Your personal double bass journey

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Since 1983, I've experimented on and off with double bass. Either a double bass pedal, or two actual bass drums. I have a kit with two bass drums now and I can go out looking like Alex Van Halen (in the early days) if I have to.

But since 1983, I've been working fairly consistently, and musically, I've never had a reason to use two bass drums at all. This is why I say it's been "on and off" since 1983. I like having them and I like practicing them every now and then, but more for keeping up my Billy Cobham or Tommy Aldridge applications rather than learning blast beats or attempting to channel George Kollias. I would never get hired by anyone for that stuff. I did use a double pedal just recently with a classic rock/metal band, but discovered a lot of that 80s hair metal doesn't really need two bass drums either.

At this point in my life, I'll keep two bass drums and a double pedal while I go out to work with a 4-piece Charlie Watts kit. I may sneak the double pedal into the Watts kit this Saturday, maybe double bass rolls at the end of a song would be fun?
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
I got my first double pedal sometime around 1992, and it's been a part of my playing ever since. My first kit with 2 bass drums came along in the summer of 1993 (7pc Ludwig Classic). In 1999 I got my current kit (7pc DW), and after I bought an 18 floor tom for it (making it an 8pc) I don't look for another kit anymore. Now I hate double pedals now, and prefer 2 bass drums. I play metal so moving a big drum kit is part of the game.

As far as all out speed, I maxed out at 265bpm, but that was years ago and I don't need that kind of speed for what I do now. It's A LOT of work to keep your chops up, and without a band that needs it, why bother. Now I top out at 240bpm, and on a typical practice session I start at 185 and hold it for 5 minutes, then increase the bpm by 5, repeat until max or things fall apart (usually starts to falter around 230). At each tempo setting I play in different time signatures, snare on the up and down beats, different feels etc., not just blast beats, but I do those. What's weird is I'm more comfortable with single kick blast beats, because that's how I learned them 20 years ago. I want to re-learn/refine my hand and foot techniques to get passed 240, because I use too much limb movement, but that will come with time and a lot of work.

The one message I have for anyone who wants to play double bass is to give it a try. It doesn't have to be at 200+ bpm. It's a tool in your toolbox. There are no shortcuts, and it will take a lot of practice, but that's drumming. We don't do because it's easy, we do it because we're insane. Just look at all the threads here on DW and tell me we aren't. ;)
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
The one message I have for anyone who wants to play double bass is to give it a try. It doesn't have to be at 200+ bpm. It's a tool in your toolbox. There are no shortcuts, and it will take a lot of practice, but that's drumming. We don't do because it's easy, we do it because we're insane. Just look at all the threads here on DW and tell me we aren't. ;)
Great advice and soooo frigin true!!!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
My drumming journey started in spring of 91. I added a second kick in January of 92. Haven't looked back since. But that was the drummer I wanted to be. Not some chops master. Not some uber technical clinician. A metal drummer. Big fills, lots of speed, and tons of feet. I graduated HS in 94 and promptly helped start a death metal band. In a college town in Arkansas. The odds were definitely against us, it was all funk and blues at the time. I became the measuring stick against what all other metal drummers in the area were compared to. I hated that, and it quickly ruined my want to play live music. The band still exists, I lasted 8 years. Fast forward 17 years, my need for feet and speed still exist, but I do it on my own terms. Unfortunately for me, I still run into people who recognize me and want to jaw about the band, my drumming, and get me to join their band. So the thing that I absolutely love about drumming is also the thing that ruined it for me in a public setting. I still push my limits, learn new ways to run my feet, but I keep to myself. I'm just a person like everyone else, nothing special. The journey still continues, just in the privacy of my home tucked away in the woods where no one can find me.
 

slhanks04

Member
I have been a drummer (off and on) since I was 9, I'll be 60 on my next birthday so I'm no spring chicken. I always played a single bass/single pedal. When I bought my new kit a year ago, I bought a DW double bass pedal, I figured it's never too late to learn something new. It's not easy trying to relearn after 50 years of playing.
 
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