Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Similar to How can I significantly improve my hand independence on piano?, I'm wondering how I can improve the independence of my feet from my hands. I have not done much drumming but this was an obvious and major issue right from the start. My feet tend to like to fall in line with my hands, but worse is that it's extremely difficult to pedal on anything but the beat.

I figure a lot of the same advice from the hand question holds, particularly starting slow and increasing speed as I get better, but I never had the same rhythm issues with my hands (rather just de-syncing them from each other). So is there any foot-specific advice that would be useful?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The same advice from the hand question does hold: start slowly and build up speed slowly. Please please please use a metronome and use it with discipline.

The thing is, for more inexperienced drummers, limb independence doesn't really exist. Rather, take the time to learn the specific patterns you want to learn, including those where the feet are off the beat. Make some up if you like, or just copy ones from other drummers. Learn the patterns not with independence in mind but rather as a whole unit, feet and hands working together in concert. Over time, as you master many such patterns, your muscle memory (i.e. strengthened neural connections) will allow you to play as though your feet and hands are independent, but that won't come for a good while.

share|improve this answer
I was afraid this was the answer. Thanks Alex! – Matthew Read Jan 18 '13 at 16:50

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.