The heel toe method, a permutation of the Moeller stroke, is an advanced method for producing quick single strokes on your bass drum. It’s a delicate balance, a finesse move more than powerful. Power can come with time, but you’ll never get there if you don’t focus on rhythmic accuracy over speed.
Here is a video of my foot on the bass drum pedal. You can see how the motion is fluid when properly done.
The very basic steps of this technique are as follows:
- Begin with your toe on the pedal, your heel elevated. This is the typical pose a drummer has right before they hit the bass drum in many contexts.
- Push the whole foot down. Your toes will reach the bottom of the motion at the same time your heel reaches the plate. This will produce a bass drum strike.
- Raise your heel, and as you do so, push down with your toes/ end of your foot. This is the finesse move. Your toe push will produce an audible strike.
- Release the toe pressure so the beater leaves the bass drum head immediately, just as your heel + knee apparatus ready for another strike.
Practice slowly and evenly. This is a great method for achieving a double strike, boom boom, but it can be turned in to a long succession of bass drum strikes. Jojo Mayer is the master of this.
I I like to imagine stroke rotating around the arch of my foot. I prefer to wear shoes with rigid soles, it helps keeps your toes firm.
Jojo Mayer moves his foot more than I do. I’m seeking to get my technique to be like his. Here is a video of his:
His toes appear to strike at the middle of the pedal when he’s at full speed. In order to do this he lifts his knee pretty high to give his feet space to operate. He’s functioning well in his converse shoes. So I guess the challenge is on me to be more athletic, to lift my knee higher to give my foot more space.
EDIT – 3-2-2012
I noticed his posture — a by product of his throne, he sits rather high. His knees are bent at 90 degrees before he strikes. At rest his knees are below his hips.