Learn How To Play The Double Bass Drum
One of the best things a drummer can add to his arsenal of drumming is the double bass drum pedal. Adding the skill of incorporating your left foot into your drumming will increase your playing more than you could imagine. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Dream Theaters Mike Portnoy, Rush’s’ Neil Peart, have all mastered this technique. In fact, more and more artists are incorporating the double kickers into their music these days. So how are you supposed to practice these techniques and patterns? The solution is fairly simple, and when you look at it you will be amazed in how simple most of these double bass grooves actually are!
*Before you start out with these exercises, make sure you have selected the best double bass pedal for you. Check out the complete double bass pedal buyers guide. Also, make sure are getting the absolute best sound out of your bass drum by reading the article on getting the best sound from your bas drum!
To begin, there are many warm up exercises that will help you along the way. After all, mastering the double bass drum is mainly muscle development. Therefore practicing these exercises is crucial if you want to see improvement! Practice these following exercises with both techniques, heel up as well as heel down. Developing both styles will open up the doors for all styles of double bass drumming. You may notice that some of these patterns look like the basic rudiments. This is because they are; a lot of the basic essential rudiments can be used on the feet as well as great practice exercises.
Let’s start by incorporating the double bass into a basic beat. There are a number of ways to look at this, but let’s take the easiest route. Start by playing your basic “money” beat on the hi hat, snare and bass drum. That’s eighth notes on the hi hat and quarter notes on the snare and bass.
Now we want to fill in any missing beats with your bass drum. To do this, follow you’re hi hat hand with your bass drum. You will now be playing eighth notes on your hi hat and your right foot. This may sound funny, but make sure you get it.
The left foot may come easy because you use this foot all the time, however the right foot is a little trickier. So start out slow by only playing the right foot in the beat. This time though, instead of following you’re hi hat, you want to play eight note beats on the “ands”. Try this slowly!
Now, once you can do both left and right feet; add them together to make a 16th note roll behind the drum beat. This is one of the most basic double bass beats you can play.
Notice how the notation has changed. This is only to help you determine which foot is which on the sheet music. The regular bass drum note is your bottom line, while the lower note is your left foot. Remember to play this slow at first, as it is not an easy concept to learn! However, once you have it down, you will notice a huge improvement on your drumming skills! For a more complete guide to double bass drumming, check out Jared Falk’s Bass Drum Secrets. Also, check out this lesson on incorperating the double bass pedal into fills!
By: Dave Atkinson
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