Now that I've been playing heel-toe for
a couple months I have some idea
about how to do it. I wanted to write something up in case other
people are interested in learning. Since each foot can play two
pedals, a basic set up is
I'm using the Yamaha KU-100 pedal, left to right as:
Here's what I have them set to sound like, with my DTX-500:
In teaching myself to play, I've worked on figuring out specific
patterns. Each is a nice concrete step, and once I get a pattern into
my muscle memory I can play it without conscious effort. As I've
learned more, I've felt my fluency increase, where progressively more
complex patterns will just come out, fitting whatever I happen to be
playing on the piano. Often I will get to a place where there's
something that feels like it should go with the music is too hard, so
I'll stop and work it out, and repeat it until it's solid.
Here are a set of patterns that you might find a useful starting place
if you are teaching yourself:
Tap your left heel in time with the music. Work on getting it
Continue tapping your left heel on the downbeat, but now add your
right toe on the upbeat.
On successive downbeats, alternate between tapping your left heel and
This is the two previous ones together: kick on 1 + 3, snare
on 2 + 4, and high hat on every upbeat.
Go back to kick and snare, but add the cymbal on the upbeat at the very
end of the phrase.
This is the same as kick and snare on successive downbeats, but the
second kick is slightly earlier, on the upbeat.
Now add the hi-hat on the upbeat.
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