Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Heel Up and Heel Down Techniques

This is an article that gives clarity on the most common foot techniques used while playing the drums - these are the Heel Up & the Heel Down techniques.

Different tools for different jobs

An important concept to grasp from the outset is that these foot positions are used to achieve different things.

  • Heel-down technique is used to play at low to medium volumes.
  • Heel-up technique is used for medium to loud volumes and for accessing multiple stroke techniques.

Heel-down foot technique is ideal for playing at low to medium volumes. The stroke is a result of the calve muscle engaging a flexion at the ankle joint. Make sure you keep your foot in contact with the foot board throughout the motion. Remember that this technique is not for playing loud.

Heel-up technique engages the weight of the entire leg to facilitate the stroke. It uses ankle and hip flexion in the movement and works best with the heels only a few inches off the floor. 

This technique also allows you to access multiple stroke technique such as the step-slide technique and the heel-toe technique. Good foot technique often facilitates improve balance and centering and can dramatically improve your groove playing. 

Work on exercises to improve foot technique in both heel-down and heel-up positions. Remember the limitations of each position and don’t waste your practice time trying to make one position do things it will be able to do.

BlueTimbre is a Music Company with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio located in India. BlueTimbre provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running structured businesses, music curriculum development, music education and performance.


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