Author Topic: Foot Percussion  (Read 872 times)

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Offline HUGO

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Foot Percussion
« on: September 03, 2022, 01:25:00 PM »
As Harmonicists' our hands are generally occupied with holding the instrument and engaging the slide. For those wishing to expand their musical expression beyond this, the option of using our feet for is available.

 Inspiration for the use of feet for making music was something I learned early in life from the Pianists and Organists I watched.

 Using the feet for percussion caught my interest by way of an Early Jazz quintet, whose sound I found to be delightfully full. The sound of the bass acoustic drum (stealthily operated by the Bass Player) in particular added to the perception of the band having a drummer. This greatly complemented the vocals, Hi-Hat, violin, ukulele, guitar orchestration they featured.

 I use foot percussion at times when I lead a local group in music with harmonica, vocals and guitar to good effect.

 I'm quite pleased with the design, function and flexibility of this Michigan manufactures' product.
https://www.footdrums.com/

Their motto is: We are a family, not a factory.

- HUGO
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 10:14:57 PM by HUGO »
Alejo

Offline brorat

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2022, 02:05:46 PM »
Really cool product and company!
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline Scotty

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2022, 03:01:21 PM »
Hugo: unsure if he still does this - but Adam Gussow of Modern Blues Harmonica (he has his own site) - strictly a diatonic
player though (I think?), came to one of the Garden State Harmonica meetings some years ago with his own foot-controlled
drum set-up along with Dennis Gruenling. They both played, together and separately (both are fantastic harmonicists), but
Adam's gear was especially intriguing to those who love the idea of being a 'one-man band'. I'm unsure if he bought his system
already made or rigged it up himself. Since then of course, there are pedals and looping, but having an actual foot-controlled
drum does give an authentic sound. :)

scotty

Offline Gary Richardson

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2022, 04:21:55 PM »
Scotty look at the bottom of the link Hugo posted.  On the bottom of Foot Drums web page is a photo of Adam with a link to his web site.  I think I saw him in Tulsa SPAH 2017 with his foot drum kit.  Neat.
Gary Richardson

Offline HUGO

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2022, 07:03:48 PM »
Adam's gear was especially intriguing to those who love the idea of being a 'one-man band'. I'm unsure if he bought his system
already made or rigged it up himself.

but having an actual foot-controlled drum does give an authentic sound. :)

scotty

Adams' reference from the Farmer Foot Drums site:
“Pete Farmer’s StompDrums have transformed my music in an epic way. The moment I got my first StompDrum I was literally reborn as a musician.”

I couldn't agree more Scotty with you on the authenticity of an actual drum sound.

The idea of sharing this link actually came about after talking music with my Hair Stylist. It seems that her family is quite musical. Discussing the idea of family music get-togethers, she shared with me that; Her percussionist father suffered an occupational accident that caused his arm to be amputated. For that reason, he felt no longer able to contribute. A Musicians' worst Nightmare come true, yes?

 The Farmer foot percussion came to mind and I thought, why only share it with one person when I can share it with my wonderful SM family as well?

- HUGO
« Last Edit: September 03, 2022, 07:05:57 PM by HUGO »
Alejo

Offline Scotty

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2022, 07:47:27 PM »
Scotty look at the bottom of the link Hugo posted.  On the bottom of Foot Drums web page is a photo of Adam with a link to his web site.  I think I saw him in Tulsa SPAH 2017 with his foot drum kit.  Neat.

thx. I hadn't scrolled down quite that far....assumed I was in the 'buy' section, lol. Had NO idea Adam had purchased one of
their 'stomp drums' as he calls it.

I just found out from reading through his bio again, that 'Mr. Satan' Sterling Magee - (Adam and Mr. Magee performed as Satan and Adam), passed away in September, 2020 from the aftereffects of Covid. I'd been wondering if they were still playing together. Their story is a fascinating one which Adam wrote about in two books. He is currently still a Professor in Mississippi as
well as running his Modern Blues Harmonica blog site -(they met when he was at Columbia University here in NY and Sterling Magee played on the street in Harlem). Amazing lives. I've met him a few times --he also was instrumental in helping Jason Ricci get his own career going.

scotty

Online Grizzly

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2022, 08:18:34 PM »
Help me out here, need a name. Well-known (?) guitarist who taps out rhythm with his feet on a piece of board, even mic's it in performance. (Save me a trip downstairs to find one of his recordings.) Aw, heck, hold on…

<5 minutes later>

I stopped looking when I got to Chris Smither. Pretty sure that's right. Ever hear of him?

Tom
working on my second 10,000!

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2022, 08:35:55 PM »
Hello, Hugo.

I was unaware of that drum company.

The portability; and ease of assembly
and dis-assembly are attractive. I could
have used a set like that when I was
performing.

I made very similar sets to that company's
models, back in the 1970s, when I was
experimenting with drums & sticks making.

I found that the single-headed drums had
a weak, thin sound, on all single-headed
drums except timpani and latin drums
(bongos, timbales, congas, etc.), where
the shells (cylinders) are deeper in length.

Double-headed drums have more resonance
and better tone. But, they can't be stored
one inside another. They are less portable.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John Broecker
The Siren of Sussex
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline HUGO

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2022, 10:13:52 PM »
. I could
have used a set like that when I was
performing.

I made very similar sets to that company's
models, back in the 1970s, when I was
experimenting with drums & sticks making.


Hello John

 I always find your posts interesting and informative and this one is no exception.

 I too have experimented with a number of pedals before my discovering the Farmer product. Most notably, the Porch Board Bass.  It seems as though Farmer really listened to product users when designing their Foot Percussion instruments.

 One thing I'd like to share about  my Farmer pedal that just delights me:
* The pedal stows in the "Down" position, held there due to the opposite pole attraction of the magnets on the base and the pedal. Rotating one of the magnets frees the pedal to raise to the "Up" position due to the repulsion of the now similar poles and offers resistance when the pedal is pushed down with the foot.

 I just think that is so,oo cool.

- HUGO
Alejo

Offline ejacob4

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2022, 10:15:47 PM »
Help me out here, need a name. Well-known (?) guitarist who taps out rhythm with his feet on a piece of board, even mic's it in performance. (Save me a trip downstairs to find one of his recordings.) Aw, heck, hold on…

Always wished I could do that, tap and play. Would be cool.

Best regards,
Ed

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2022, 11:15:03 PM »

John Hartford!
There was a guy named Steve White who used to play guitar, harmonica, and sing, along with percussion from a homemade chair with a sounding board.

He is deceased, but I saw him live twenty odd years ago.

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2022, 11:55:02 PM »
That John Hartford actually sounded a bit like Arthur Godfrey with a fiddle in stead of a Uke.
(C'mon some of you other old farts had to notice that as well :))

Offline Scotty

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Re: Foot Percussion
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2022, 01:25:26 AM »
Help me out here, need a name. Well-known (?) guitarist who taps out rhythm with his feet on a piece of board, even mic's it in performance. (Save me a trip downstairs to find one of his recordings.) Aw, heck, hold on…

<5 minutes later>

I stopped looking when I got to Chris Smither. Pretty sure that's right. Ever hear of him?

Tom

This guy? The search I did had the same man with an 's' added to his surname. Frankly I hadn't heard of him before watching a few of his videos now. Even though I found some of his lyrics a wee bit difficult to understand (perhaps my speakers/hearing) ;)
I really enjoyed them. Here's one: 'Time Stood Still'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeYyJx0upWQ

scotty