Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Drumming diary: The double-tap, and manpris

I'm still hard at work on Good Times, Bad Times: I've got the movements down, I've just got to get my speed up. Towards that end, I'm trying to learn the single-pedal-double-tap. I've previously mentioned that John Bonham never used a double bass pedal; he emplyed a technique in which the drummer rocks hir foot on the pedal, hitting first with the heel then the toe.*

This creates a double-tap on the kick perfect for playing the "e-a" of a triplet (1-e-a-&-e-a-2-e-a-&-e-a). When you really get going, it sounds like a horse galloping. Supposedly this is going to send my speed on the kick through the roof. Cool. On the downside, whoa nelly my calves and shins. This one is going to take some getting used to.

On another note, I think I've discovered why some drummers wear, ahem, manpris. (Capri pants for men.) Today I sat down, having muffled the hell out of my kick in order to keep from driving the neighbors (more) insane, and started playing the hell-toe technique whilst wearing a pair of sweatpants with a fairly loose leg. The mallet struck the kit on my heel-hit, rebounded, and immediately caught in the hem of my pantleg, preventing any attempt at the toe-hit. This has happened a couple of times while playing the kick with single hits, but never with the consistency of a heel-toe double-tap. It's a fairly rock-genre technique, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of those guys and girls in shorts, or at least rolling up their pant legs, as I did.

The More You Know. ~~~*

* I actually had a well-meaning friend of mine tell me that it was toe-then-heel. I don't know if other drummers do it this way but ho man, that so does not work for me. Having my foot arched up off the pedal when I'm hitting with the toe causes the mallet to come flying back and nail me in the top of the foot. YMMV.

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