Drums have only just started to click. Now I have questions.

skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
edited February 2013 in Rock Band
Okay so I finally crossed the threshold today where I don't have to think about what I'm doing and I can just play. Still not tearing up expert or anything, doing this on medium and hard, but there is certainly a clear difference in my abilities.

Here's my problems.

Leg cramps. No matter how I position the pedal, after a while my ankle and hip begin to ache pretty bad. The pain stops soon after I rest, but it doesn't feel the least bit natural. I'm pretty sure this isn't one of those "play through the pain and you'll get used to it" deals. I think my technique must be all wrong.

On a related subject, the kit skates all over the floor while playing. I have to repeatedly move it back towards me because it tries to run.

I could always put something heavy on the floor to prevent the kit from walking, but what can I do about the first issue, where my leg feels painful after playing for a short time?

Comments

  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited February 2013
    hold the pedal down in between kicks, this will take quite a bit of getting used to. but once you do that properly you'll love it.
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    jibjqrkl;4982043 said:
    hold the pedal down in between kicks, this will take quite a bit of getting used to. but once you do that properly you'll love it.

    I actually do do this. I rest with my foot holding the pedal down and then lift up to hit beats. Anything else you can share?
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited February 2013
    angle of your leg maybe? needs to be just slightly lower then where your knee would be if it was in a straight line from your butt :3

    so not
    =====|
    ---------|
    ---------|

    but just slightly lower than that
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    jibjqrkl;4982052 said:
    angle of your leg maybe? needs to be just slightly lower then where your knee would be if it was in a straight line from your butt :3

    so not
    =====|
    ---------|
    ---------|

    but just slightly lower than that

    Hmmmm that could be it. My pedal is usually slightly in front of me (the way I position my sustain pedal when I play keyboards). I figured that this placement would be the same for drums. Guess not.

    So I have to have the pedal closer to my body than I have it now. I'll have to try that next time (done playing for tonight, might try this tomorrow). Thanks!
  • JamesDD4JamesDD4 Opening Act
    edited February 2013
    Unfortunately, as far as the skidding kit goes, there's little you can do other than placing something heavy on the front legs or in front of the set. That's been my biggest complaint with RB drum sets since Day 1.

    As far as the leg pain goes, maybe try holding down the pedal for a different duration of time before preparing to hit another bass note? I don't know. Back in the early days of RB2, that was where I discovered that holding my foot down allowed me to jump to expert difficulty and it eliminated virtually all pain/cramps I was having. I also prefer having the pedal/drum set farther away from my person than I think most do. Having it too close = instant hamstring/quadriceps cramps for me.
  • edited February 2013
    I play on a carpeted floor and my kit doesn't move. Maybe get a mat with a rubber bottom to put it on?
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    MagicMurderBag7;4982135 said:
    I play on a carpeted floor and my kit doesn't move. Maybe get a mat with a rubber bottom to put it on?

    I think I have some ideas on how to stop the drifting. As for the leg thing I'll need to experiment. Hopefully I'll figure that one out just as fast.
  • DentataDentata Opening Act
    edited February 2013
    I had a lot of problems with this as well. In order to handle any bass drumming that was quick, it felt as if I had to keep my foot hovering above the pedal. This was a recipe for pain. My solution has been to place a book that my heel can rest on behind the pedal. I use hand weights around the book to keep it from moving.

    This isn't the "correct" way to handle it, but we aren't real drummers either. IJt is just something else to try. As the other posters suggested, mess around with how high your chair is and how far you are from the pedal. Find what works for you. Before I discovered the book idea, I also used two pedals and alternated the pain between the left and right leg.
  • edited February 2013
    As for the skidding issues, personally I put one of those cheap foam yoga mats under my kit when I play. Works like a charm.
  • benginobengino Rising Star
    edited February 2013
    my solution for the drum running away has been bungie cords, cheap and effective by all accounts, no problems at all with this. Initially i had pain as well, i sucked at drumming, now i still more or less suck, but i can keep the kick with no pain for my leg... comfort maybe.
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    i'm assuming you're using the stock RB pedal? if so, the easiest way to get rid of leg pains is to replace it with a real drum pedal. i think there is a kit specifically for using a real kick pedal with a stock RB kit. the RB pedal is just way to stiff, plus you don't get the rebound of the beater like you get with a real pedal.

    also, i'd warn you against holding the pedal down between beats. with the stock pedal, it's kind of easier that way because of the pedal's stiffness, but with a real pedal it can be less stressful on the leg muscles to allow the beater to rebound and rest your heel on the ground after each strike (heel-down method). i used to use the heel-up method, "burying the beater" as it's called (though the stock pedal has no beater), til i started developing knee pain in my right knee. switching to heel-down got rid of the pain, but there was an adjustment period that was awkward while i readjusted my technique. it's easier if you start off that way, then having to relearn later on. i can still switch back to "heel-up" style if i need to, but i rarely do. everyone's different though, and some people have drummed heel-up forever with no pain, so there's some trial-and-error involved in finding what works for you.
  • Meat-PopsicleMeat-Popsicle Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    I have two small hand weights that I wrap with leg weights (soft velcro attachment). It keeps my drums nice and sturdy, there's minimal sway now (and no skidding).

    I have no long-term pedal solutions, I too get pretty sore sooner or later. I'll try that "keep the pedal most of the way down" suggestion, that might help me hit those bass notes in quick succession — but will probably be even more of a strain on my calves. I initially had mine set up at the wrong height, correcting that made a huge difference.
  • edited February 2013
    I have a few friends that could not use the kick pedal without pain. Generally older and less active folks. They had no interest in "real" drumming, they just wanted to drum in the game.

    I started making kick pedals out of these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tattoo-Supply-Square-Control-J51002/dp/B006GKC67I/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1360615016&sr=8-5&keywords=tattoo+footswitch

    I just put a 3.5mm jack on it and shazzam, a pedal that takes very little effort to press. A real toe-tapper in every sense.

    One friend uses his heel instead of toes to tap it and does quite well.

    I say if stock cant get you by, modify. :)
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited February 2013
    Doc_SoCal;4982308 said:
    I have a few friends that could not use the kick pedal without pain. Generally older and less active folks. They had no interest in "real" drumming, they just wanted to drum in the game.

    I started making kick pedals out of these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tattoo-Supply-Square-Control-J51002/dp/B006GKC67I/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1360615016&sr=8-5&keywords=tattoo+footswitch

    I just put a 3.5mm jack on it and shazzam, a pedal that takes very little effort to press. A real toe-tapper in every sense.
    You know, for that matter, couldn't you get away with using a sustain pedal? They're just on-off switches, right?

    If so, that could at least get Skyp1e started, though I wouldn't want to subject the typical sustain pedal to an expert drum chart!
  • edited February 2013
    FujiSkunk;4982309 said:
    You know, for that matter, couldn't you get away with using a sustain pedal? They're just on-off switches, right?

    If so, that could at least get Skyp1e started, though I wouldn't want to subject the typical sustain pedal to an expert drum chart!
    Yep, any normally open momentary switch will work and a sustain pedal certainly qualifies.
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    Yeah, that looks like a standard "el cheapo" sustain pedal that you get when you buy a keyboard. If that will work I suppose I could easily lop off the 1/4" phono jack and replace it with a 3.5mm.

    Gotta say, Doc you're always the guy with the answers when it comes to stuffs like this.

    I think I'll make one of these. I'm just wondering if they're fast enough to get the job done when I start playing expert.
  • edited February 2013
    skyp1e;4982541 said:
    Yeah, that looks like a standard "el cheapo" sustain pedal that you get when you buy a keyboard. It that will work I suppose I could easily lop off the 1/4" phono jack and replace it with a 3.5mm.

    Gotta say, Doc you're always the guy with the answers when it comes to stuffs like this.

    I think I'll make one of these. I'm just wondering if they're fast enough to get the job done when I start playing expert.
    Give it a go, see how you like it. If you get hooked on drums, then worry about upgrading.

    You can use an adapter, you don't have to perm mod it.

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103707

    Glad to help where I can.
  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited February 2013
    Doc is the Mod_God among men.
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    I am getting tired of this website logging me out when I posted something like ten minutes ago.

    Anyway, I think it's time I construct a line cord adapter for going from 1/4" phono to 3.5mm. It seems there are just way too many times I find myself wishing I had one, and honestly the hard case version that Doc linked tends to bend under the weight of the cord before long. That's why I avoid them.

    So, making a nice line version should be a treat.

    Thanks again for all the help, everyone.
  • The-XaiaXThe-XaiaX Unsigned
    edited February 2013
    What helped me with the stock bass pedal was getting rid of one of the bars in the base of the drum set, and putting the bass pedal on the rear bar. It's a little bit more wobbly that way, but not enough to mess things up, in my experience.

    Remember that a real bass pedal wouldn't be sitting directly in front of you, either, the way you kind of have to play with the RB kit. If I'm on a regular RB drumset I'll generally turn myself to the left a bit, so that the I'm basically lined up with the space between red/yellow pads, instead of lined up front to the drumset. (This is probably why I liked putting the bass pedal further back, so that I could sit a bit closer to the red pad.)

    Your hip shouldn't be hurting, that means you're using too much leg and not enough ankle. Even if you're keeping your heel up, it's a little better to push off the pedal with your foot, instead of trying to lift your leg with your hip. In that way, you don't press on the pedal with your foot so much as push off the pedal and then let your foot fall on it. (This will result in a lot of stomping on the pedal, though) You can also extend this technique for double hits, by pushing off then tapping with the foot while your leg is raised, and then setting the foot down. (This makes it hard to do TRIPLE hits, though.)

    --

    One other thing for going up drum difficulty, try changing to lefty mode. When I was starting out with Rock Band 1, I worked my way through everything on easy, then medium, and tried to go through hard but hit a wall. So I started over on easy, but on lefty mode. That quickly became too easy so I jumped it up to medium on lefty. Once I'd cleared all the songs on lefty/medium, I went back to hard and it was kind of cake. Then I repeated the process with expert and lefty/hard. Now I can play expert/lefty on damn near everything I can play on expert/righty. It seems to be a good way to teach yourself limb independence. (I used my left foot for the bass pedal, as well. I also started using the cymbals in RB2 so when "Pro" came out for RB3 I didn't have to adjust, I just had to unlearn all the places I'd mis-heard cymbals vs. drums, and completely relearn Move Along and many other things with disco flips.)
  • meck77meck77 Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    Heal to Toe may help with the hip pain. I think its a bit awkward personally but I would wager it will cut down on the pain in the hip
  • Bront20Bront20 The Writing's on the Wall
    edited February 2013
    I have huge legs, so I find putting the pedal out to the side of the kit worked for me.
  • SJBenoistSJBenoist Opening Act
    edited February 2013
    What are you sitting on? Do you have a throne, or are you trying to use a chair?
    It sounds like you are too low to the ground and you need to elevate your seat by several inches. I'd try 3" to start.

    You may also (in addition) be keeping your foot at a 90 degree angle to your ankle. Try playing either with your heel firmly planted to the ground ("heel-down") while lifting just your toes and the ball of your foot, or by keeping your heel elevated above your toes ("heel up"), and the ball of your foot down.
    The first way involves just lifting the front of your foot up and "tapping" it down to play a note. The second lifts the whole leg and "bounces" it to play a note.

    If you play heel-down, you may experience pain in muscle on the front of your shin, but that's normal and will get better with conditioning. AFAIK, your hip should never hurt.


    P.S. Conversations just like this occur on drum forums all the time. Try searching Google for "Hi Hat Position", or "Bass pedal technique" and you'll see what I mean.
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    I'm using my keyboard bench (which is adjustable, but sort of a pain to adjust). I gave my son a throne to go with his RB kit, so I might borrow that and just raise the thing up to a suitable height.

    The rest of your post I'll have to process and try to implement, perhaps tomorrow as it's too late to play RB tonight.
  • Bront20Bront20 The Writing's on the Wall
    edited February 2013
    I need a large person throne one of these days. I do well enough with a kitchen chair though that seems to be the right height.
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited February 2013
    I use an office chair with the arms removed. I'd probably like better an actual drum throne that had a little bounce to it, but I'm cheap, so this will do. Plus I can slump back in victory after the latest gold star, something that would be dangerous to do on a drum throne. :)
  • skyp1eskyp1e Road Warrior
    edited February 2013
    Things have improved some on the pain issue since I discovered that you needn't allow the pedal to fully come up in order to register hits pressing down.

    I was lifting my foot completely off the pedal because I thought that if I didn't that I'd fail to trigger.

    Now that I know I can just let up on it a little bit and then come back down my hip has not hurt even a little bit.

    Still, there's LOTS of room for improvement. I'm going to be experimenting with a lot of the stuff that Doc recommended and some other suggestions from this thread as well.
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited February 2013
    tnevaker;4984202 said:
    Ah, neat! Pricey, but that's the cheapskate in me talking.
    skyp1e;4984211 said:
    Things have improved some on the pain issue since I discovered that you needn't allow the pedal to fully come up in order to register hits pressing down.
    Yeah, definitely don't lift your foot all the way. I'm trying to master two-footed playing, and the same rule applies to the hi-hat pedal: The less movement you can make for the same performance, the better. Actually that applies to all drum playing. At least for me, it's really easy to start showboating on the drums, but unless you have the muscles to back up your flailing, you're going to wear yourself out prematurely and you might even get hurt.
  • rockman05rockman05 Opening Act
    edited February 2013
    To keep the drum kit from skidding, you can try tying down the legs of the drum kit to the legs of your chair/sofa with some rope.

    As for your legs and hips hurting, that's obvious discomfort pain from tensing up muscles while impatiently waiting for a drum kick to scroll by. You need to learn not to tense them and play comfortably. Takes some getting used to.
Sign In or Register to comment.