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Heel-Toe Technique

Bass Drum Boot Camp

The heel-toe technique has been around for quite some time, but only recently has it become very popular amongst the drumming community. This is a great technique for playing fast double strokes with the feet. In this free drum lesson, Jared Falk breaks down the heel-toe technique for you, showing you exactly how and what to practice to develop it. He takes the time to debunk some of the more common myths associated with the heel-toe technique as well, like foot size, type of footwear and bass drum pedal.

As you practice the heel-toe technique, strive for having the two motions meld into one single rocking motion with the foot. The rocking motion is what will enable you to play a fast double, since you’ll get two strokes out of a single motion. Don’t slam the foot too hard onto the footboard when playing the heel stroke – easy does it. It may take you five minutes, or it may take you five hours to learn how to play this technique. Time doesn’t really matter here; YOU can do this! You just have to be very patient and keep at it. If you’d like to learn exercises for developing the heel-toe technique, check the free drum lessons “Heel-Toe Technique Beats” and “Intermediate Single Pedal Bass Drum Speed“. If you’d rather learn how to apply the heel-toe technique to drum rudiments and to the hi-hat pedal, check part #3 of the free drum lesson “Bass Drum Speed Techniques“.

The slide technique is another very popular method for playing very fast double strokes with only one foot. Go through the free drum lesson on the slide technique next, so you can see which one suits your style the best. If you’d like to further your knowledge on foot technique check the “Bass Drum Boot Camp“.


This Lesson Has 43 Comments

  • Bruno Casanova says:

    Helped me a lot!! you are a really great teacher! I’m improving a lot, thank to you and some other teachers from drumlessons.com. Huge Thanks!! Loved the boots end, was fantastic! :D

  • joey says:

    Thank you! I sound freaking awesome now!

  • Paul Dunne says:

    Could this video be any clearer? Just watch any of these lessons and you’ll come away with a mine of information. Jared goes to great pains to clarify the technique. He leaves no doubt whatsoever as to what you have to do to incorporate it in your playing.

    I’ve been doing it slightly differently for years. Can’t wait to go the kit and see if I can use this now…

    Thanks, Jared!

  • Zak says:

    THANKS SO MUCH JARED!!! Now I can play doubles at full speed.

  • John says:

    Hi Jared! My name is John and Im writing from Sweden. What I find problematic with your foot pedal technique is that the club is pushed in to the head of the bass drum. I would prefer the sound from when the club rebounds! How would you tackle this issue?

  • Luke says:

    Hi Jared, the heel-toe technique seems effortless but the slide technique feels more natural. I guess I’ll to find my way witb practice! Until then , how important is the tension on the spring. How should we set it? Does spring tension vary with the technique and “leg weight”?

    Thank you so much,

  • Jake says:

    Hey Ryan where is your video u sit and comment but no one sees u play who cares what kind of pedal Jared is a great teacher and drummer u really need to learn respect and humility if not you will never be any thing but a low level drummer that no one will want to jam with grow up Jared great lesson as always

  • ryan says:

    dude, you suck. why would you ever use tama? axis pedals actually let you use good technique. and by the way your heel-toe stuff is all really slow. try doing some double pedal heel-toe 16th notes at 230. god, email me when you can do that

    • Corey says:

      Hey Ryan. Why dont you post your own drum lesson website. Those of us who give a crap about your opinion will tune in there. There are may different brands and many different ability levels out there. Hell, there all fifteen year old kids who are at a pro level. So unless your touring with Tool, we probably couldnt give a rip regarding your input.

    • grim says:

      Wow Ryan
      I didn’t realize so much of a drummers ability could depend on the brand of equipment he uses. I know a couple of street cats in down town seattle who can make some old buckets and trash cans sound better than you ever probably could using a custom kit in a studio with mixing boards and effects. Drums isn’t always about speed what are you a tweaker?

    • Justin-Kees says:

      Dude, shut up. Go make your own videos so you can even more make an ass of yourself. Jared, you rock don’t worry haters gonna hate.

    • Bradley says:

      p.s I dont see any videos of you with four million hits. Where’s your website?

  • Brandon Gardner says:

    Hey Jared,

    I’m a new drummer, and I’ve been practicing this technique for like an hour and a half straight. I think I’ve got it somewhat down, but if I could ask you to tell me what I’m doing wrong, that would be pretty cool.

    I posted a video on Youtube here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD8qkYspVa8

    Also, what pedal do you recommend for a beginner? Mine is a “I don’t even know, pile of garbage” pedal. Haha.

    Thanks,

    -Brandon

  • Palash says:

    I use heel down technique for single strokes and its a bit hard to do hell-toe technique using hell-down.Can u give me some tips to help me improve hell-toe technique

  • Art says:

    You are the greatest. This is the first and only video demonstration that actually shows how to do it.
    You instruction was clear, methodical, precise and intuitive.
    Thank you very much for clearing all those misconceptions. I have become a better drummer as a result!

  • Jared G says:

    I do he motion right but I cant get the 2 strokes fast what am I doing wrong?

    • Stuart says:

      Can this technique be done without shoes at all? I play shoe-less and the only two surfaces which contact the board are the heel and the ball.. In the awesome vid the first stroke seems to be done with the ‘arch’ of the foot? Which cant contact the board without shoes..? am i wrong?

    • Elijah says:

      Most important is the motion, make sure you really do understand it! check back to the vid if you have any doubts. Try fiddling with your spring tension, drum beater angle (if your pedal has this function) but above all else, GIVE IT PRACTISE/TIME.

      I had the same problem but kept practising and the next day I found I could do it faster. I think its just your muscles getting familiar with the movement :)

      Hope I helped in some way!

  • patrice says:

    hey jared does it matter what kind of peddal you have?

  • Carter says:

    I have been trying to speed up my double bass past 190 bpm and I use a mixture of flat foot and heel toe (heel toe for triplets played rll rll and flat foot for 16th and 32nd rolls). How do I incorporate heel toe into a fast 16th note and/or 32nd note roll?

  • Felipe Marin says:

    JAREEED!! ive always had this question… only YOU can answer it hehe… here it goes:
    ive asked myself which technique i should learn, either heeltoe or flat (both for double bass drum playing)???? I say to myself, will learning heeltoe be a problem in the future for playing flat? or will heel toe make me a an easier and faster player for double bass paterns and beats?

    PLEASEE!! help Jared!! i really need to know!
    thnks

  • ryan says:

    Jared you are not only a good teacher of the technique but, a good teacher of teachers and I really appreciate that. You remind me of my original instructor(r.i.p.) and have found that drumlessons.com has very much aided in my teaching as well as learning. Thanks alot bro!!!

  • Lucas says:

    this one is harder for me, I’ve determined that this technique is good for people with smaller feat, but i’m size 14

  • vincent says:

    wow… really really good lesson .. i’m very happy to see that you share your Technic.. . Thwo thumbs UP Bro… two Thumbs Up…

  • YanroFerrer says:

    WHOOOW playing drums with out a drum set…. But God will give me what I need well good lesson bro!

    • Amita says:

      I was just looking for this infoamrtion for some time.After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website.I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list.Generally the top websites are full of garbage

  • janidoorummer08 says:

    Hey mr. jared, i found this and the slide technique video very helpful, but i was just wondering if there would be no problems if i use both techniques? im kind of confused of what to pick, or what would best suit me. i’ve been drumming for about 3 years but i didn’t have any formal lessons, and i really learned alot when i found this site. thanks so much for the passion in helping others. more power to you and your team. btw, the snowboard shoes was really epic. hehe. :)

  • Suzanne says:

    Love the lesson. The ending shoes demonstration was a lot of fun. Thanks.

  • Kol says:

    Hey Jared, I’m getting a bass drum practice pad and I have the Iron Cobras too. What is that practice pad and what dyou think about it? Does it suit the cobras or does it have trouble fitting? I’ve read some stuff about it before. Also is it too loud for an apartment? It sounds pretty loud in the video but your response would be appreciated!

  • Mark J says:

    Jared,

    While you say that long board peddles are not required for the technique, if it is something we want to perfect and use often with the style of music we hope to play, is it worth the investment?

    While I just picked up drumming again and got a new set, I’ve yet to buy my peddles. I was planning on investing in good longboard peddles that I could “grow” into. Is it worth it?

    Thanks, and thanks for the great website! Loving it and learning a lot! (even without my peddle).

  • ANDREW says:

    wow, I always wanted to learn this technique. thank you Mr falk, and really the use of different shoes was very funny.

  • I finally understand what you're doing! Thanks Jared! says:

    My question is the double link chain pedal better than the single link chain model???

  • Chick says:

    Let say I’m playing around 145 BPM with a single pedal. I play bass on 1 and 3e. I plan to use the heel toe 3e part. After I play the 1 do hold my foot down for the starting position of heel toe? Thanks for teaching this by the way!

  • John Patrick Ramento says:

    I am what I am now because of Drumlessons.com and beacause of Jared falk, Mike Michalcow (I don’t know if I spelled it right:P) I improved a LOT! my deepest gratitude to you all!…

  • Austin Brenneman says:

    can i have your drum set??:)

  • Alberto Rizzone says:

    Thks jared for this lessons, I have one question is there any difference at all, between chain and direct drive pedals? on speed, feel, etc.?

    • Jared Falk says:

      Yes, with a chain driven pedal with feel and speed in my opinion. With the direct drive pedal it always move right with my foot. With the chain driven pedal it may bounce around a bit when you start doing really fast doubles (depending on your technique).

    • Suresh says:

      hey one qotueisn bro and i would appreciate if u could answer why do u always switch crashes and other cymbals?? Just wondering(:

  • Jared Falk says:

    So, what did you think of the snowboard boots :) lol

    • Micke says:

      The boots are way cooler than my boots! :P
      I was just wondering if you can use snowboard boots as a way of learning the technique better? Sorry if I’m saying it weird. I’m swedish so this isn’t my first language.
      Great lesson tho. My favorite bass drum technique. :)

 
 

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