Play From The Foot!

Jul

15
2011

      Theories, Thoughts & Beats       1    

 

Most serious improvements don’t happen overnight. MOST don’t. But some do! I consider myself a drum geek. to the 10th degree. I’d always be thinking of licks, writing them down, tapping them out, etc. My iPhone at one point was full of little notes and LLRRLR patterns and all kinds of stuff that goes through my head, usually when I’m supposed to be concentrating on something else. Some things I discover by accident. But some things I pick up by observing. And the odd gem, I just pick up. Don’t know where it came from. I just pick it up. And those things are sometimes the most valuable!

 

Transform Your Playing Overnight!

One of the most valuable things that I’ve picked up has literally transformed my drumming overnight. I’ve always considered myself a strong player. But something changed when I applied this theory. The reason why this can happen for YOU overnight is because it’s not a physical exercise. It’s mental. All you have to do is think about something; switch gears on your thinking to improve a physical action. This ‘thing’ I’m talking about…is the idea of ‘playing from the foot‘. I’ll explain.

Most drummers, while playing, place the majority of the emphasis on the hands while the feet just participate in what’s happening. This sort of makes sense as we’re always working on the hands. Tapping on the dining room table, working the practice pad, etc. So we get on the kit and play what we’ve been working on, usually not thinking much about what’s happening on the bottom. We lead with the hands, and the feet follow. But let me encourage y’all to SWITCH THAT UP! Lead with the FOOT! What does this mean? Just how it sounds. Let your bass drum foot, be it left or right, lead while the hands follow. Concentrate on nailing those bass drum notes while you’re grooving, phrasing and soloing and watch the strength of your playing skyrocket! Never underestimate the power of thought. My playing has never been stronger since discovering this. You should always…ALWAYS be aware of how you’re subdividing every bar. If you nail those bass drum notes, the hands will follow and your groove overall will sound more solid. A great example of this is Keith Carlock. Just watch him for five minutes and you’ll see what it means to play from the foot. Steve Jordan is another great example. Try to imagine a mixer while you’re playing. Playing from the foot is the equivalent of bringing the kick drum up in the mix. You’re not necessarily playing your kick ‘louder’, you’re just bringing it to the forefront of your mind while you play and hitting it stronger. It might take you a little bit to get used to doing this, but trust me. It works. Give it a shot!

 

 

 

 

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1 comment

  •  

    Sep 10, 2011 2:55 pm

    Awesome concept! I’ve never thought about it as such but I have experienced moments where my playing just feels like a rock and it’s normally when I’m nailing the kick patterns!

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