Roberto Petaccia’s Rocking Motion Technique


SKF NOTE: September 10, 2015 I posted my 1981 Modern Drummer obituary for a terrific guy, Roberto Petaccia. I wrote in part:

“The first time we heard from Roberto was through a letter: ‘My name is Roberto Petaccia and I am contacting you in regards to my interest in writing for your magazine.’ I called him up because he had many good ideas. We kicked around some idea and he submitted several articles, some of which have already been published in the Rock ‘n’ Jazz Clinic column. The ideas were great and the manuscripts that Roberto handed in were near impeccable, but he would always apologize for them.”

After posting Roberto’s obit I remembered his Rocking Motion technique with the bass drum pedal, and I wrote on Drummerworld, “Roberto was the first drummer, in my experience, to master the heel-toe method of playing a single bass drum pedal. By playing his bass drum pedal with a rocking motion, Roberto was able to strike his bass drum with (I think) heel first and toes second. He was able to play that at different speeds. The technique was designed to produce the same effect later used by the double bass drum beater pedals used on single bass drums.”

Roberto had a drumset assembled in his New York City apartment where he showed me his Rocking Motion technique. Roberto played very relaxed with minimal motion bass drum figures with one bass drum and pedal usually reserved for double bass drums and/or double pedals. His Rocking Motion technique was so logical and worked so well. It was a classic, “Why hasn’t someone thought of this before now?”

Here then is Roberto Petaccia’s The Rocking Motion Technique Part 1: The Right Foot as it first appeared in Modern Drummer.



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1 Response to Roberto Petaccia’s Rocking Motion Technique

  1. Pingback: In Search of Roberto Petaccia’s ‘Progressive Funk’ Book | Scott K Fish

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