If you’re familiar with Derek’s playing, you’ll know that he’s all about balance! When it comes to blast beats and double bass playing, having all limbs on an equal skill level is crucial to having a consistent sound – so that’s exactly what these tips are based around.
Let’s start with an exercise that’s been most beneficial for Derek in developing his blast beats. We’ll be playing alternating 16th notes between the hand and the foot. You can play your hand on whatever surface you’d like! Move it around to get used to different levels of rebound. The main goal is to obtain clear, evenly spaced notes.
There are 4 different combinations to practice:
1) Right hand + right foot
2) Left hand + left foot
3) Right hand + left foot
4) Left hand + right foot
Two things to note: Start with your weaker side and start with at a tempo that’s just above your comfort level. We want to push ourselves to get to those top speeds!
The next tip is more of a concept rather than an exercise: use your weaker side MORE. If you’re playing with other musicians and you can execute what you need to play when your weaker side (whether that be your hand, foot, or both), do it! A lot of times when performing, we’ll go right into autopilot mode and play what’s comfortable for us. Challenge yourself! Remember… You’re only as fast as your slowest limb.
For even more tips and exercises to develop your metal drumming, you gotta check out Derek Roddy’s hour-long Drumeo lesson!
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