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Old 06-13-2018, 08:18 PM
BigBopper BigBopper is offline
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Default Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

So, I've been playing drums for 35 years, and for the entire time, my main setup has been either a four or five piece kit with one bass drum, but I recently decided that I'd like to learn to play double bass. After playing one bass drum for so long, it feels very awkward, especially since my right foot is so much stronger, and my left foot is underdeveloped. I realize that it will take some time, dedication, and good old fashioned practice, but I was just wondering if there are any good exercises or video tutorials that might help. I can play a basic beat using my left foot, and I've been doing that a little bit, but if anyone has any pointers on how to develop the strength in my left foot, that would be great.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

1. Start playing single pedal patterns with your left foot

2. Research some practice exercises and routines. I am a personal fan of Thomas Lang's Creative Coordination and Foot Technique exercises for double bass.

3. Research and experiment with foot techniques: Slide, swivel, etc. Find what works for you.

4. Watch YouTube videos of prominent double bass players for inspiration.

5. If you want to get really crazy, play Stick Control with your feet.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Old 06-14-2018, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

Okay, first off don't overwhelm yourself and go crazy with overly complicated books and videos. I have been using both feet for like 26-27 years. You have to start slow. RLRLRLRL under straight 4/4 time is your basic pattern. AND the most common and often used pattern. Take it slow, push your endurance. You will find yourself flaming your feet a lot at first, but this is normal. The same rules for your hands apply to your feet. Slow and steady. Once you get the general feel for it, up the speed a bit. If you only concentrate on your left foot and ignore the right, you still aren't figuring it's placement with the right.

If you do decide to go more advanced, do the rudiments with your feet using hi-hats and kick while playing straight time. This will allow you to hear the differences between your feet, and makes for some cool sounding beats too.

Remember, it isn't as easy as it seems at first, but with enough practice it will feel as natural as anything else.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:11 AM
Sebenza Sebenza is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

A drummer friend of mine who practiced in the room next to my own, developed some decent chops with it really fast with just the stick control book. First he simply played the first three pages with the two feet isolated and then he did the same with some easy hihat-snare backbeat ostinatos. I remember him coming down to ask the other musicians in the building, if they heard anything other than a continuous stream of sixteenths and if we answered "yea man, you were playing the same dull beat for three hours, weirdo", he knew he had his left foot where he wanted it.

If you practiced out of SC yourself already for your hands, that might be a good and familiar place to start for your feet.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:57 AM
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Jeff Almeyda Jeff Almeyda is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Okay, first off don't overwhelm yourself and go crazy with overly complicated books and videos. I have been using both feet for like 26-27 years. You have to start slow. RLRLRLRL under straight 4/4 time is your basic pattern. AND the most common and often used pattern. Take it slow, push your endurance. You will find yourself flaming your feet a lot at first, but this is normal. The same rules for your hands apply to your feet. Slow and steady. Once you get the general feel for it, up the speed a bit. If you only concentrate on your left foot and ignore the right, you still aren't figuring it's placement with the right.

If you do decide to go more advanced, do the rudiments with your feet using hi-hats and kick while playing straight time. This will allow you to hear the differences between your feet, and makes for some cool sounding beats too.

Remember, it isn't as easy as it seems at first, but with enough practice it will feel as natural as anything else.
Yes yes yes.

Practicing beats with your left foot won’t make your roll any faster. Asking a beginner drummer to start out with Virgil’s book is unrealistic and I’ve never met a drummer with badass kicks who practiced stick control.

Learning how to balance while both feet are off the ground and developing the overall strength and endurance are by far the first challenges that need addressing

Then learning how to switch from leg to ankle motion for soeed
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Last edited by Jeff Almeyda; 06-14-2018 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Yes yes yes.
Asking a beginner drummer to start out with Virgil’s book is unrealistic
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBopper View Post
So, I've been playing drums for 35 years,
. . .

.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Yes yes yes.

Practicing beats with your left foot won’t make your roll any faster. Asking a beginner drummer to start out with Virgil’s book is unrealistic and I’ve never met a drummer with badass kicks who practiced stick control.
You're right, but playing with you left foot will greatly improve your strokes and help you to be able to play with the same confidence and strength either feet is often what beginners lack. They seek speed instead of stability and evenness.

Last edited by Tamaefx; 06-14-2018 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:44 AM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Okay, first off don't overwhelm yourself and go crazy with overly complicated books and videos...
Stick Control is a great book to use.

To start, I’d suggest playing heel down, and don’t bury the beater(s). This will strengthen your ankles and give you a great foundation for playing heel up. Play the first three pages of Stick Control really slowly for coordination and control.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

I'm not saying don't use a book, just don't start there. Get the coordination down first. Sure you gotta crawl before you walk, but you have to learn to stand up first.

This subject is something I've spent years on. Now I'm no expert, but hear it for yourself:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=108062
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:41 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
I'm not saying don't use a book, just don't start there. Get the coordination down first. Sure you gotta crawl before you walk, but you have to learn to stand up first.

This subject is something I've spent years on. Now I'm no expert, but hear it for yourself:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=108062
I agree - it’s easy to get bogged down in some technical books - I think you’ll find the basics are what you’re going to use the most...
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Okay, first off don't overwhelm yourself and go crazy with overly complicated books and videos.

Not sure how playing the full subdivision under and 8th note ride pattern is overly complicated...
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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the full subdivision under and 8th note ride pattern..
That right there already makes it more complicated. Not everyone understands what that means. Not everyone reads music. But everyone understands RLRLRLRL.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:56 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

I say learn 1/8 notes, and 16th notes under everything you already know how to play. start slow. speed up.. keep it very clean.

I'd also work on triplets under everything as well. 1/8 and 16th.

I do a lot of that while working on my hands.

Do you keep time on your hats with the left foot? If you do you are already at an independence advantage. If not this is going to take longer.

I don't practice rudiments on my feet often. It is great for control and independence, but I don't find any sonic advantage when my band is playing to do it. If you had different sized kick drums it would maybe make a difference.

Once I get the 1/8 and 16th notes I will do things like. R RLR RLR RLR RLR or RLR RLR RLR RLR and then break those up also.


I have definitely tried playing some songs using just my left foot. That is a good way to build up some independence and endurance if you are looking for extra places to start. It doesn't translate to super fast metal double kick, but man it feels awkward and is humbling. I will try and keep time on the left hand too. after a while when it starts to feel natural I do notice my control is better.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:51 PM
BigBopper BigBopper is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

Okay, thanks for all the suggestions.

I guess I should clarify - I can read music, but I was mainly self-taught, so both would be an option. I definitely enjoy playing more when it's just for fun, though.

Practicing rudiments out of a book doesn't seem as appealing, although I think I might get to the point where I want to do that, too. But since I'm just starting out learning something new, I'd like it to be as enjoyable as possible. Otherwise, I might just get frustrated and want to give up before making any progress. I think just practicing some straight eighth and sixteenth note patterns, like some of you suggested, might be a good place to start. I'll check out the stick control book, too. That might be something I can eventually add to my practice routine.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

Start off slow. Then push yourself. Then go slow and clean. Then push yourself.

That's something Derek Roddy recommends. Play cleanly, but also push yourself beyond what you're comfortable playing.

Eventually, the two will come together.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:11 PM
Prawny Prawny is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

I've been trying to learn 'modern' really fast double bass stuff recently after being comfortable with simpler stuff over the years.

Playing with my left food only really helped my control with my left foot and I'd recommend it, purely based on my experience.

I'm still pretty crap, because I'm practicing on an electric kit, and I don't get chance to try it on a real one. But it's a start.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:19 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

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Originally Posted by BigBopper View Post
...Practicing rudiments out of a book doesn't seem as appealing, although I think I might get to the point where I want to do that, too...
Start out with different types of singles - but most important is how you practice. If you build strength from paying heel-down you’ll have an easy time moving on to different techniques with your feet.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

It depends what you want to do with it.

Though I work my double pedal quite a bit, the modern metal constant fast singles through entire sections or whole songs stuff is not my thing.

In regards to Virgil's book, it's not some wild crazy thing starting out with his impossible licks. It's a very well thought out general method, and yes, the entire first section is pretty much working on the left foot.

Working on certain patterns and increase time/speed is obvious. Even just leading with the left for more control. One idea would be to take ones you already like or use and double up on them.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:24 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

For some reference, as a deathmetal guy, I have been working on 16th notes for 15 years. hahaha

once you hit a top speed you spend a long time scratching for each BPM. The noob gains are all gone. At this point it comes down to settings, muscle memory, even things like stretching and what you ate that day for energy.


1/8 and 16th if you are starting. You could stay on that for a few years while working out hand stuff around the kit.

Get foot practice pad for a double pedal too. I'll work on my hand rudiments and just keep my feet going keeping time. keep the left foot keeping time. etc. if you are motivated it will happen. My left foot used to be a boat anchor compared to my right. My hand too.
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