Over the past few months, we’ve explored a ton of drumming tips, including wrist and hand strength exercises and tips for practicing rudiments. But where many drummers get stuck is coordinating the feet for the bass drum. And if you’re still trying to grasp that technique, the idea of double bass drumming may seem even more impossible to master. But as with anything, practicing the right exercises will help you along the way.
Here are a couple of tips for double bass drumming:
Playing basic rudiments normally used for the hands can apply to the feet as well. Playing these patterns helps with the foot dexterity needed to make the double bass sound even. Simple paradiddles can help increase foot speed in both the right and left foot. Other drummers recommend beginning double-bass fills with the left foot versus the right, since the left is already positioned on the high-hat, thus making the transition to play the fill easier. It also pays to begin the lick heel-up versus starting with your toes.
A favorite among bodybuilders, calf raises strengthen the related muscles. Simply stand or sit and press the pads of your toes into the floor, thus raising your foot using your calf muscles. Conversely, keeping your feet flat on the floor while sitting and raising your foot upward works the tibialis [the central leg muscle]. These exercises can be performed either with your body weight or by using weights over your shoulders while standing, or on your knees while sitting.
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