Drummer Physics

Twitch Reflex

A new recording is being planned called "Twitch Reflex". After hours of speeding up my bass drum rolls, a breakthrough occurred when the pedals bounced back to stimulate a reflex action in each foot. The natural reaction to the pedal fitting the foot is for the foot to hit the pedal. The springs and length of the beater resulted in a resonant frequency of the mechanism that matched the nervous twitch speed of my feet. The music then flowed like a fire hose. All I added was one hand beat for every three foot beats for musical triplets.

The drum solo recording will feature a fast sixteenth note bass drum roll and then the Twitch Reflex makes a 50% increase in speed to form triplets. The hands maintain constant eighth note accents on cymbal then snare for both the sixteenths and the triplets. This has already been practiced for two days and I am ready to record tonight. June 28, 2012


The bass drum pedals with steel springs are ripe for analysis. Ordinary differential equations for the motion can be used to get practical results, like, how long the beater takes to return to position when the foot is lifted. That estimate can be compared to measured times for the beaters to move. The Slow Motion page will cover that measurement.