I’ve been experimenting with the concept of playing left foot simultaneously on hi-hat and left double bass pedal. This can make for some interesting, unique ideas on the kit. Make sure the two pedals are lined up together to accommodate your left foot on both. I sometimes use duct tape underneath the pedal boards to make sure they stay put.

First, play basic sixteenth-notes on the double bass, with your left foot on both the bass and hi-hat pedals, to get used to the feel (Ex. 1). Next, add  eighth-notes on the ride (Ex. 2).

Once that’s comfortable, hit some open hi-hat notes on the 3 and the & of 3 (Ex. 3). Now, try some snare fills over the sixteenths with open hi-hat notes falling on a quarter-note or eighth-note upbeat (Ex. 4). Playing left foot lead on the sixteenth-notes will allow for open hi-hat notes on the e’s and ah’s (Ex. 5).


Typical hand-foot combinations can be spiced up with this concept. Notice how the left foot starts the pattern in Ex. 6. This allows for a short hi-hat bark that lasts the length of a sixteenth-note.

I’m just scratching the surface with this concept. You can see and hear this idea in many drum solos I’ve played with Alice Cooper and others. With practice, I’m sure you’ll be able to take this even further.

GLEN SOBEL plays with Alice Cooper. Other credits include Paul Gilbert, Sixx: A.M., Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Tony MacAlpine, Cypress Hill, and Vivian Campbell. When in L.A., Glen plays sessions, teaches at Musician’s Institute, and does clinics for DW Drums, Sabian, and Regal Tip.