Double Bass Pedal Buyers Guide
Before you go out and purchase a pair of double bass pedals, you may want to read this guide on what to look for in a double bass pedal. There are a lot of different companies out there that all make incredible drum hardware, making it difficult to choose the right one. You need to know that there is no one pedal that is better then the other. Each pedal offers its own advantages and disadvantages, and can have advantages over others in certain areas. It becomes more of a personal choice as to what you want in a drum pedal. However, there are certain things that everyone should look for to make sure they are not buying a lemon.
Chain Drive, Belt Drive, Or Direct Drive?
The first thing you want to look for is the type of drum pedal you want. There are three types of pedals that you can buy. Chain drive, Belt drive, or Direct drive. Each one offers its own benefits, so make sure you know what you want. You will find that chain and belt driven pedals are very similar to each other. The belt will be a little more silent then the chain, and will feel a little lighter on the foot. Again, there is no better choice here, it is all personal. Direct drive pedals are great for speed and control. Having no chain or belt in the way allows these pedals to be very responsive and fast. When you are shopping around, make sure you try each style out and find the one that suits you the best.
Adjustability And Balance
The next thing you want to look for is balance. You want to make sure the left pedal is even with the right pedal. Some drum pedals will be off balance, meaning one side will be a lot looser than the other. On most pedals you are able to change the spring tension for each foot, but not all pedals offer this ability. This will cause one foot to have to work harder than the other, and you will not get an even sound from your drum pedal. How do you check this? The easiest way is to do this is to take a drum stick and pull both beaters back at the same time. Pull them back any distance and release them at the same time. They should swing back the same speed, stopping at around the same time. If they don’t, it may just need some adjusting, which shouldn’t take too long to do. However, if it takes a bit of time to achieve this, these pedals may not be the pedals that you want to purchase.
Another important thing to look for is the adjustability of the pedals themselves. A good bass pedal will be able to able to adjust as much as possible. Check to see if the pedal comes with its’ own drum key specifically for the pedal. This can be a good and bad thing, seeing if you lose that key you may not be able to change anything. Most pedals will use a basic drum key for changes, so make sure you do not need a whole arsenal of tools just to make minor adjustments. Playing around with your pedals should be easy and quick, and not require much elbow grease or force. Make sure you can easily change the spring tension, the height of the beater, and the distance between each pedal.
One obvious thing to look for in a bass drum pedal is the feel of it. It’s no good putting money into something you don’t feel comfortable playing. Every pedal has a different feel to it, meaning that a certain pedal can be great for one person, but terrible for another. Make sure your feet fit nicely on the foot pedals themselves, if you have extra big feet you may want to invest in a larger set. Also, its good check how heavy the beaters are. If they are fairly large and bulky, you will end up using more energy to kick the drum. You want to have a light beater that will glide very easily so you can conserve energy and increase your speed. Remember to play the pedals both heel up and heel down to test both techniques.
Cost Of Double Bass Pedals
The last thing you should look for is what you get for the money. Some double bass pedals can cost quite a bit, so you want to make sure you are getting your moneys worth. Although this is a secondary concern, it shouldn’t be overlooked. First, check if it comes with a drum key. These are very cheap on their own, but it’s not about the cost of the key itself, it’s about whether there is a spot for it. Sometimes you may need a drum key in the middle of a show, but you forgot to pack one with you. With some bass drum pedals, they have one equipped underneath a foot pedal that you can store there in case of emergencies. This can save your life during a show, and is a smart thing to look for in drum kickers. Also, like I said above, some pedals require certain Allen keys or other tools to adjust them – make sure these are included.
In addition to these things, check to see if they come with a transporting bag. Having a zip up bag is great for taking the pedals around, or even storing them - just another extra for the cost of the pedals. The last thing you should look for in the box is if it has additional beater heads. Some drum pedals will come with a variety of beater tips you can change for different uses. Maybe they will have a wood tip, a felt tip, and a plastic tip. All these are useful in their own way and are great to add to your artillery!
These are all very important things to look for when purchasing a set of double pedals. Have a price in mind when you get to the store so you are not tricked into buying more than you need. If you can live without a fully adjustable pedal, and don’t want to spend any extra money, then don’t! Also, remember that every pedal is different, not just every model. You may play a set of DW’s that feel great, and then play on a similar pair that are terrible. Each pedal is set differently and has a slightly different feel. So, that being said, experiment with as many different pedals as you can until you find the one that best fits your needs! I hope this guide has helped you, as it is the same guide I use when purchasing new double bass pedals for myself!
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