When I drum I constantly struggle to keep the beat on the bass drum pedal for faster songs. Are there some practice techniques someone could help me with? The song I struggle with is Build Your Kingdom Here By Rend Collective. I drum with tennis shoes, (not barefoot because I'm actually sane). Thanks for your help.

  • 1
    Do you play toe-down or heel-down? …Swap. Report back. Toe-down gives me cramp in my shins with repetitive 4 on the floor. Heel-down I can do that all day.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 17:45
  • Do you find that the problems are mostly physical—i.e. you have no problem with rhythm, just the endurance and agility? Or that you want to work on keeping the beat steady in general? Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 21:09
  • @Tetsujin I mainly drum heel-down but occasionally I switch it up. When I am laying the beat I can't seem to get my foot in a steady pattern at the tempo. I would just like to work on keeping it steady, I can hold it for 15-20 seconds but then I lose the feel for it. The tempo is 138 in 4/4 Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 2:52
  • @Scarif_68315 - Do you have the same problem with keeping it steady when you clap or tap your feet without any pedals?
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 12:10
  • @Tetsujin I can tap to the beat just fine, It's just I can't seem to get my foot in a comfortable pattern Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


For fast playing on the bass drum, people usually use one of the heel-up techniques. That way, similar to a Moeller stroke with hands, one can utilize up- and down-motion of the foot.

There are two basic techniques - one utilizes the hip flexor muscles, lifting the whole leg from a hip, and the other calf muscles, lifting only the heel, practically. Both make this tune extremely easy to play.

That said, I have to ask - are you sure you are having issues with this song? The one I found on YouTube is fairly straightforward. The bass plays only the quarter notes so you should not have any issues playing with heel-down, either. For quarter-notes in that tempo, using the hip tensor muscles is probably the easiest and most powerful. If that is too fast, just practice a little bit more. ;)

The shoes don't play much role at this tempo so I'll ignore that part for now. Otherwise, check Jojo Mayer's advice on flat shoes and slippery pedals. It can make a big difference in certain scenarios, like when using the rocking-motion technique. But that would probably require playing 16th notes at the song tempo (134 bpm), so don't worry about it.

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