It can be hard to play loud bass drum strokes if you’re a small drummer! To combat this, Senri focused extensively on making sure she’s able to get as much volume as she wants from the bass drum throughout her years of playing – and she’s here to pass on her findings to you in this lesson.
Hi everyone, I’m Senri Kawaguchi. The topic for today is, as you can see I am a small girl with not very much muscle. So for you people out there with the same struggle, I want to share my tips on how I play powerful without using much power.
Let’s talk about how I use my feet. My body weight isn’t very heavy, therefore just regular pedaling wouldn’t be loud enough! I’m assuming there are people with the same issue. I have been experimenting on how to make the sound loud since I was little. I would like to share something I have discovered during the experimentation. One important point to this technique is, make sure you are using a pedal that is comfortable. Today I am here in Vancouver, Canada. I brought my own pedals over from Japan. I use Yamaha Direct Drive pedals. Please use a pedal that is comfortable for you to begin with. The pedal needs to be comfortable for you to give a good and consistent performance.
The next important thing is the height of your stool. My thigh is slightly angled down from my body towards my feet. So adjust your stool to that height. The reason for this is that playing heel down wouldn’t be loud enough. Think of it like you are kicking the pedal itself. I do this to get more volume. I hope you can see how I am doing this. Before the beater attacks the head, you can hear a snap sound of my shoes kicking the pedal. The snap sound is coming out because of the way I kick the pedal plate itself. Just how when I play with my hands it is a very fast motion, I do the same with my feet. That is how I have developed my playing over the years. Kicking the pedal plate itself is actually very practical for your playing. For example, I play prog or metal music often. My pedal technique comes in really handy in those cases, let me show you an example.
So kicking the pedal can gain more speed, therefore your fast and technical phrases are consistent. You can do the same with double pedals. So please make sure that your left and right feet are both even, and that your pedal tension is tuned to your liking. Then as I mentioned before, set your stool at the correct height. Thighs pointing down. Finally, practice kicking the pedal plate. Kick away the pedal and hopefully you will be more powerful.
Please give it a try!
With over 40 million views on YouTube, Senri Kawaguchi has swept the world with her incredible musicianship and mastery of the drum-set. Her phenomenal rise to fame has earned her accolades from the drumming community, being selected as one of the top-500 drummers in the world by Drummerworld and as the cover artist for an issue of Drumhead magazine.
Senri has also released three albums as a solo artist and as part of Kiyo*Sen and has worked with a varied selection of world-class musicians such as David Sanborn, Bootsy Collins, Lee Ritenour, E-girls, Philip Seth and Guthrie Govan.
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