Bass Pedal FAQ Version 0.2 (Revised and edited, new content is on the way)

#1YonicBoomPosted 12/7/2007 4:50:25 PMmessage detail
Bass Pedal FAQ for Rock Band

Table of contents

-Note to the reader
-Introduction
-Part 1: Warming up your legs and feet
-Part 2: The basic techniques
-Part 3: Separating your hands from your feet
-Part 4: Double Bass Technique
-Part 5: Advanced Techniques
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Note to the reader

I am a high school (freshman) musician specializing in the Drums and Alto Saxophone, and a lot of the techniques I'm showing you are based on actual drum set playing.


Introduction
Almost anybody who plays the drums on any level will agree that the bass drum is likely one of the most unique and challenging aspects of drumming. As most people will pay attention to the hands of a drummer, it's easy to forget that the bass pedal even exists, and when a bass-ignorant person steps up to rock out on a song there is almost always the "WTF that's cheap it's too hard lulz" or "Hey, how do you turn this off?" spouted out of the bass-impaired drummer, and the ensuing "Learn to drum n00blet!" and "You suck!" that come from any bystanders that may have caught a glimpse of the embarrassment (well... not really, but the first part's accurate to an extent). Also, learning the bass pedal is a necessity if you plan on playing hard and expert at all, and you do not want to get stuck playing on medium for the rest of your existence, do you?
This guide is for anybody who has trouble getting the bass pedal down, be it because you can't endure the stress the pedal puts on your leg, getting game ending cramps, or not being able to keep your hands and feet from playing the same thing. Even if you have a pretty good handle on the bass pedal, you can still learn some things and keep your legs and feet in good condition from this. I cannot guarantee that you will become a godly drummer, but you will improve the parts that are more important than being able to clear insanely hard songs (although that's always a great perk).

Let's begin!

Please don't post until I say it's okay to.
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#2YonicBoom(Topic Creator)Posted 12/7/2007 4:51:24 PMmessage detail
Part 1: Warming up your legs and feet

Among the challenges the bass pedal will present you with, the one that kills people more than anything else is the lack of strength and endurance in their legs and feet. You won't be nailing any Expert charts with legs that fall out on you halfway through, and even if you are getting them you should still try to warm yourself up and improve your own strength. Trust me when I tell you that a cramped leg in the middle of a session is no fun (it's less fun than breaking a drumstick) and it hurts like crazy >_>...

Okay, to start off you need to stretch out your legs and get them ready for playing. Otherwise you'll be running the risk of wearing yourself out quickly or getting a cramp (which means you'll be playing LESS and not be improving).

*Stretches and Excercises:

*You should take 10 to 15 minutes (at least) to prepare yourself. Perform each stretch for a minute if you can, (if you can't handle a minute shoot for 30 seconds) and stretch to the point where you feel a slight burn/pain in the target area. Don't overstretch, as pulling a muscle would suck, and don't wimp out and stop after it starts to hurt (doing it safely of course).

- Hang Down/Toe touch: Reach down as far as possible and try to touch your toes. This is important for flexibility as well as relieving stress on the area connecting the calves to the Thighs.

- Toe Raise: Take your foot and raise the toe up as high as possible. If you want to you can reach down and hold your toe with your hand for better results.

- Quad stretch: Pull your leg up behind you and wait. You should feel the stretch in the thigh region. Lean against a wall/something if you can't balance on your other leg well.

- Sit and reach: Similar to the toe touch, except you'll be sitting on your butt. Don't bend your knees.

- Toe Lifts: For this, you'll be standing with both legs close together. All you do is lift your body up by using your toes. I usually do it around 100-125 times, but you'll want to start at 30 and work your way up. Usually I do these between stretches to relieve tension in my calves, so doing a set between stretches isn't a bad idea. :D

- Ankle rolls: Lift your ankle off the ground and roll it around for a while In both directions. This will keep your ankle from popping as often and keep it lively so it can tap a bunch.

Now that you've done these warm ups, it's time to get the basic techniques down.


Part 2: The basic techniques

Sit down before your drumpad, and look at your bass pedal. See where the bass pedal's midpoint is? That is where your toe should be most of the time. This is the point at which it will be the most comfortable and less energy consuming to play. Mark it with tape or a sharpie if you have to, and put your foot on it. Tap a few times, and always, always, ALWAYS make sure your toe meets that midpoint. Make it a habit to keep it there.

To tap the pedal correctly, you should be using only your foot to tap, and your heel should be like an axis. Never use your leg unless it is absolutely necessary, Practice this a lot, and you'll eventually find yourself more able to endure all but the most inhumanly difficult bass parts.

Remember that you need to practice this a lot to get it down. this won't come in a day or a week, this is something you will have to develop over the course of the entire time you play.

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What do you mean there's a hole in my pants?
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#3YonicBoom(Topic Creator)Posted 12/7/2007 4:52:12 PMmessage detail
Part 3: Separating your hands from your feet

You know how sometimes your foot will try to follow your hands? Usually resulting in extra bass notes or the lack entirely of them, this aspect of playing is generally the most complex for most people to learn, and there are people who might never be able to do it simply because of how much time and effort it takes to learn. This requires LOTS of hard work, and isn't fun until you start to get the hang of it.

To practice this, you need to start tapping your foot. think in a 4/4 beat, making every beat a quarter note for now. As you tap your foot bring your hands into the mix and tap the same beat. Now, keeping your foot on the same beat, play eighth notes on your hands. Do this with 16ths as well if you can. Then, do it backwards, doing quaters on your hands and 8ths on your feet. Don't let either body part speed up, slow down, or try to match the faster beat (if you're playing quarter notes on your foot, you should ALWAYS be playing them.) your feet and hands need to be trained to play separate rhythms at the same time, and in my experience this is the only way to learn it.

Practice this all the time. At school, at work, at the toilet, even as you walk. Try to get this to feel as natural as possible and you will be thankful you did once you start trying to play Hard/Expert Charts.

Part 4: Double bass technique

I'm a drummer who doesn't believe in double bass pedals. Anything can be played on a single bass pedal if you devote your time and energy towards it, and "needing" a double bass pedal, except in a few situations (Metal specifically), seems like the cheap path out of learning to bass quickly and efficiently.

As you learned in section 2, your foot should be on the pedal with your toe meeting the midpoint of the pedal. any other way will NOT work well (trust me... I've tried) and you'll regret having wasted your time trying to cheapshot learning this vital technique.

To play "double bass" on a single pedal, you need to learn how to "skip" your foot from the regular position up to the top of the pedal. This is done by pressing your foot up the pedal after you hit it the first time, and you will need to lift your leg slightly to perform it correctly. On the way back down, make sure your foot is in the same position as it was when you started, and you should be fine. If you find yourself sliding your foot up, you are doing it wrong, but try as hard as you can to get it into a skip. Start very slowly, and practice until you get this up to speed. this takes (as with everything in this guide) time. Lots of time. Effort is also nice to put into it...

When you get this to the point where you can do this repeatedy and accurately you will be able to play the double bass heavy songs with a single pedal.

Don't post yet.
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What do you mean there's a hole in my pants?
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#4YonicBoom(Topic Creator)Posted 12/7/2007 4:55:01 PMmessage detail
Part 5: Advanced Techniques

-Under construction, if you have requests let me know and I'll put them here-

Disclaimer/Copyright info

This guide is created by Sacred_Crotch (i'm not revealing my name unless it's necessary) and it is for use only on GameFAQs.com and Gamespot.com, unless I have given you permission you may not put it on ANY other site.

I made it, you can't take it. :D

POST NAO!
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What do you mean there's a hole in my pants?
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#5HeavyD253Posted 12/7/2007 5:01:21 PMmessage detail
Thank You
Thank You
Thank Yooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

I have been using my whole leg for bass pedal hits, and will now convert to using only my toes and hopefully my scores will improve!
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*Proud owner of a medal that says Bye Bye Porcupine*
posted 5/10 in the count to 10 topic that made him close his account 11/29/2007
#6YonicBoom(Topic Creator)Posted 12/7/2007 5:16:05 PMmessage detail
ALSO:

You need to give me credit for this FAQ's creation if you so choose to use it (with my permission of course) for something other than on GameFAQS
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#7YonicBoom(Topic Creator)Posted 12/7/2007 5:34:17 PMmessage detail
Also, unless this gets stickied somehow (which I highly doubt it will) can you guys keep this bumped?
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What do you mean there's a hole in my pants?
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#8Veggie15Posted 12/7/2007 5:43:07 PMmessage detail
Looks good. Nice guide, bump.
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#9animazingPosted 12/7/2007 5:47:13 PMmessage detail
joketopic/10

toe touches and quad streches for drumming? maybe real drumming, but not RB.
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#10YonicBoom(Topic Creator)Posted 12/7/2007 5:53:06 PMmessage detail
joketopic/10

toe touches and quad streches for drumming? maybe real drumming, but not RB.


Don't post if you aren't going to say anything that is relevant.
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What do you mean there's a hole in my pants?
http://s205.photobucket.com/albums/bb159/sacredcrotch/