Developing The Left Foot

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

The left foot, also known as the forgotten limb, is a limb many drummers don’t spend enough time practicing with. This results in poor left foot independence, limb interdependence, strength and control. It also hinders one’s ability to use it effectively as a time-keeper or when playing double bass. Being competent with only three of your four limbs limits your musical pallet and expressiveness. To help you start working on your left foot independence and increase your musicality, Jared Falk came up with this free drum lesson. Watching the video will have you learning all about the various hi-hat foot techniques as well as getting you access to five exercises for developing left foot independence.

Each exercise focus on one of five fundamental hi-hat foot patterns: quarter notes, 8th notes, off-beats, 8th note hi-hat splashing, and double strokes. It’s important you spend some time with each one before moving on to the next. Pick the exercise you’re most interested on or you feel is more adequate to your current level of expertise. Learn how to play it at various tempos and as notated in the PDF sheet music. Once you feel comfortable with it, take its hi-hat foot pattern and combine it with the other four exercises. This way, you’ll have five different exercises to work on left foot independence for each fundamental hi-hat pattern–cool way to get 15 new exercises too! As for the heel-toe technique Jared Falk mentions while explaining exercise five in the video, check this video for more details on it.

If you’d like to keep working on left foot independence, take the hi-hat foot patterns from this free drum lesson and combine them with exercises from any other lesson. Free drum lessons like “Beginner Tom-Tom Drum Beats” and “Intermediate Cross-Sticking” are great for doing that. Don’t forget to move the hi-hat strokes from the exercises in those lessons to the ride cymbal or any other sound source you like.

Besides left-foot independence issues, many drummers have a hard time playing different rhythms between their lead hand and foot. They usually end up playing the same rhythm with both, even with exercises where that isn’t called for. Jared knows as much about how frustrating this can be as how to overcome it. If you’re a beginner drummer facing this type of drum independence issue, check the free drum lesson “Beginner Independence“.

This free drum lesson is filled with great exercises for developing your weaker foot. If you’d like to work on your weaker hand as well, we encourage to take the exercises from the free drum lesson “Building The Weaker Hand” and incorporate them into your practice sessions.




  • Brian Barden says:

    How do I get the sheet music for this lesson? I went to the link and it brought me to this site but cannot find where to tap to get the sheet music. Awesome lesson BTW! Thx!

  • jabez says:

    wow this lesson is really intresting

  • shawn woodley says:

    I neglected my hi hat foot until 6 months ago. I saw one of my friends throwing in hi hat notes in groove. It made me want to learn how to do it.

  • Blessingsimon says:

    How many stroke do will have on drum

  • Blessingsimon says:

    How learn drum

  • Sam says:

    When I started, I learned closing the hi hat on beats two and four. I have not kept track of when I open.
    I change it around a little, and sometimes add additional beats. I wil have to practice closing the hi hat on the eights.

  • Michael Sablatura says:

    What type of drum thrown do you have? I’ve always wanted a back rest type of drum thrown.

  • Mati says:

    Hi jared..
    Just found this now..great tips.very useful..

  • Scott says:

    I’ve been drumming on and off for a lil while and what’s helped me carefully listening to how Ringo Starr played on the Beatles Star Club album and on their other albums and try to keep up with time with Ringo. On several beatles tracks He gives very good examples of 8th notes so that’s kinda how i learned to play drums was by copying Ringo Starr.

  • Patryk says:

    Is that lesson will help me with a double bass pedal left foot control?

  • Stephen says:

    yes mr. Jared… i find it too amusing and artistic to do so…

  • Dave says:

    I’m only playing about 3 months so please don’t hurt me. I like to open it on beat one and close on the and of beat one or if I’m playing well on a day open on beat one and have it closed for the and of beat one.

  • michael says:

    The drums stool we sit on, this hasn’t been mentioned!Does it need to be at any particular height when thinking about using your feet on the pedals?

  • Jason Mills says:

    I keep time with eighth notes a lot. Never tried the last two exercises but I will now! Great lesson!

  • Brian says:

    I do use it to keep time, but only with quarter notes, never less, never more, never in trips. Use to throw in accents here and there but never developed advanced techniques with left foot even though I have a double kick too. Ive been playing for 20 years now. Old dogs learn new tricks all the time! Lol keep lessons coming please.

  • greg mccruel says:

    im left handed and the setup is for righthanded players.so its so hard to get my leftfoot together.this is how I played from the beginning its hard to break bad habbits pleasehelp.

    • Scott says:

      Ringo Starr was also a left handed drummer who learned how to play on a right handed kit and pretty much had the same hurdles that you have when he started out 🙂 you can learn how to adapt to play a right handed kit Ringo did. Best of luck bro.

  • shalom seramaan says:

    is it ok to leave your heel down for hi-hat

  • Jeff says:

    I’m 49 and honestly I played air drums for 29 years before I actually got a drum set. And I always used my left foot to keep time. So it comes kinda natural. My problems is using my feet on a double bass pedal, and using the heel toe technic. And also getting a double stroke rolls on the toms and floor tom. It’s pretty easy on the snare, but the toms are little less bouncy HELP!

  • Rod says:

    Jared great lesson this will help me alot. Could you maybe do a lesson on the most famous solo of all time In-gadda-davida .

  • Tyler says:

    I’ve been playing for 10 years now, but keeping the beat with my hihat is something i’ve never done. And now that im getting more and more into hard rock double kick foot work, i wish i had exercised the left foot more! The main thing i use my hihat for a throwing in a nice accent while im playing a groove on the ride.
    Im just thankful for the vids that these guys make! They’ve helped me improve my drumming and learn some of the things i’ve wanted to learn for a long time!

  • Robert Schneider says:

    I am slowly starting using my left food. Every excercise for this issue is very welcome. Concentrating on the left food makes my other limbs forget what they have to do. It is getting better each day. Now I will try it with this step by step excecise

  • Alonso says:

    I’m just starting to play drums, i play guitar but this has been more difficult than what i expected. i’m having tons of trouble developing my left foot but definitely is something im priotitising, drummers who keep the time with the left foot are pure class.

  • Rishi says:

    I’ve never really paid much atension of moving my foot like you said. but onnestly, I’ve been doin drums for some years on keyboards. I do farely well. but I’ve only been in front of a kit 3 times. my first time teacher thought tought me just basic rock beats. second time, he skipped cuz he had a gig. we had an advance student run classes. I’ve only reach up to kick kick snare kick kick kick snare kick. then I missed two classes after. then yesturday I was amazed to see how fast I pick up on my own. two hrs in front of the kits, and I’ve already doing 8th notes on the highhats, and doubling the bass and stuff so now I pushed on for my self and doing all sortes of beats. the only troubles lol is fills which im working on. but I like your style and as a blind drummer, I like them verry much. it’s helping alot. thanks. and you can also support by following on fb and twitter and I’lll also be sure to give you a link on my new website. 🙂 thanks much. you can also contact me at my [email protected] email. send me your comments as well, and have you ever tought a blind drummer how to play? I’d love to hear from you. im 23 by the way and from trinidad and tobago.

  • Thomas Scott says:

    I believe that I have neglected the left foot in my practicing also. I have only been playing for about 6 months, and have devoted much more time to double bass techniques than left foot high hat techniques. I find this excercise very helpful, and because my band really never plays jazz I really don’t get to practice during band sessions. It is good to know that this technique is useful in other genres than just jazz.

  • wishkey says:

    train more endurance of ur left foot with mr. jared leesons. it works with me. good luck

  • Justin says:

    Sadly, this is something I don’t put to use nearly as much as I’d like to. Often when I’m at my computer (or not playing my drums) I’m playing drum beats with my feet (right foot doing bass patterns, left foot doing snare patterns). I’ve gotten good at this, but when I try to apply it at my kit my right foot tries to do what my left foot is doing or vice versa (this of course only happens when all 4 limbs are going at the same time). I try to practice it very slow, but my left foot gets fatigued very quickly, probably from lack of use. Any pointers?

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