Developing Hand/Foot Coordination
by David Garibaldi
played by the left hand in pattern A, is played by the right foot in pattern C. What was played by the right foot in pattern B is played by the left hand in pattern D. This can be done with any rhythm patterns in any time signature.
To aid my coordination development, I pay full attention to details such as touch, which is matching the sound of the hi-hat with the snare drum on unaccented notes; accent control, which gives the patterns expression; feel, and hi-hat swishes, (opening and closing of the hi-hat) to add color. As I’m playing a particular pattern, I’ll focus my attention on one hand or the other and one foot or the other, which allows me to hear a part in relation to the whole. This has been very helpful to me in developing evenness and in smoothing out my timekeeping. Playing eighth notes on the hihat with the left foot and right hand part on a cowbell or cymbal adds another dimension. Play the hands only or one hand together with the right foot. Play the hand parts on one surface until you can hear how the accents fall in relation to quarter notes. Then, more hi-hat and snare drum.
The greatest key to hand/foot coordination I’ve found, is having a clear mental picture of what each hand and foot is to do before I sit down to play. This makes execution much easier.