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Old 11-03-2003, 04:12 PM   #1
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Suggested "Quick Fix" for Double Bass Speed!

Just came across this on a FAQ and thought i'd post it here, i'll say no more for now.

I have found some tricks that will allow great speed with
minimal effort. On Monday I saw a recent edition of Modern
Drummer has published a technical section by Virgil Donati
who I consider to be the master of double bass drumming.

I only got a quick glance but I know it goes through his
concepts of playing doubles on each foot. This generally
allows you greater speed and endurance than if you were
just to play singles all the time.

I used to listen to Virgil practice in a room just next to
me as I was waiting for my drum lessons and the stuff he
can do with his feet are amazing.

Unfortunately, it takes a long time to develop the
strength and accuracy of doubles on the left foot so that
it matches the right foot.

As I have continued to work on my left foot doubles, I
have found that I can utilise the speed of my right foot
to get to faster tempos without worrying the left foot too

Instead of doing straight singles or doubles, I use a
mixture of the two. Doubles on my right foot and singles
on my left. This means I have groups of three notes
happening on my feet faster than I can play them with
normal singles.

The way to practice this is simply to play them as

Left-right-right-left-right-right- etc. With the
quarter-notes in capitals it looks like this:

L r r L r r L r r L r r L r r L r r L r r L r r

Once you get to the stage where all notes sound even you
can then make this stream of notes into anything. To play
them as sixteenth notes your feet do this:

L r r l R r l r R l r r L r r l R r l r R l r r

This can feel a little weird at first because the pattern
your feet are playing resolves after 1.5 or 3 bars but
most music is in four bar phrasing so it sometimes can
seem strange to get in and out of.

Trust me though, once you practice this for a couple of
days you should be gaining in speed immediately.

I like to use this technique a bit but it is only a
passing thing until I get to using doubles on both feet.
-- Richard Beechey

What do you guys think??
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:01 PM   #2
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It can be done. I tried it for a
while BUT layering on top of
them is harder because your
always thinking in 4 OR you're
trying to match what's going
on down under, unconsciously.

Trust me, guys. If you want to
develop your speed down,
under, move your foot lower
on the footboard. It works.
Slowly but surely, you will
will work your way back up.

To Virgil,
A Drummer Who is Changing the World
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Old 11-03-2003, 08:52 PM   #3
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Dave Weckl does that pattern with his feet alot (LRR) and he solos over top of it....I've seen him soloing a bunch and heard him soloing on audio clips and that is one of the ostinatos he plays a lot with his feet....I don't think he does it with the intent of getting his feet any quicker, but it just sounds kinda cool when he plays over top of that pattern....he plays it either as straight triplets or with a 4 over 3 feel playing it as 16th's....

With regards to moving back on the foot board for speed, I am most definitely starting to agree with Peter....I have been experimenting alot with positioning on the foot board, and while I find playing high up on the footboard is good for control, it is really hard to get a good rebound from that position....and I have found in my playing that it easier to play faster if you take advantage of the rebound (not just for doubles but singles as well)....to get the most rebound out of the beater you have to move down the foot board...
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Old 11-03-2003, 09:20 PM   #4
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I say stop looking for short cuts and just practice! hehe
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Old 11-04-2003, 04:39 AM   #5
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I didn't try it myself, but it sounds like a good interdependence exercise rather than a quick fix. I'll check out my Weckl stuff to see if i can spot it!
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Old 11-04-2003, 06:38 AM   #6
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It's no short cut to control
the whole footboard. I am
thinking that the resistance
to the idea translates into
the lack of control there.

I'm all over the footboard,
having previously been on
just the higher end of the
board but fast enough to
keep up with most players.

Try and press a roll, without
bouncing the sticks.

In the same breath, to play
220-250bpm, without using
rebound will always border
on the very difficult for most
players. Why not control all
aspects of your strokes, full
and bounced?

We know where we are,
where we need the work.
Yet, when new equipment
comes out that helps us get
our job done, we jump at it.
It should be no different
with new technique. It is
not wrong because we
don't do it. We just aren't
doing it. I'm merely suggest-
ing it and as a player who
does both and there are a
number of other players,
some very high profile, that
use the same technique.

There's nothing wrong
with rebound.

You know, for years, I used
to tell drummers not to use
rebound on their snares.
I realized a number of years
ago how wrong this was
after hearing the Royal
Scots Dragoon Guards:


It ALL has to be conquered
eventually and it will.

To Virgil,
A Drummer Who is Changing the World

Last edited by peter : 11-04-2003 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:55 AM   #7
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Hey Jimi,
If you go Weckl's home page (http://www.daveweckl.com), under the videos section (you have to click on the picture of the camera in the main menu to get there), there is a solo called "Fat Daddy 1"....in this solo he utilizes the LRR ostinato with his feet while he plays over top of it with his hands.
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:00 AM   #8
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An independence exercise that Weckl gives in one of his newer instructional videos uses this foot pattern as well....he says get the pattern going with your feet (you can play the left on either the HH or on the bass drum is you have a double pedal), and then over top with hands first play singles, then doubles, then 3 strokes with each hand, 4 with each hand, and you can take it up as far as you want....then after all this he says to try soloing over top...
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:59 AM   #9
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So basically there is no such thing as Quick Fix but more more more more more practice is the key.

I'm into that Lrr figures on the bass drum though I go the 16 note approach thus removing the second 16 note. So it looked more like ( _ - underscore symbol for rest symbol)


It's just the good old train sound. I also apllied the way Dennis C would hit both hi-hat and left pedal at the same time.
DT...oh plzzz!!! Wise up guys and get a true master of drums (pointing at VD hehe) while you still can!!!
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Old 11-04-2003, 11:11 AM   #10
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Cool. i'll check that weckl clip tomorrow! thank guys
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Old 11-05-2003, 07:58 PM   #11
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just practice hard- its easy to get distracted by quick fixes but u just gotta practice ur basics then build
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Old 11-06-2003, 01:48 PM   #12
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Hey Guys,
I just had to share this with somebody because I am so pumped that if I don't I think I'm gonna explode....I was just practicing some double kicking and I actually managed to play singles at 225 BPM!!!!! I couldn't believe it.....normally I am a heel down player, except for when I play doubles I go heel up.....I figured I'd try playing singles heel up instead of heel down and I totally shocked my self.....it was cool, I was actually playing Slayer kinda stuff (something I never thought I'd be able to do)....Just wanted to share that....
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quitou, you are the man!
To Virgil,
A Drummer Who is Changing the World
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:35 AM   #14
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Just to let you gius know,
I was sort of fooling around with the double kicking again to see how exactly I got myself up to speed I described earlier on (for singles) and I noticed a few technical things I was doing....

Firstly, as Peter always talks about, I was playing near the end of the foot board which as he has mentioned numerous times maximizes rebound....

Secondly, when going for faster speeds I noticed that I sort of lean forward with my body....normally when I play I just kinda sit relaxed not really leaning in any particular direction, but when it came time to play the fast singles I found myself definitely leaning forward and for some odd reason (which I can't explain) I could play the singles with my feet much faster this way....

Lastly, I found myself sort or going on my tippy toes (I wasn't playing with my toes, I was playing with the balls of my feet), but you know the way your feet look when you go up on your toes to try to reach for something that is really high up....that's sort of how my feet were looking as I was playing....

I am sure that everyone is different and everyone finds there own little things that feel comfortable to them, but these are a few points I ended up dicovering that really hapled me out....
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:45 AM   #15
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I think what you're doing, Quitou,
is using more of your leg weight
for the downstroke but at the
same time, NOT having to pick
your foot up as high.

Does this sound like it?

Are you using Eliminators?

If so, where is your Power-Shifter?

Keep it up!!!
To Virgil,
A Drummer Who is Changing the World
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