haven't read all the responses in this but I will give you my advice...

    Don't do showboat drumming...that is un necessary movement and will only make you slower and tired...

    what I mean by that is, don't use your entire leg to use the bass drum pedal, don't use your entire arm to hit the drum pad, don't use you're entire waist to rotate your body...

    I've been playing drums since 2nd grade and I'm 24 now...I'd do the math but then I'd realize how old I am and would feel sad...

    and we always started off with basic techniques that are only good fundamentals and basic...and I don't just play drums, I play all percussion instruments...military through jazz

    1) hold the drumsticks at the balance point...what I mean by that is put the drum sticks between your thumb and index finger and find the point where it balances and doesnt move too far to either side...now wrap your hand around it like a a hammer and swing it around using only your wrist...that should feel very natural and as an extension of your wrist...that is the neutral position for holding the sticks...with both hands

    2) not all drumsticks are balanced the same, some are heavier at either end then others...once you hold them correctly for a wrong time, it becomes second nature and I find myself instinctively sliding my hand up or down on different pairs of sticks while I play and switch

    3) use only your wrist to move the sticks...do not, DO NOT move ur entire arm swinging it wildly...that is called showboating or "monkey" drumming and it will only get you to move slower and get tired...when you are just starting off you need to focus on the basics and that is not a basic move

    4) hold the sticks, and then practice moving the sticks up and down with just ur wrist, take a hardcover book like a dictionary and hit it with each hand 8 times, then 8 times the other hand...do that over and over and over and over and over and over...look at the sticks and make sure you control the bounce and keep the sticks at the same height at all times...with practice it becomes second nature...once you can do that easily and are good at it, then you can start adding all the extra show off stuff that makes drums looks cool and what not

    5) dont use ur entire leg to hit the pedal, rest ur foot against it, and keep it like that until its time to hit it...when the time comes, press down with ur toes, or lift ur heel a tiny bit and press down with ur whole foot if you have to...but keep the movement as minimal as possible...then when you hit it, quickly bring it back up...the reason for that is really simple and makes the most sense...when you hit a real drum pad, you need to quickly bring the stick back to make the sound, if you keep the stick or mallet in contact with the head, you will only stop the vibration and kill the sound...also, it is a quicker movement to go straight down, then to go up and then down on notes...your thigh will thank you for it

    6) your foot and ankle will get tired, it's natural, and it will go away once you do it more...it's called muscle memory, and once you get used to doing it it will just happen instinctively...I only roll my ankle up and down and only lift my entire foot when I get into a song and instinctively try to hit the drum harder/faster for a louder note...

    7) sit in a way where your foot is in a perfect line with the bass pedal where your legs are at a natural 45 degree angle...in a real drum set, ur hi hat and double bass pedal will be on ur left foot and a natural 45 degree angle is the best way...it doesnt have to be an exact degree, but practice sitting on the very edge/corner of a chair and let ur legs line up naturally wher eu dont feel too stretched or closed...that is a natural position and line ur legs and pedals up accordingly

    8) don't move ur entire waist from one side to the other...you will get cramps and might even hurt ur back if u do it wrong and too often...just sit so you can see the screen and all 4 drum pads are in front of you with only the smallest movement necessary with ur arms and waist...practice going 2 on each pad with ur left arm and 2 on ur right...do it while you watch tv or take a dump, it is what I have my drummers do and after a while we are perfectly in sync with each other because our range of movement is identical

    9) don't start swinging your entire arm and twisting ur entire torso from one side to the other while you kick ur leg way up until you can do the basics the right way...that is the proper and true way to drum and it pisses me off when someone teaches the wrong way from the start....

    I will bet anyone anything that you can hit more notes quicker and on beat with a flick of the wrist then by swinging ur entire arm up and down...same with the bass pedal...trust me, in real life, when ur playing 16th note high hat rythms with 8th note bass drums...u keep ur sticks and pedal as close to the head as possible...that is real musical latin drumming and it works for rock as well
  • CredgeCredge Opening Act
    edited November 2007
    An alternative, for those who have 1/8th inch extension cords, is to use the hell-up-toe-down approach. That is, put the pedal directly underneath you and play like that. It's how I play RB and it works fine.
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