We hear all the time how important it is to build a strong foundation, no matter what the subject is. Actually, in drumming this is literally true.
Since we play using all four limbs, and we do pretty amazing things with our feet, it’s important that we don’t make the mistake to overlook this area of our skill set.
We often take it for granted, we just sit at the drums and play, and we tend to forget that the feet don’t directly control the beater in the same way the hands do. They have to interact with a much more complex interface, full or leverages, springs and mechanisms: the drum pedal. Not to mention the additional layer due to the shoes we wear, which is another barrier between the foot and the drumhead.
Thus we can understand how the idea of trying to take foot technique to levels even remotely similar to what we can do with our hands can be intimidating.
The answer to this situation is to develop control, with in-depth studies that go much further than the usual Bass Drum and Hi-Hat stuff, and are designed to develop aspects related to dynamics, stickings, accents, foot positioning and achieving a range of different sounds.
That’s why I have tried to organize the materials collected over the course of many years and arrange them in a comprehensive, easy to follow and effective course.
The goal is to reach a significant level of proficiency and develop lots of technique, while remaining focused on aspects related to the same skills built with drumsticks: control, sound, accuracy and musicality.
The book is arranged in clear sections, one chapter for each topic. You will be guided step by step through a powerful set of exercises, which will give you immediate results:
– Pedals: how to choose and adjust Bass Drum and Hi-Hat pedals.
– Bass Drum and Hi-Hat Sounds: exploring all the sounds available to us. Heel Down, Heel Up, releasing the pedal, holding down the pedal, burying the beater or letting it come off the head, splashing the Hi-Hats, Open/Close technique and so on.
– Feet Control, Independence and Coordination: exercises related to dynamics, crescendos and decrescendos, alignments, unisons, synchronizing the feet to the hands, to make all limbs smoothly work together.
– Rhythmic Progressions: the powerful method to further advance the level of control of the elements involved.
– Symmetry and Balance: when playing complex patterns with the feet it’s hard to stay balanced on the drum throne. With these exercises we work on solving that situation as well.
– Accents and Phrasing played with the Feet: working on making the feet play things of the same complexity of what we do with the hands.
– Slide Technique: a very effective tool to help with fast successions of notes.
– Feet Ostinatos: Samba, Baiao, left Foot Clave. A beautiful way to develop independence and proficiency with the lower limbs while studying solutions that can be instantly applied in musical situations.
– Double Bass Drum: to make our right and left foot even more symmetrical and balanced, no matter what type of music we play.
In total it’s more than 100 pages and 2 hours and a half of videos, and in it you are going to find all the studies you need to build a strong foundation, and quickly take your right and left foot skills to the next level.
It’s cool to have it all organized: I personally still go back to these studies any time I need to strengthen a certain aspect or want to further develop a specific area.
In this free excerpt I’d like to share with you 28 examples picked from the 500+ exercises included in the method. I wanted to arrange this booklet so that it’s like a mini course, that you can use to see how effective this approach is.
You can download it here:
The transcription of all exercises, as well as the table of contents of the method, is included in this 15 page PDF.
Each example is linked to its video demo, which you can access by clicking on the transcription. If you want to check out the whole 9 minute video demo on YouTube, click HERE.
To find out more and to buy the method you can visit the dedicated page here:
‘Bass Drum & Feet’ – Altitude Drumming – Volume 3