As drummers, we usually don’t take practicing our feet as seriously as we should. Having said that I hope you’ve had enough time to practice all the exercises from Part 1. If you haven’t, click here to get a refresher.
As I mentioned last time I have developed them to help your feet get more comfortable with tasks that are second nature to your hands. It is very possible to train your feet to be as skillful as your upper limbs. They could easily become your second pair of hands, if you will. Let the training continue with Part 2 of our “Developing Double Stroke Roll With Feet” journey. Last time we were focusing on developing doubles with each foot individually. Now it is time to put them together. Each exercise has part “A” and part “B”
“A” part is a feet only warm-up designed to get you comfortable with each individual feet pattern. “B” part has the same feet pattern with a simple Hi-Hat and snare rhythm on top.
Just like when you were learning doubles with your hands on the snare drum it is very important to practice all of these exercises very slowly at first to expose your muscles to the right motion and technique. Create a good muscle memory to use later at faster tempos or when creating multilayered composition when independence plays an important role. Bad habit, unfortunately, is also a muscle memory “gone wrong.”
There are two different kinds of double stroke roll. Double Stroke Roll and Inverted Double Stroke Roll. Exercises (1-5) below will walk you through several combinations to get very comfortable and used to both kinds. Not a Double bass player? Not a problem. You could use your Hi-Hat for your left foot. I often practice hitting both pedals (Bass & Hi-Hat) with my left foot. It strengthens your L-foot plus it comes handy when orchestrating your feet. In the “B” section of each exercise use Ride cymbal instead of Hi-Hat. Now go back and start each of these patterns with your left foot. It will be more beneficial than you might think at first. Remember this is still just the beginning, do not underestimate any of these steps. We are building the foundation that we will rely on next time and the time after. Have fun!
Libor Hadrava is an author, educator and professional musician based in Burlington, USA, Find him online here.