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Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:20 pm
by Marcus
Good Day,

I am looking for an inexpensive foot pedal with wood block so I can play the clave and various beats while I am playing conga. I have seen these arrangements and started an internet search but there are lots of foot pedals of various costs and the blocks need a mounting and then the block. Does anybody have any suggestions of an assembly? Thinking of going into the 2nd hand market but I really do not want to spend a bunch of time here. would rather play than make this a big effort.

thx, marcus

Re: Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:18 pm
by markab
I don't have any great suggestions here but here's my two cents as a baby conga player who is also a baby pedal player. But mainly I don't see any option as being much cheaper than any other option.

I started with a basic pedal (Monoprice, no longer made), an LP Gajate bracket/mount, LP jam block (plastic wood block), and an LP cowbell.

The basic felt beater that came with my pedal was too soft for the jam block, so I added a wood one.

I would be afraid that a downsized bracket/mount, like in LP's new cowbell pedal pack, might not allow some other instruments that have a more awkward shape or something. (For example, I've since acquired a tambourine and a mountable pandeiro.)

My first jam block was LP's high pitched blue one, but I prefer the medium pitched red one I got later. (Obatala plays clave on a red one in some of his conga videos.)

I recently got a second pedal (DW 2000) and another Gajate, working on playing a cowbell on the beat along with a jam block clave.

-Mark

Re: Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:11 pm
by Greensail
I have used several foot pedals over the years, a lot more when I only played 2 congas. I find it much more difficult to play now that I usually use 3 drums. I think I am with Mark on a lot of things. My favorite pedal is a DW 2000 (DrumWorkshop). Now I am NO kit drummer but this brand feels the most responsive to me of any I used. I have used various blocks, and am quite pleased with the LP plastic blocks. They make various sizes depending upon the tone you desire and again I am with Mark - I like the red one. With regards to a beater, you want something pretty hard to strike the block. I came across a rather old felt beater in which the felt had hardened a LOT. Likely no good for a normal drum but excellent for the block. You could also fashion a piece of hardwood to fasten to the as opposed to felt. I also have a tamborine that I occasionally connect. A softer felt beater works better for that. A cowbell could also be used but I have no experience with that. My advice, the block adds a nice touch to many songs but use sparingly. It can get old. Don't remember the exact quote but Thelonius Monk once said something like - you need to leave space to let the music breath. Enjoy.

Re: Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:33 pm
by Marcus
thanks guys, great advice.

I was thinking my use would be slow and soft and just to basically internalize beats, clave and upbeats. Don't think I could keep up with a high bpm. That job is for the metronome. I also prefer a lower tone block. Had not consider plastic as I was thinking wood but that is now an options. I hear from friends than don bennent's drum shop on the eastside of seattle works with a lot of used equipment. Will go there next paycheck.

enjoy, marcus

Re: Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:49 am
by JoePasko
Here is a very inexpensive idea. It's a different sound than a wood block ... but you can play clave and other patterns with your foot, and it will cut through, nicely. (You could use this together with a foot-powered woodblock or jamblock, for variety.)

Several manufacturers, including Meinl, make hinged castanets... intended to be stuck to the side of a cajon, and played by hand. I cut an old board, attached velcro and castanet(s), throw it on the floor and play with my foot.

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Re: Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:08 pm
by burke
Very Cool!
I'm all about the cheap and innovative... I am not looking for a foot peddle, but that hinged castenet has me thinking about a washboard project I have in my garage ... thanks for sharing ... and welcome to the forum

Re: Wood Block Foot Pedal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:52 am
by JoePasko
burke wrote:Very Cool!
I'm all about the cheap and innovative... I am not looking for a foot peddle, but that hinged castenet has me thinking about a washboard project I have in my garage ... thanks for sharing ... and welcome to the forum


Sounds like a good idea, go for it. LOL .. I do washboard gigs too !


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(see, with this setup, I have castanet and other foot-devices velcro'd to an overturned milk crate; and I can put my hardware into the crate when I pack up)