Metal drumming without double bass

drummingman

Gold Member
I was wondering what you think about metal drummers that dont play double bass but just single bass (meaning only 1 pedal on 1 bass drum)? Are there any death metal drummers that play only single bass?

Double bass has become somewhat cliche in metal. So im looking into really heavy and brutal stuff where the drummer only plays single bass.

Some of the drummers in heavy music that play single bass that i can think of are: Nicko from Iron Maiden. And John from Helmet.

I am thinking of ways to sound really brutal in metal when using only 1 bass. Any thoughts?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Check out Dave Grohl's drumming on the "Probot" CD. You would swear at times he gave in and used a double pedal. But no.
 

BlastyCarl

Junior Member
If you single foot your blasts its entirely possible to play Death-Metal with only one pedal, however the lack of the ability to play fast sixteenths with your feet when required can make writing parts tricky if you want the feet to groove and lock in with fast sixteenths on guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dcTCt66NfE

During the blast sections George only uses one foot for the kick and uses his other foot for hihat/ribbon crasher.


Alot of early songs fro mold school death metal bands such as Obituary are possible to play with one foots as the double-bass is generally between 110-140bpm sixteenths, so if you have a fast right foot its defintely possible to play with one foot.
 

MLdrum

Senior Member
If I remember correctly, the swedish band Cult of Luna does not utilize double pedals (or two bass drums). And that band sounds totally brut-awe-tastic! You can find the band both on Spotify and Youtube ;-)
 

Evilbagua

Silver Member
I recently switched from a dw9000 double to a dw5000 single. Granted my new band is slower and more doom metal and less grindcore, it's still metal and beyond heavy. I can get the single going pretty fast if need be. As far as "brutal" my 28 with a wooden beater sounds pleanty brutal to me!
 

Therma lobsterdore

Senior Member
For Death metal you'd have to look at the old school death metal bands. Stuff like early Death, Obituary, Entombed, Asphyx and the like use a lot of single bass or slower double bass patterns. I'm pretty sure there are lots of old school thrash bands that used single bass mostly, hell there are even slayer tracks where it's pretty much single bass the whole through.

People often think that all metal uses double bass, but there are quite a few sub genre's that have hardly any double bass bands. So if you move away from the faster genre's, you'll find plenty of bands that use single bass only. Look at Doom metal and Sludge metal, pretty much all single bass bands in those genre's. Check out bands like Isis, Mouth of the Architect, Eyehategod, Sleep, Electric Wizard etc.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Yea. If you're counting bands as "tame" as Helmet (in relation to death metal), then there are tons, esp. when you get into sludge/stoner (as noted above), and more hard-core and punk styles.

Quick run through of my iPod:

Kyuss/QOTSA
Crowbar (very heavy, but generally not very fast)
Melvins
Tool/Pygmy Love Circus (some DB, but not much)
ATDI/The Mars Volta
Clutch
Cro Mags
Judge
Katatonia (maybe a little db, but not much)
Mastodon
Misfits
Black Sabbath
Prong
Sam Black Church
The Sword
 
I would recommend listening to Athiest - Elements. Athiest's music is kinda death/thrash especially the early stuff but by their second album they start adding elements of jazz, funk and by the albums Elements you have a super heavy album with cool jazz, latin and funk influences with very little double bass. They even threw in a 2 minute samba track.
 

Algorithm

Senior Member
There are a lot of drummers that do it because that's what the fans of the genre sort of expect. There are some drummers that use it a lot and use it well. Bands where the drummer plays 16th note bass hits often sound less "brutal" than bands where the drummer is going all out with 32nd note bass hits, at least to the death metal community, which is ALL about extremity.

I prefer interesting patterns to straight double bass in every song, even though I listen to a lot of death and tech death. If you want to find death metal without double bass, I don't know what to tell you honestly. There are bands where the double bass is de-emphasized in favor of more blast patterns, etc. If you're looking for no double bass at all, I suppose less abrasive forms of metal, or hardcore/punk are your best bet, even though a lot of bands (including mainstream bands) utilize it in more subtle forms.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
if you want to have some double bass sounds, but only have one pedal, you can fake it out by alternating quickly between your right hand on the floor tom and your right foot on the bass. you can get going pretty fast that way and it doesn't sound terrible.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
you would really have to explore a lot of bands. tons of death, grindcore and others utilize double bass but not constantly and not on every song. going for your more public eye bands like six feet under and carcass do have double bass parts, some songs more then others and some songs not at all. other bands like morbid angel, suffocation, immolation are a lot more into the double bass but even then it's not all the time and yet others all they do is double bass and blast beats. you can't really just some it up with this band does and this band doesn't. then you get bands like gorguts who are closer to (even though i think the term is stupid) math rock type death metal that very rarely use double bass and rely mostly on complex rhythms and odd time signatures, hell sometimes they don't even use distortion but in itself they are an oddity for death metal. then you have bands like hypocrisy who can't even stay locked in one genre, on one cd you'll have grindcore, death metal, thrash, 80's hair rock and each song is different then the last.

there is absolutely nothing that says you have to have double bass and blasts to be brutal and every band does things differently. your gonna have to really go out and listen to a lot of bands in a lot of styles and your gonna find bunches that don't have double bass or blasts in each one.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I've wondered the same thing. I really like metal but I'm really more of a rock drummer. I'm currently taking lessons and working to get my timing and my chops tight. Once I'm comfortable with the faster fills I think I'm gonna try to join a metal band.

The fun challenge about this is I want to be able to do it without a double bass. I agree that it's a bit of a metal chiche like thin buzzy distortion on the guitar.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
if you want to have some double bass sounds, but only have one pedal, you can fake it out by alternating quickly between your right hand on the floor tom and your right foot on the bass. you can get going pretty fast that way and it doesn't sound terrible.
I was thinking the same thing. This will give the double bass type parts a different feel then regular double bass (Which I think will be cool).


Algorithm, I would like to apply single bass playing to abrasive forms of metal (like death metal and grindcore. As well as other types of heavy music). I also want to apply single kick to really fast metal.

I really like the band Norma Jean and their drummer does not use much double bass from what have heard (and some of their stuff is brutally heavy).

Going single pedal in metal will push my drumming in new, and hopefully, innovative ways. Going single pedal in metal is not a decision that I made spur of the moment. As a long time double bass player I have put quite a bit of thought into making the switch from double bass to single bass.
 
I don't know what the piece is called..



but if you adjust the clamp that controls the starting point of the pivot you can cut down the amount of distance traveled and energy needed to hit the drum. It's the piece that is at the top of the spring and is generally geared to accomodate that type of adjustment.

You'll need to adjust your technique slightly to control the rebound of the pedal, but with a little practice (like everything on drums) you can really let your foot fly.


*edit* sorry for the big pics!



According to this pic, it's the cam roller. Unfortunately this is an older pedal that doesn't have it adjustable, so take this picture and apply it to the one above. If you don't have a pedal that has an adjustable cam roller, get one - definitely make what you're trying to do that much easier.
 
Check out Dave Grohl's drumming on the "Probot" CD. You would swear at times he gave in and used a double pedal. But no.
Agreed bro :)
Dave is the real deal! He even said "Double Bass is stupid and my left foot is retarded" I LOL'D!
I don't use Double bass either. John Bonham also said "I can play faster one footed than double because my left foot can't really do much more".

GENIUS!
 

Ferret

Senior Member
I was thinking the same thing. This will give the double bass type parts a different feel then regular double bass (Which I think will be cool).


Algorithm, I would like to apply single bass playing to abrasive forms of metal (like death metal and grindcore. As well as other types of heavy music). I also want to apply single kick to really fast metal.

I really like the band Norma Jean and their drummer does not use much double bass from what have heard (and some of their stuff is brutally heavy).

Going single pedal in metal will push my drumming in new, and hopefully, innovative ways. Going single pedal in metal is not a decision that I made spur of the moment. As a long time double bass player I have put quite a bit of thought into making the switch from double bass to single bass.
I can't tell if you're referring to brutal death as a scene or just using the adjective, so this may be off topic.

you kinda need that double kick for live performance of fast stuff... the snare hits heavy on the blast beats but its a mid range frequency, when you hear the 16th kicks gunning at 260 you FEEL the room quake...so powerful. Not all extreme metal is all double kick all the time, theres a lot of single footwork, and even some left foot hat/clave patterns that have emerged... (check out derek roddy)

double kick is an extreme metal genre staple, its needed for the feel, the creativity comes from tasteful use and evolutions of the basics set by the genre. Right now the scene has maxed out on chops a bit, and the focus is going towards syncopations and metering through accents within the extreme subdivisions. Everyone can shred these chops now, so its about how we use them that sets the next generation apart... going back to that rock/metal feel has been done and is very niche.

its like trying to take the backbeat out of rock, you can do interesting beat displacement or whatever, but its a skill of its own to know when to slap those 2+4s to make something really work musically.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Bill Ward, the drummer for the very first true metal band, Black Sabbath, didn't use double pedals. If a band that played like the Sabs came up today would they be considered to be metal? Since heavy metal has always been about extremes, then maybe what was once metal has been out-extremed by its successors>

Where does metal go from here? Can it become more extreme than extreme metal? My feeling is that extreme metal is roughly equivalent to free jazz - where the boundaries have been broken so profoundly that any future changes will be fairly subtle. Tweaks. The next step with metal, as it was with jazz and rock, will be diversification (taking in influences from other genres) and mainstreaming.

I've already heard rap/metal and fusion/metal hybrids and no doubt there will be more pop/metal coming. Not all of these hybrids will need double kicks. As for mainstreaming, I've occasionally heard metal on TV ads - selling those items for young lads to let consumers know that the products are tough and mean :).
 
Hey :)

Loads of bands/artists DO use single pedals playing metal such as

Dave Grohl - Them Crooked Vultures,Probot (HIGHLY ADVICE YOU CHECK OUT PROBOT!)
Nicko McBrain - Iron Maiden
John Bonham - Led Zeppelin
Matt Cameron - Soundgarden
Sean Kinney - Alice In Chains
Bill Ward - Black Sabbath
Me - My Solo Project (still working on)

All the ones I can think of right now :/
I don't use double bass and I find it silly tbh. It is soooooooo commonly used in music nowadays it's ridiculous! It doesn't have to be spammed in every metal song. Single pedals can be used like in hardcore punk and it will sound just as good! Double bass is a waste of money imo.

Thanks
Chris
 
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