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BY “TIGER” BILL MELIGARI

We’ve worked on footwork combinations for single bass and double bass before, and now we’ll add a technique that I use to easily play high-speed runs using a single foot. It’s called the heel-toe technique, and once you develop it, you will be able to play incredibly fast and intricate patterns, including double stroke rolls, while remaining totally relaxed and tension free.

Watch the video demo above. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t play the heel-toe technique smoothly right away. It takes quite a while to build the proper muscles not to mention the muscle memory needed in your feet and legs. Take your time and, eventually, you’ll be playing double stroke rolls similar to what you see in the video at speeds well over 1,000 bpm.

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Practice Key
1. Use the heel-toe technique to practice the above exercise with each foot separately
2. Play a heel stroke for every written “H” and a toe stroke for every written “T”
3. Start very slowly and increase your speed only after your control increases


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Remember, regular daily practice is the key to developing any advanced technique. Once it becomes part of your muscle memory, the technique becomes part of you and will literally play itself. Stay loose!

This article originally appeared on drummagazine.com in 2012.

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