The non-metal double bass thread

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Many times I read that some people feel double bass is only good for metal. A comment forgets that double bass actually got it’s start in jazz, then fusion, and has appeared in many pop settings as well.

So I present, the non-metal double bass thread, of assorted non-metal songs and non-metal drummers who use or toyed with double bass. No, I'm not trying to convince anyone to convert to double bass, or change anyone's minds on the subject. This is strictly just for fun.

Side note: Sorry Deathmetalconga, I know, I can hear you groaning from here. :p

In no particular order.

First up:
The Man credited with inventing double bass, Louie Bellson with Duke Elington on “Skin Deep”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-o4iRF49_0

And another Duke Ellington number called “"Musical Rhythm"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6_p4R9dMxs

Billy Cobham, of course used double bass with Mahavishnu Orchestra, and his many solo albums, and other jazz and fusion recordings
A sample with Mahavishnu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujcYw2QTPzM

Nick Mason used a double bass kit with Pink Floyd. While he never went all out with long 16ht note double bass roles, or blast beats, or used on many of their more popular recordings, he did actually his 2nd bass drum.
On “One of These Days” he can seen with his left foot on his 2nd bass drum, hitting notes in key places
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuKVtnmNt1s
A bit more obvious are some of his fills in “Echos”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2OylafY6PY&feature=related

Jeff Beck songs would feature double bass.
Simon Phillips on the 7/4 shuffle “Space Boogie”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij7yR0LubxY
And then years later, Terry Bozzio on “Sling Shot”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0FGihcrO0E

Prince: While most people remember “Darling Niki” for his provocative lyrics, the song features double bass all over the ending, in a song that is anything but metal!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XmxijQfMow

Steve Smith used a double bass kit with Journey (as did his predecessor Ansely Dunbar, and both of his replacements, Mike Baird and Deen Castranonvo). Smith generally used double bass to in fills (like the great intro on “Where Were You), or to spice up live versions (checked out the “Captured” live album).
On this track, he actually used double bass in the grooves of the chorus, all very tastefully in a pop-rock setting. The audio on this clip is poor, but the use of double bass is very clear on the CD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8pAPvAIFPE

Even Kenny Arnoff used double pedal with John Mellencamp. Per Kenny in an interview some years ago, John handed Kenny a tape of a song, and said come up with 5 different beats and get back to me. So Kenny came up with 4 standard rock beats, and a 5th beat that featured syncopation and a double pedal. To Kenny’s surprise, John chose the 5th beat. And this song went on be “Love and Happiness” which still gets radio play to this day. Turn it up on a good set of speakers, and you can hear the two different tones of the right and left beater It’s just so smooth and tasteful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsOlVKUau2U

I couldn’t find an audio clip, but if anyone remembers when Marvin Smitty Smith became the new drummer on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” every night the theme song featured a very fast double bass parts. (The new 2010 theme song is a different song altogether).

John Bonham is best known for not using double bass, but he did try, however John Paul Jones objected. He did briefly use a double bass kit, as show in this clip, although the band is just miming to a pre-recorded track, he’s not actually playing it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3WwTLYNSec

Buddy Rich rarely used double bass, but he could in fact play it.
A few audio clips can be fond here:
http://www.mikejamesjazz.com/br_clips.html#unique_index

If anyone had the “Buddy Rich Jazz Ledgend” that was on VHS, there was a brief clip of Buddy playing just two bass drums on his TV show. I am kind of surprised that clip isn't on youtube anywhere (?)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Shortly before his untimely passing, Tony Williams took delivery of a double bass kit.
I don't know if there are any actual recordings of him using it though.

 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Keith Moon didn't play double bass in the way most people think of as double bass, but then again, Keith didn't play drums in the way most people think of playing drums!

For many years, he gave up having a hi-hat stand, but kept playing the typical left foot patterns (1/4, 1/8tth, etc) on his 2nd bass drum, as show in this clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbk5xXHqShI
 

AggressiveC

Junior Member
Shortly before his untimely passing, Tony Williams took delivery of a double bass kit.
I don't know if there are any actual recordings of him using it though.
Woah... I would have loved to hear Tony play some double kick! I heard he was planning on doing a Thrash Metal record before he died. I'm not sure how true that is, but none the less, it would have been amazing seeing Tony play with two kicks!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Shortly before his untimely passing, Tony Williams took delivery of a double bass kit.
I don't know if there are any actual recordings of him using it though.

You may want to check out Arcana - Arc of the Testimony (Tony Williams, Bill Laswell, Pharoah Sanders, Byard Lancaster, Graham Haynes, Nicky Skopelitis, and Buckethead).
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
For a time DeJohnette used a double bass set up with different sized drums. I think he had it on Ralph Towner's album Batik, but can't recall another. Does anyone know about that?
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Nice thread idea, DED. Michael Giles played double kick on the first two Crimson albums, and also later with the 21st Century Schizoid Band (wrongly labelled in this vid as KC): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqMmTdZXzuM

I'd like to hear Jack DeJohnette on double kick. I have a Keith Jarrett DVD where he's insane with just one ...
 

Ainulindale

Gold Member
great thread, its interesting see how many drummers used a different size second bass, or like bozzio, several sizes... and thanks for the links, some real eyeopeners!
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
Very cool thread, DrumEatDrum!

Double kick madness! :)

Now to bang out some Hot for Teacher....
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
You may want to check out Arcana - Arc of the Testimony (Tony Williams, Bill Laswell, Pharoah Sanders, Byard Lancaster, Graham Haynes, Nicky Skopelitis, and Buckethead).
Tony got around didn't he?! Another cat that was well known for double kicks was Ginger Baker. Ginger and Tony did the drum tracks on Public Image Limited's recording known as 'Album'. That particular record was somewhat of a supergroup that Johnny Rotten put together and they made some very interesting rock-n-roll.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Woah... I would have loved to hear Tony play some double kick! I heard he was planning on doing a Thrash Metal record before he died. I'm not sure how true that is, but none the less, it would have been amazing seeing Tony play with two kicks!
I've never heard that one. But I recall in one of his last interviews, he talked about he liked to sit down at his drums, put on some headphones, and then turn the radio to random stations and play to whatever came on, no matter what the genre or style. Pretty mind blowing that a guy who was already legend was concerned about keeping himself up to date with modern music.

You may want to check out Arcana - Arc of the Testimony (Tony Williams, Bill Laswell, Pharoah Sanders, Byard Lancaster, Graham Haynes, Nicky Skopelitis, and Buckethead).
Thanks! I'll check it out.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
John "JR" Robinson is best known for playing on major hits with major stars.

In the 80's, he too sported a double bass kit. I once saw him in clinic, and he could do pretty amazing things with two bass drums. He also was another guy who favored two different sizes of bass drums:

 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Great thread....great vids.

Should be mandatory reading for anyone doubting the need for them beyond blasting. Since I first saw Louie Bellson I've never needed any convincing, but unfortunately double pedals often get immediately pigeonholed with metal.......great to see so many examples all in one place, showing how they can be used without relying on dugga dugga dugga at a million miles an hour.

Thanks for collating all this mate.
 
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