Welcome, Please login or register.
Drum Solo Artist Logo

Foot Techniques

I use a variety of techniques with my feet depending on the instrument (muffled or open BD: normal, spoxe, or china HH; piccolo foot tom etc.) which all respond and feel differently.
I have used DW cam-action nylon strap pedals since they started making them(and I used the Camco predecessor before that!). I find that the cam enables you to get multiple strokes by using rebound more easily than anything else I’ve tried. This way you work less to get more, much like my hand technique. I keep my bass drum pedal springs pretty loose. My TB tonal beater is very light and adjusted to be as long as possible. The angle of the beater is about 45 degrees so its pretty close to the head and I play with my foot about half way back on the pedal board which means I don’t have to move my foot up and down as much as someone who plays up at the top of the pedal (there is less travel to make contact the farther back you play). I use a heel down position for softer/faster playing, for open BD & HH work and for a lot of my ostinato patterns, especially the odd or unsymmetrical ones. This is because of balance problems that can happen when your leg is bouncing in the air and you are reaching for a tom or cymbal. The technique is similar to the hand technique in that you tap from the heel down position almost allowing the foot board to leave your foot.If you snap back with the foot to the up position, the pedal will rebound back up to your foot which is all ready to play the next stroke. This allows the BD head or HH cymbals to ring freely. For louder, closed sounding playing I use a heel up technique. This is where the stroke starts in the down position with the weight of the leg keeping the beater against the head or the cymbals shut. By flexing the ankle the leg is raised and allowed to drop and make the stroke making a loud dry thump on a BD or a chick sound on a HH. For multiple strokes, the ankle flexes while the leg is in the up position (using the same technique as in heel down, but with heel up) and on the last of the strokes the leg is allowed to drop, keeping the beater on the head (or the HH cymbals closed). I use this technique when playing constant 8th or 16th note double bass patterns, fast double bass/tom fills, most rock and jazz-fusion beats, and 1/4 note or 1/8th note HH patterns. Most of these types of beats and patterns are symmetrical, so the leg can bounce up and down in time like a piston, and balance is not threatened. All of my instruments feel different and lend themselves to certain types of techniques. The piccolo foot tom and concert BDs don’t sound good with the beater left on the head. So when I play them heel up I allow the beater to come off the head by dropping my heel to let them ring. I use that approach on china HHs some times as well. When the snare is switched on the piccolo foot tom, I play heel up and leave the beater on the head but you have to be careful not to let it bounce or buzz because it’s so small and tuned tightly. Finally, with 9 pedals all adjusted to the same resting angle and about an inch or so apart, I can place my foot between any two adjoining pedals and get two sounds at once. The techniques for playing are the same, but you have to get used to the feel of the extra weight and mass of each combination.

Terry Bozzio

drum_techniuqes/foot_techniques.txt · Last modified: 2007/07/26 12:19
Search Drum Wiki

Trace: » Foot Techniques

Featured Member
Featured Member
Drum Solo Artist
Made by Drummers for Drummers [ Site Directory ] [ XML URL List ] --© 2007-- www.drumsoloartist.com