Originally Posted by finnhiggins
Tim Alexander probably isn't that great an example. Much of his stuff is achievable without a double pedal, I don't doubt that somebody like Zach Hill of Hella could play most of that fairly accurately without resorting to two feet. Tim does a lot of triplet phrases between the hands and feet with each foot only playing a single stroke on each bass drum pedal, that kind of stuff is easily replicated with a single pedal. Not that he isn't an awesome drummer, of course. I bought a double pedal because of him, and then gave up because I realised that all the stuff that was awesome about him didn't really need one.
This deserves to be on another thread, and indeed there is a thread for it, but here's the deal: If you play music that needs a double pedal then you need one. But the reality is that for most music you quite simply can get the same end result by mixing it up with the toms and heel-toe techniques. It's only really when you get into the land of constant double kick or rudimental work with the feet that you start needing the other foot to come into play.
I do agree that Bonham's foot would probably not be considered particularly fast by modern standards though. He had great power and control over both his dynamics and his beat placement with his right foot, but I don't think that he's a great candidate to stand up to the likes of Zach Hill or Jo Jo Mayer on the single foot speed front.
you're right about tim: most of his stuff can be played with a single... but it's his subtle use of the double that appeals to me (jerry was a racecar driver, mr. know it all...).
songs like pudding time and wynona's big brown beaver (...can't get over that name..) would be impossible for me to play using a single (cos i'm crap) but i guess a skilled single-kicker like jo jo mayer could play them...
however, you will never have the same dynamic range playing heel-toe/rapid doubles between tom hits etc. on a single as you will playing straight with a double.
and double bass just doesn't have the same tough sound to it when imitated, even when imitated extremely well
personally i think bonham's foot is incredible in its own right.. if bonham had used two bass drums he would have used them much more wisely than many of today's double bassers... he might have done things like crescendos or swung 8ths in a shuffle or even swung 16ths (swung bass drum notes actually don't sound too bad if you don't put excessive swing on them) and not doubt been extremely creative with it....
i've always thought danny carey (excluding opiate) has a bit of a bonham sound, especially on undertow and aenima.. he's got similar indian percussive influences too
actually track 11 on lateralus is a bit bonham-ish.. ..sort of
oh.. long post, sorry :P