Heel-Toe shiz for CREG Reynolds

Here you go mate. This is a whole bunch of heel-toe stuff I’ve worked on with my students. Currently working on a bunch more and can ping you that once done if you like.

Heel Toe – BASIC LESSON

The Heel-Toe technique is a very efficient way to produce two fast bass drum hits with one simple foot movement. With practice, this can become a very natural movement for you, enabling you to play some really fast patterns using only one pedal. It’s also an essential technique to learn, in my opinion, to unlock the door to other more advanced double kick techniques.

In this video, I explain the mechanics that enable me to play Heel-Toe technique.

Heel Toe – Around the kit exercise

This is a somewhat challenging heel-toe exercise that will utilize the full kit. We’re going to start with a single stroke on the snare followed by a heel-toe strike on the kick, then move up to the first tom and repeat, all the way around to the floor tom.

We’re keeping straight 16th notes around the kit while playing: right, kick, kick, left, kick, kick.

This is a great exercise for coordination and heel-toe endurance.


Loop exercise – 100bpm

Loop exercise – 120bpm

Heel Toe – Simple Beat

In this exercise, we’re going to play a straight 4/4 rock beat with the hands, and underneath we’ll play a 16th note heel-toe pattern in groups of three. This is another great exercise for building stamina and flow with the heel-toe technique.


Loop exercise

Heel Toe – Double Kick R R L Exericse

This exercise is going to help us play double kick a different way – a way I personally use to achieve clean and consistent short runs of double-kick in TesseracT songs like Juno and Utopia.

The exercise requires us to have a way of playing two kick drum hits with the right foot, so you’ll need to have an ability with heel-toe technique (my preferred method) or any of the many single-kick pedal techniques that work for you (slide, heel up, swivel, etc). We’re going to play 16th notes on the kick drum to a 4/4 count, but rather than playing R L R L, we’re going to play R R L.


Loop Exercise 120bpm

Heel Toe – Linear Drum Fill Exercise

This lesson introduces us to a linear drum fill pattern designed to help you develop flow and speed around the kit. The sticking is quite straightforward:

R L K K L R K K R L K K L R R L

Finishing this pattern with the L R R L allows us to come back into the next bar with the right hand on a crash, which always feels solid to me. Of course, you could choose to change the pattern at the end to something ending with the right hand, forcing you to practice leading with the left hand.

I like to play this pattern with one foot, so I utilize heel-toe technique to get the two kick drum hits in. There’s nothing incorrect about playing this with two feet though – but I do highly recommend working on achieving a flow with this type of pattern with just one foot.

Loop exercise

Heel Toe – Linear Flow Exercises

This lesson is going to cover a number of movements I utilize to place faster linear fills around the kit, only we’re going to limit ourselves to using three limbs: right hand, left hand, and kick.

There are a few patterns I like to move between when performing these types of fills and I’m going to show you them all in this lesson. The first: R L K K or L R K K. In the example below, you’ll see the hands are placed on the snare and a rack tom, but this is just to differentiate the left from the right sonically – please practice this across all the different voices on your kit.


Exercise 1 – Right/Left flow

The point of this exercise is to start to develop flow when switching between right and left, and when using a single pedal. The notation below shows the pattern as a 4/4 count but because I have four toms and a snare (five voices), the count I use in the exercise video is 5/4.

Exercise 2 – Two and Four flow

This exercise takes the previous of a step further. We’re going to keep the hands playing Right then Left, but in patterns of two and four, so R L K K and R L R L K K. Don’t limit yourself to just playing this on the snare and tom – move around the kit freely.

Exercise 3 – Combined R L / L R / R L R L / L R L R / KK Flow

For this exercise, please set up your own metronome at a comfortable speed and practice playing combinations of R L K K / L R K K / R L R L K K / L R L R K K. Four combinations, played across however many voices you have on your setup, played as freely as possible. The goal is to be able to flow around the kit without thought, so start slowly and at first, make conscious decisions to play all four of the patterns. You should be aiming to be able to comfortably change between the four patterns at your will.

Because this exercise is free-flow, I have not programmed notation into the exercise below.

Exercise 4 – Combined HI-HAT Flow

For this exercise, please set up your own metronome at a comfortable speed and practice playing combinations of R L K K / L R K K / R L R L K K / L R L R K K – Including the closed hi-hat.

Because this exercise is free-flow, I have not programmed notation into the exercise below.

Exercise 5 – Groove & Combined flow

For this exercise, we’re going to play 3 bars of groove followed by a bar of the fill flow we’ve been practicing. Practice starting the fill before the bar too, playing the fill for part of the bar, and playing the fill OVER the first beat of bar 1.

Because this exercise is free-flow, I have not programmed notation into the exercise below.

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