How and why do drummers elevate the front of the bass drum head off the floor?

TxGroove

Junior Member
I most recently noticed or read somewhere that some drummers level or elevate the front of their bass drum off the floor so it can better met the beater when it makes contact, usually for quicker rebound, faster speed, and a square on punch of degree from pedal to head I would think?


But, what I don't understand and I've been meaning to get this question up on here for a while now, is how they actually do it? Whats the trick to this tactic? I'm sure it's no trick-of-the-trade.


Most drummers probably never even question elevating the front of the bass head off the floor, but I'm sure it's in the back of their minds, certainly.


I read a few things on doing this from; using the old wallet trick, ect.... I'm sure a plank would work just fine. In some cases I don't even see anything lifting the head up at all?!


What are some ways to perfect this technique? I think my Pedal could use a small pinch of elevation off the floor for a square on punch.
 

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Mongrel

Silver Member
I only raise my front hoop off the floor maybe an inch, two at the most. Mainly to keep the front hoop crom digging in AND to make up for the bass drum mounting bracket thickness. I have never done it for pedal impact adjustments etc.

Also, not sure what you mean about using a wallet to lift the drum? Maybe in the old days before modern hardware and stable bass drum spurs\legs. With todays hardware (from any modern decent manufacturer) the spurs will have enough adjustment and be strong enough the support lifting the cront hoop.

The only thing I know a wallet would be used for would be as s snare drum "muffler". Before the advent of moongel of course.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I raise the front of the bass drum about one inch above the floor for two reasons.
1. So that the bass drum legs dig into the floor or rug. Otherwise the bass drum might rock and roll back and forth a little. And the bass drum would creep forward.
2. I think the tone and sustain is better when the bass drum shell is NOT sitting on the floor.


.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yea, you just don't want to have the actual drum on the floor. It's not really about the beater angle or whatever in most cases.

I usually just try to make sure the front of the drum is off the ground, and then the drum itself is relatively level with the bass drum pedal holding it up. I go for "level" because unfortunately I keep having to deal with not-flat spots where a floor is warped or two different carpets meet in the middle... It happens.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I think TXGroove is referring to the batter side, where the pedal attaches.
You may be correct.
You raise the front of the bass drum, reso side, about 1" using the legs, spurs. Then when you install the pedal you are raising the back end, batter side, about 3/4". So now the bass drum is about 3/4" to 1" above the ground.

The only issue I've ever had is if I raise the front end, reso side, too high, then the cam of the pedal scrapes against the batter head.

I forgot....... What was the question????

.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I have a lift of about 1" at the batter side & about 1.5 - 2" on the Front. To me, makes the drum far more stable & opens up the sound more.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I only raise my front hoop off the floor maybe an inch, two at the most. Mainly to keep the front hoop crom digging in AND to make up for the bass drum mounting bracket thickness. I have never done it for pedal impact adjustments etc.
↑↑↑↑↑

This right here.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The goal is: You don't want any splaying tension on your bass drum batter hoop from your footpedal. They have to slide together like a lock and key, so they have to be on the same plane.

If your batter hoop angle isn't parallel with the floor, and the footpedal is, the footpedal will transmit unwanted tension to the hoop when it's clamped.
The batter hoop, which means the whole bass drum.... has to be parallel with the floor and be at the exact height from the floor where the footpedal clamp can slide right on without any resistance. Lock and key.

Anything other than this will transmit wacky tensions to the bass drum batter hoop, which is a recipe for a drum that won't tune.

Getting the batter hoop and the footpedal to be in a tension free embrace will also protect the bass drum batter hoop from warping or cracking.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
The reason I raise my drum off the ground to the height I raise it is so that the beater is at the vertical when it hits the batter. Too low, and I have to push it past the vertical to get the strike, which feels horrible. Too much, and the corner of the beater hits the head first, causing dents and damage. I actually move the drum with the spurs in the correct position all the time, so that it doesn't roll around in the back of the car.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Both of the above issues-pressure on the batter hoop and beater head angle are solved by any number of makers bass drum pedals and beaters.

My Tama Iron Cobra has a rotating block where it attaches to the hoop that follows whatever angle it is set at. My Iron Cobra beaters have head angle adjustments to match whatever angle the batter head is on.

I am sure the other major manufacturers have appropriate solutions to those same issues as well.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
As said above, I think the bass drum sounds better if it has only minimum contact with the floor. Peace and goodwill.
 

trickg

Silver Member
The only reason I use a riser on the kick drum of my Catalina Club bop kit is that it's an 18" kick, and I want the beater to hit a bit more in the center than it would otherwise. Also, I read somewhere that a small kicks sound a bit bigger and fuller if you can get them up off of the floor a bit. otherwise I only bring the front side of my kick drum up about an inch - just enough to get it up off of the floor.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Both of the above issues-pressure on the batter hoop and beater head angle are solved by any number of makers bass drum pedals and beaters.

My Tama Iron Cobra has a rotating block where it attaches to the hoop that follows whatever angle it is set at. My Iron Cobra beaters have head angle adjustments to match whatever angle the batter head is on.

I am sure the other major manufacturers have appropriate solutions to those same issues as well.
Some, but not all, and certainly not at all price points. My DW 3000s do not have either feature. Given a choice between buying a pedal that does, or adjusting my spurs for free, I figure a few seconds of adjustment is worth the savings.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Some, but not all, and certainly not at all price points. My DW 3000s do not have either feature. Given a choice between buying a pedal that does, or adjusting my spurs for free, I figure a few seconds of adjustment is worth the savings.
Just sharing with the rest of the class....lol Adjustable beater runs about $25.

There is more than one way to skin a tom-tom...

Back in the day we used to just put a slight bend on the beater shaft to get more contact.

;)
 
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No Way Jose

Silver Member
I put a paperback book under my bass drum to raise it off the floor. There are risers that you can buy that do the same thing, but the book was free.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
When I play a Gretsch cat jazz 18” bass drum I use the riser that came with it to lift the batter side up 2 inches or so. The riser clamps onto the rim, then the pedal clamps to the riser. It lets me keep the bass beater at the normal length while getting the sound and feel of striking near the centre of the small bass drum. Obviously the legs at the other end have to be extended further to keep everything level. The drawback is that the pedal sits a bit further away from the drum, so the pedal board goes a bit lower before the beater strikes the drum.
 

trickg

Silver Member
When I play a Gretsch cat jazz 18” bass drum I use the riser that came with it to lift the batter side up 2 inches or so. The riser clamps onto the rim, then the pedal clamps to the riser. It lets me keep the bass beater at the normal length while getting the sound and feel of striking near the centre of the small bass drum. Obviously the legs at the other end have to be extended further to keep everything level. The drawback is that the pedal sits a bit further away from the drum, so the pedal board goes a bit lower before the beater strikes the drum.
Do you have the newer or older style riser? Mine has the Gibraltar style riser - it's made a bit better than the riser that they'd used previously, and it pretty much replicates the hoop, only lower - I have no issues switching between the 22" kick on my practice kit, and the 18" kick that I use for church.
 
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