DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Technique

Drum Technique Tips - Tricks - Practice - Rudiments - Educational DVDs & Books.....

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:40 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,493
Default Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

There’s so many threads asking about this topic, with questions like “how to set my bass drum pedal”, or “I can’t play such or such pattern” and “how can I play fast 16th notes”. It can also be helpful for those of you who are adjusting the pedal every other day because it's never right, lol.

It gave me the incentive for this thread, it’s not a secret recipe and it won’t make your pedal technique suddenly explose magically, going through the practice and developing good feet technique is still the key to success, but having a “setting” which allows you to bring out the best of your pedal(s) certainly plays a major role.

In the beginning, I didn’t care that much about pedal settings, I just played the dang thing, gluin’ it deeply into the batter head, but after a few years I wanted much more from my pedal(s) and I developed this “effortless” method over the years, and to this day, it never failed me. It is applicable with whatever feet technique you're using, for the record, I play heel-up and exclusively using the rebound, I stopped burying the beater into the head years ago.

There’s many factors which influence the perception of a perfect setting of a pedal, it’s not just your body, feet and the pedal, size of the BD, type of heads, tuning, ported or non ported reso heads, muffling devices inside the BD, no muffling, etc, all add to the sensation of a given “setting” and feel, it should be taken into consideration when you adjust your pedal(s).


To carry out the “effortless” setting of your pedal, you’ll need the following:

- a metronome or click track.
- a CD to play along a few songs you know inside out, preferably with some various bass drum patterns and dynamic levels.

Most of today’s pedals come with an array of adjusting features, so the first step is to check the pedal’s feel straight out the box, without making any adjustments. Play it alone a few minutes, then play it with the metronome, at various tempo, playing different patterns and dynamics, the key is to be on time “effortlessly” with the metronome, whatever the pattern and dynamic level you play, it has to feel “naturally” on time, if you have to adjust your playing, even so slightly, to be on time, then the setting need adjusting, it is that simple.

What’s not simple is to find the “perfect” adjustments:

- footboard angle, check
- beater angle, check
- beater height, check
- beater weight, check
- beater type, check
- spring tension, check
- batter head tuning, check (this delicate phase shouldn't be at the expense of a good BD sound, and vice-versa)
- seating height, check
- distance from the pedal, check
- fulcrum point (sweet spot) of the pedal, check (important for a new pedal, for exemple)

Then, once you adjusted everything, you check again with the metronome, it has to be naturally and effortlessly with the click (set your metronome for 16th notes pulse), if you hear the click, you’re not in time, define if you’re rushing or dragging, and correct your adjustement accordingly. Once you’re fine with the metronome, play the songs from your CD’s, it should be an easy experience.

This simple method enable you to set the pedal “perfectly” and forget about it, you can then concentrate on the playing, and if you feel the need for a change some months later, or when you use a new pedal and/or a new bass drum, you just apply this “effortless” method, and you’re up and running in no time.

NB, this can be applied equally to the hi-hat pedal.

Hope this helps.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask…
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-08-2012, 07:20 PM
Bo Eder's Avatar
Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,439
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Great post!

I'm somewhat surprised that you didn't say "Go out and buy the most expensive pedal on the market, and if that doesn't work, find the next most expensive pedal on the market...."

I kid ;)

I guess I do all those things, but I never consciously made a check-list. That's alot of stuff that goes on. It's amazing what we do, eh?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-09-2012, 07:10 AM
Chunky's Avatar
Chunky Chunky is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 841
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Good thread and hopefully slows down the amount of pedal/double pedal tips threads.

People want a magic solution, an easy answer wheb the answer is easy. Your pedals up somewhere in the middle and adjust a little from there to suit your taste.
I don't think any extreme setting can really work for everything so just learn to use the pedals like you've learned to use your hands. Properly!

You don't put springy tips on sticks to play fast. Why is it always the gears fault when it comes to failing pedal skills?

You know, I never sat and thought about just how much adjusting goes on with feet until I saw your list Henri.
That's alot of stuff. Bass drum head tension can really spoil pedal response, aswell as putting pillows inside against the batter head. Hate the feel!

So, good thread. Anyone struggling with bass drum techniques should strip down their set-ups and start here first. Could save alot of time and frustration!
__________________
I like my drum sound fat and simple. Just like me.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-18-2013, 04:06 PM
Sjogras's Avatar
Sjogras Sjogras is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 607
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

This is a great thread, surprised by the few answers. Maybe most people are clinging onto Bo's method ;)

Well, after increasing my throne height a bit I feel like I'm getting closer to my desired feel. But I have a hard time getting power into the strokes without burying the beater, it's harder for me to get the strokes dead on time as well. But the bassdrum sounds so much better when letting the batter head vibrate so I have to change my technique. I realized that by burying the beater you're pretty much tuning the batter head tighter with every stroke, it cuts the low end, and also, my 10" and 12" toms resonate much more along with the bassdrum since I'm producing more mid frequencies with the bassdrum as well, resulting in the bassdrum sounding even brighter. (worse)

Did you change any pedal settings, tuning etc, in order to stop burying the beater, or was it only a matter of committing to a new technique? I feel like it's a bad habit I have to quit. :(
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-30-2013, 07:51 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,493
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjogras View Post
This is a great thread, surprised by the few answers. Maybe most people are clinging onto Bo's method ;)(
Thanks man, I just noticed your post, lol, I don't check this thread very often, so sorry for replying so late :)

Yes, Bo's advice are always better than mine, haha...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjogras View Post
Did you change any pedal settings, tuning etc, in order to stop burying the beater, or was it only a matter of committing to a new technique? I feel like it's a bad habit I have to quit. :(
Both, I wanted to replicate what you do with your hands, so I adjusted both the settings and the technique, I went through a lot of trial and error, analyzing the movement needed to get the desired effect and correcting both the physical aspect, the setting and the tuning, I did get there eventually as I was convinced it was the way to go about it, from the moment I decided to swap my approach, I never looked back.
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:18 PM
x_25 x_25 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northwest NJ
Posts: 80
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Well, this is my learend something new for the day. All I have ever adjusted on one is the beater hight so it is in the middle of the head... now I am going to have to play with it...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:16 PM
pchanning's Avatar
pchanning pchanning is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Plymouth UK
Posts: 26
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Interesting thread - if I may...

The centre of the head is the deadest part and has less rebound than off centre. Off centre also offers more tone from the drum. Also,

Try altering the angle of the bass drum so the beater hits the batter head at the highest point of the 'beater arc'. That is to say pushing the beater past the highest point of the beater arc starts activating the springs - which is working against finding 'the optimum balance point'. Check it out n see what you think.

Just little things but they all contribute to making things a bit more natural.

HTH
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:25 AM
Sjogras's Avatar
Sjogras Sjogras is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 607
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Both, I wanted to replicate what you do with your hands, so I adjusted both the settings and the technique, I went through a lot of trial and error, analyzing the movement needed to get the desired effect and correcting both the physical aspect, the setting and the tuning, I did get there eventually as I was convinced it was the way to go about it, from the moment I decided to swap my approach, I never looked back.
So I'm assuming that you've tuned your bassdrum so that you can't bury the beater? I haven't decided whether I should stop burying the beater entirely and tune for a very responsive feel, or tune lower with more muffling on the batter head to be able to bury the beater, while still letting it bounce back most of the time. With my current tuning I can't bury the beater, but it feels like I'd want to since I'm getting a bit of beater-flutter at times.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:25 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,493
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjogras View Post
So I'm assuming that you've tuned your bassdrum so that you can't bury the beater? I haven't decided whether I should stop burying the beater entirely and tune for a very responsive feel, or tune lower with more muffling on the batter head to be able to bury the beater, while still letting it bounce back most of the time. With my current tuning I can't bury the beater, but it feels like I'd want to since I'm getting a bit of beater-flutter at times.
To bury or not bury, that is the question :)

By all mean, you should be able to find a happy medium as far as the setting and the tuning is concerned, and being able to do both, playing on the rebound or burying the beater into the batter head, it's a choice thing.

Personally, I gave up burying the beater, the drum not only sounds better IMO, but I have a better control, better dynamics and an increased colors of sounds depending on the stroke I'm aiming for, I find playing on the rebound a more versatile approach for what I do.

Regarding the beater-flutter, I had this "problem" in the beginning during some patterns, I overcome the flutter by doing some fine adjustments on the pedal setting (footboard and beater angles), the physical movements and crucially, the fulcrum point of the footboard. It's really like with the hands, do you always hold your sticks the very same way? I don't, sometimes I hold the sticks at the fulcrum point, sometimes at the butt end, sometimes it's only wrists, sometimes mainly fingers, I simply try to replicate this on the pedal, so my foot would not always be positioned at the same point on the footboard depending what I want to do, for more powerful strokes, the fulcrum is lower down the footboard, thus increasing the rebound and as a result increasing the power, I just "dig" a little more into the pedal. Also, I use the foot resting position to control the "natural" rebound of the pedal, by resting the foot on the footboard, the pedal stop moving completely, not causing any beater-flutter.

As far as dampening goes, I use a hand towel rolled and resting at the bottom of the batter head inside the drum, I don't use pre-muffled heads, batter head is low to medium tuned and the reso head is about medium to high for resonance.
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:50 PM
Bretton Bretton is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Armstrong BC
Posts: 511
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

How does one go about not burying the beater, but be able to have a rest position between strokes? I naturally bury the beater on slow strokes and rest between strokes with my foot on the footboard pressing the beater into the head.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-08-2013, 10:56 PM
comover comover is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bretton View Post
How does one go about not burying the beater, but be able to have a rest position between strokes? I naturally bury the beater on slow strokes and rest between strokes with my foot on the footboard pressing the beater into the head.
I play with very light tension on the pedal and used to bury the beater. One thing that I did to achieve not burying it, is to sit farther from the bass drum so that my ankle is close or slightly ahead of of my knee, when looking from the side. Now when I rest between strokes, my heel is on or near the heel plate or ground and the beater is a couple of inches away from the head.

I play heel up and when I first tried to play heel down I realized the bass drum was so close that it was uncomfortable for me. It was causing my ankle to dorsiflex (google it!) too much when my heel was down. Hope this helps

Last edited by comover; 02-08-2013 at 11:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-09-2013, 04:21 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,493
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bretton View Post
How does one go about not burying the beater, but be able to have a rest position between strokes? I naturally bury the beater on slow strokes and rest between strokes with my foot on the footboard pressing the beater into the head.
The resting position on the pedal has no pressure whatsoever, only the natural weight of the foot/leg, if you apply any pressure, chances are the beater will touch the batter head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by comover View Post
One thing that I did to achieve not burying it, is to sit farther from the bass drum so that my ankle is close or slightly ahead of of my knee, when looking from the side. Now when I rest between strokes, my heel is on or near the heel plate or ground and the beater is a couple of inches away from the head.
Exactly Comover, in a nutshell, it's what I do too, with my foot in resting position, the beater will be about a couple of inches away from the batter head.

When I return my foot into the resting position after a stroke, it will stop all the pedal movement and the beater will not be able to touch the batter head, even that there's a short little move of the beater for a second or so.

It is all a matter of setting the body, the pedal and the movement involved within the techqnique I use, it's pretty simple, but I took the time to analyse what I wanted to achieve and adjusted everything accordingly, it didn't happen overnight, but patience and dedication got me there eventually :)
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:03 PM
Bushmanic's Avatar
Bushmanic Bushmanic is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Serbia
Posts: 54
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
It is all a matter of setting the body, the pedal and the movement involved within the techqnique I use, it's pretty simple, but I took the time to analyse what I wanted to achieve and adjusted everything accordingly, it didn't happen overnight, but patience and dedication got me there eventually :)
Essence man,essence! Great thread too!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-12-2013, 08:21 PM
Bretton Bretton is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Armstrong BC
Posts: 511
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by comover View Post
...
I play heel up and when I first tried to play heel down I realized the bass drum was so close that it was uncomfortable for me. It was causing my ankle to dorsiflex (google it!) too much when my heel was down. Hope this helps
haha, I'm actually quite familiar with dorsiflexion, my gym buddy is a human kinetics student, and we worked out a dorsiflexion exercise where I hold a dumbell on my toes and dorsiflex, which helped get rid of my shin splints. The shin splints were caused by the calf muscle being disproportionately stronger than the "shin" muscles, and pulling the shin muscle away from the bone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
The resting position on the pedal has no pressure whatsoever, only the natural weight of the foot/leg, if you apply any pressure, chances are the beater will touch the batter head.
In my resting position, the majority of the weight of my leg is forward of the pedal's hinge (axis longboard), mostly on the ball of my foot being heel up, and my leg is heavier than the tension of the spring. Feels strange to shift the weight back to my heel, and I have to consciously dorsiflex to do so. To sit back from the kicks any farther would require conscious plantarflexion (the opposite of dorsiflexion) to play heel up.

Since I'm not unsatisfied with my sound, I'll continue to do it the same way I always have. Thanks for the help though.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-13-2013, 01:12 AM
EarthRocker's Avatar
EarthRocker EarthRocker is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 281
Default Re: Bass drum pedal(s) setting : The “effortless” method.

I used a big arsenal of foot techniques depending on what I'm trying to achieve. I'm typically a strict heel up guy, but second in line comes the slide technique. I also utilize the constant release method for double strokes when I'm playing slower songs, and then heel down when the energy permits it so I can conserve my energy and strength.

I've found that the best way to rotate through all these tecniques, for myself at least, is to keep the tension of my pedal nearly as loose as I can get it. I tighten the pedal just barely past the point where the spring slacks. I adjust my beater to the point that it occasionally taps the top of my foot when playing, which isn't that dramatic considering the side of my foot, and the angle my foot is typically positioned in.

I play with a strap drive pedal, round cam, and a fairly heavy beater, so the action is very balanced. I even like a tighter bass drum tuning so there's more rebound. This lets me simply drop my foot, and I get a loud powerful bass drum stroke. I never have to put extra focus on playing loud notes because the settings on my pedal do most of the work.

I've had ZERO problems playing this way - in fact, the only flaw I have is in the fact that playing with such loose tension makes it VERY difficult for me to play tightly tensioned pedals. When I play on someone's kit, and they have their springs nearly maxed out, it's a struggle for me to make the beater hit the head.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com