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  #1  
Old 01-10-2014, 07:57 PM
Mike_In_KC
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Default Will a new pedal help?

All -

I am a new drummer and have been taking lessons and practicing regularly for about 3 months now. I am really starting to 'get it' and have noticed dramatic improvements in most all areas of my playing - EXCEPT my right foot. I am trying to learn the heal-toe method but am really struggling with it. My right foot just sucks! The pedal I am using now is the one that came with my kit - I think it is a Gibraltar 5611. My question is - and it may be a dumb one - will a better pedal make it easier for me to learn the heal-toe method? Comparing drumming to golf - I know that if I were trying to hit a golf ball with an old set of blades compared to a new Big Bertha that my results would be better with the Big Bertha.... Should I get a big bertha bass pedal? :-)

Thanks in advance -

Mike
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:03 PM
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Arky Arky is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Hi Mike, welcome to the forum!

I've been drumming for some 3 yrs. Started out with double pedal right away - a cheapo dw2002 that served me well. Recently upgraded to Axis Longboards. Do those feel 'better'? In a way - yes. Did I notice _any_ improvement in speed? No! (And it doesn't even surprise me.)

It's definitely the practice you're putting in, not the pedal. My advice is: Forget the 'what pedal' question for a while, continue to practice and progress with the gear you have. Upgrade to something 'better' at a later time and enjoy the process of getting better ;-)

Just make sure your pedal is better than crap. If it is - that's enough to make everything work. Experiment with spring tension, beater angle/distance, throne height and things like that but don't waste time wondering about what difference a new pedal would make.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2014, 08:15 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Conversly, what if I were to take up trap shooting,and I had a cheap Mossberg shotgun,and after shooing for 3 months still only breaking 12 out of 25 birds.

Will me buying 5000 dollar Kolar shotgun,help me break more birds,or will just steady good practiceing rituals,and learning the basics....The answer is NO for the shot gun,and yes for the basics.

You have to crawl before you can stand.Three months of time,with an instrument is nothing.You've barely learned anything .If you're metal drummer,and want to attempt to hit those speeds after only a few months,the most expensive pedal in the world won't get you there.

Start every excercise,..slowly,and get it down to where you're playing it,with some ease,and playing it correctly.Record your practice sessions ,and use a metronome.

.Then..play it GRADUALLY faster.Move slowly,and increase speed only when you have it down.

Repeat this over and over......speed isn't everything.

Drums are deceptively easy,when first to starting to play.But then,it gets more difficult to play well,and even more difficult to master.The key is practicing well,and developing good habits and technique,and it you can afford it,lessons from a competent teacher.Good luck

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Last edited by tamadrm; 01-11-2014 at 12:06 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2014, 08:30 PM
Mike_In_KC
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Thanks for the replies guys - much appreciated. Also thanks for saving a few hundred bucks! I will practice practice practice....

Mike
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2014, 08:47 PM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_In_KC View Post
Comparing drumming to golf - I know that if I were trying to hit a golf ball with an old set of blades compared to a new Big Bertha that my results would be better with the Big Bertha.... Should I get a big bertha bass pedal? :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
Conversly, what if I were to take up trap shooting,and I had a cheap Mossberg shotgun,and after shooing for 3 months still only breaking 12 out of 25 birds.

Will me buying 5000 dollar Kohler shotgun,help me break more birds,or will just steady good practiceing rituals,and learning the basics....The answer is NO for the shot gun,and yes for the basics.
Interesting comparisons, golf clubs and guns. Two things I enjoy very much.

If you are used to using old clubs, with a steel shaft, then switch to a Big Bertha with a flexible fiberglass shaft, surprisingly you will find that hitting the ball consistently becomes more difficult because the shaft has more flex and puts the club head in a different spot in relation to your hands because of the flex in the shaft. Sure the head is bigger, but what good is that if you can't be consistent with it?

Steve, I had never even heard of Kolar arms. They are beautiful to say the least. But you are absolutely correct, it isn't the tool but the user. Unless maybe you used a blunderbuss!

Buying a high dollar pedal wont make you better. If anything, it can set you back with all of the adjustment options available. It is easy to become so hung up with trying to set the pedal just right, you spend more time playing with the settings than playing it. Constantly adjusting the pedal wont allow time to even get used to it, and can be counter productive. As the others stated, just keep practicing, it will come with time.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:52 PM
Mike_In_KC
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Interesting comparisons, golf clubs and guns. Two things I enjoy very much.

If you are used to using old clubs, with a steel shaft, then switch to a Big Bertha with a flexible fiberglass shaft, surprisingly you will find that hitting the ball consistently becomes more difficult because the shaft has more flex and puts the club head in a different spot in relation to your hands because of the flex in the shaft. Sure the head is bigger, but what good is that if you can't be consistent with it?
I agree re. the shaft flex -

I was thinking of old 70's persimmons woods - that while beautiful had the hitting zone the size of a postage stamp. Compared to new drivers with the sweet spot the size of a whole bunch of postage stamps... anyhoo - advise appreciated!
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2014, 08:55 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Interesting comparisons, golf clubs and guns. Two things I enjoy very much.

If you are used to using old clubs, with a steel shaft, then switch to a Big Bertha with a flexible fiberglass shaft, surprisingly you will find that hitting the ball consistently becomes more difficult because the shaft has more flex and puts the club head in a different spot in relation to your hands because of the flex in the shaft. Sure the head is bigger, but what good is that if you can't be consistent with it?

Steve, I had never even heard of Kolar arms. They are beautiful to say the least. But you are absolutely correct, it isn't the tool but the user. Unless maybe you used a blunderbuss!

Buying a high dollar pedal wont make you better. If anything, it can set you back with all of the adjustment options available. It is easy to become so hung up with trying to set the pedal just right, you spend more time playing with the settings than playing it. Constantly adjusting the pedal wont allow time to even get used to it, and can be counter productive. As the others stated, just keep practicing, it will come with time.
I teach trap/skeet and I tell my students,that trap and skeet shooting,is just golf with shotguns.:)

Steve B
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Nothing really to add here since the OP realizes he just needs to play more, but yeah, that's what I tell all students of any instrument: you have to put in the time. When I was a kid I think you only had four or five choices of pedals anyway, and they all played about the same except for the Ludwig Speed King. I remember in the 70s mom and dad got me a Singerland kit with a Tempo King pedal and I hated it for the three years I played it. I so wanted a better pedal, and when I got my foot on a then state-of-the-art Tama King Beat pedal, my playing did not get any better. In fact, I noticed how much more sluggish that pedal was since I had learned how to fly on the Tempo King!

Since then I think I've played all the pedals out there and what do I play daily these days? A vintage Tama Flexi-flyer with a cam and strap drive. The pedal doesn't even have a plate on the bottom, and I use the old skool felt beater. Talk about coming full circle and realizing that it ain't the gear, eh?
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:52 PM
Dave A Dave A is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Hello Mike,
As the others have said, you've only just started on your journey. Practice as much as possible. Also, if heel/toe doesn't work for you, maybe try another method.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2014, 10:07 PM
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BillRayDrums BillRayDrums is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

It's not the pedal, it's the player. Keep working it, you'll get it. I started out on a Ludwig Speed King and learned to get 2,3,4 strokes out of it rapid-fire. It'll take a bit of tweaking around.

I remember when I developed the ability to do fast doubles. It was like I had to get the *right spot* on my foot to connect to the *right spot* of my pedal. Eventually that "spot" grew from a pinhead to that of the entire pedalboard.

There are no shortcuts other than to realize that there are no shortcuts. You'll save yourself so much time by knuckling down and practicing and absorbing GOOD advice.
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2014, 10:31 PM
Mike_In_KC
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Thanks for all of the advise - which has been overwhelmingly in favor of me saving my money and practicing more - which I already agreed to but wanted to thank everyone again for all of the responses. I am thankful for the consistency of opinion here - in this case at least....
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2014, 05:58 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

If the pedal doesnt stick, flex in odd ways and gives you reasonable adjustments of the spring tension and impact point of the mallet you should be set.

I must admit that i love the feel of my Axis X Longboards...but I can play my old Mateo strap driven pedal even though it has some rust and significant bushing wear. In fact I have to concentrate a bit more on my footwork with the cheesier pedal so I get a bit more from practice....but it all depends on whether the pedal meets the minimum requirements of stability and functional rebound.

When i want to feather ghost triplets blended into a double bass ratamacue without having to concentrate...I would prefer my better pedals...but i have been playing over 40 years...your money is probably better spent on lessons at the 3 month mark...or put in a savings account for the purchases you will want to make as your skills improve.

Keep at it ...and keep us informed!...its a great journey with no end.

Last edited by Otto; 01-23-2014 at 10:47 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2014, 01:01 PM
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TColumbia37 TColumbia37 is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

I'll say that a nicer pedal would make things a bit easier, but only marginally. What is most important is putting in the practice. I used to play on a Blackhawk pedal. They're a cheap brand owned by Gretsch. I paid $30 for the pedal brand new. I was still able to play my heel toe on that pedal without any real issues. Sure, it was a bit more difficult than on the DW5002 and more recently, DW9000 pedals that I have upgraded to since then, but the important part was that I knew the technique and I knew it well.

I think I have actually gotten worse with my heel toe since I upgraded. Ironic, eh?
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2014, 06:28 AM
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coolhand1969 coolhand1969 is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

I have played 3 different pedals since 86'. The first was a Pearl that came with my White Maxwin Kit, now this was a long time ago, but I really do not remember anything wrong with it, until I lent it to Steve Gorman for the summer and he brought it back in pieces. The second pedal was some Pearl thing which came with my Export kit, it made it about 3 days before I knew it was time to trash it. Since then, I have played the same Gibralter pedal, I love it. It is so old I cannot even find a seriel number on it, but it still works.

I am sure there are a great many better pedals out there today: DW, Tama, etc. but the only one I would consider buying is for nostalgics sake and that is the SpeedKing with a wooden beater.

It really is almost all in the practice, as long as the pedal you have is decent quality and you can adjust it as you like.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2014, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

I hate to be the odd man out, but some pedals are faster than others. Will that help you at the three month juncture? I don't know. However the golf analogy applies. If your game is not very good, a thousand dollar set of blades will not improve your game. Only practice will.
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Last edited by MileHighDrummer; 01-13-2014 at 03:37 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2014, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

I take it your instructor is the one trying to teach you this particular foot technique? If so, then bring your current pedal to your next lesson. If the instructor can do the technique just fine on your pedal, then the pedal is OK. If the instructor has trouble using your pedal, then perhaps the two of you can figure out exactly what the problem is. For example, maybe the spring tension or the beater angle needs to be adjusted. When people come to me for bass drum help, I always tell them to bring their own pedal. Usually, I find that the pedal is fine, but occasionally there is a pedal issue that needs to be corrected.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRitter View Post
I take it your instructor is the one trying to teach you this particular foot technique? If so, then bring your current pedal to your next lesson. If the instructor can do the technique just fine on your pedal, then the pedal is OK. If the instructor has trouble using your pedal, then perhaps the two of you can figure out exactly what the problem is. For example, maybe the spring tension or the beater angle needs to be adjusted. When people come to me for bass drum help, I always tell them to bring their own pedal. Usually, I find that the pedal is fine, but occasionally there is a pedal issue that needs to be corrected.
This is correct ! Have your teacher check out your pedal.

Also, try the teacher's pedal and see if you play better.

I agree with others here, a new pedal probably won't help you play better.

.
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2014, 07:41 PM
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Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRitter View Post
I take it your instructor is the one trying to teach you this particular foot technique? If so, then bring your current pedal to your next lesson. If the instructor can do the technique just fine on your pedal, then the pedal is OK. If the instructor has trouble using your pedal, then perhaps the two of you can figure out exactly what the problem is. For example, maybe the spring tension or the beater angle needs to be adjusted. When people come to me for bass drum help, I always tell them to bring their own pedal. Usually, I find that the pedal is fine, but occasionally there is a pedal issue that needs to be corrected.
Setting up the pedal for you is important, but a proper setting up is not just about spring tension, it's more than that, I did a thread a few months ago about pedal settings, have a look at it, it might help you a little, but I agree with the others, a new pedal won't do a magical trick, you'll have to practice and practice and practice, there's no short cuts... you can of course try different techniques, maybe heel-toe is not for you.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=93800
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

One of the things that helped me immensely was throwing my beater back to where it's completely perpendicular to the striking surface. That way when I rest my foot onto the pedalboard there's a bit of tension "pre-loaded" and my foot rests on a very active and responsive lever assembly.

I used to crank the spring tension but after popping springs every other minute, I loosened up on that and I can't be happier. :D
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2014, 10:30 PM
Mike_In_KC
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillRayDrums View Post
One of the things that helped me immensely was throwing my beater back to where it's completely perpendicular to the striking surface. D
Kinda confused.... see if I got this right. If my pedal is adjusted as you say, when I sit down at the kit, without touching the pedal, the beater will be perpendicular to the drum?

Thanks!!

MM
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  #21  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:10 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

There are a number of techniques for fast double strokes with the foot. You should explore all of them. Heel-toe, slide and what worked best for me a sort of modified heel-toe where only the ball of the foot is in contact. Working both ways, coming down with the whole foot and then the second stroke with the ankle or coming down with the ball of the foot and then the rest of the foot similar to a slide but without the twist.

I find that lighter and looser pedals are easier to be fast on. I'm faster on an old single chain or strap DW5000 or Camco than I am on a DW9000. Or rather it takes less effort. Some older rock drummers have their pedals set extremely tight which was more common when bearings weren't that good. If find these take more effort to play fast and are more fatiguing. But the folks that are used to it find it easier to play fast with the resistance.

In any event, your foot has to move at the speed you want to play. Most decent modern pedals, and quite a few old ones can keep up. If Bonham can do it on a Speed King, then anything from a vintage Camco on up won't hold you back.
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  #22  
Old 01-23-2014, 11:58 AM
iwearnohats iwearnohats is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

One of the best pedals I ever played was that same old Tama Flexi-... whatever it was :). I basically learned on that pedal 50% of the time (wasn't my kit).

More expensive pedals have their advantages and disadvantages, but it is only a purchase worth pursuing when you feel you have actually outgrown the capabilities of the cheap pedal. Case in point: I can't stand the Iron Cobra, I spent time basically every 3 months swapping cams or readjusting my old Eliminators, but I never ever change anything on my Demon Drives except the spring tension occasionally.

But the truth is, 3 months is not long enough for anybody (in my opinion) to have truly outgrown a kick pedal. Give it 3 years and you will have a much, much better feel for the pedal and what you like and dislike about it.

And keep working on heel-toe, it is difficult to learn but when you master it, well, 1400 hits in a minute by our friend Tim Waterson speaks for itself :). I am still working on it myself, not particularly diligently, but I am slowly getting there. Case in point: I can do double strokes heel-up at about 200bpm, but have only just started being able to do continuous doubles after about a month of working on heel-toe, and not even that fast at all, probably around 80bpm or less. That's not the fault of the pedal, it's because I still suck :)
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2014, 05:44 PM
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Seth1987 Seth1987 is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

See I thought a new pedal was my problem as well. I had a Jr. Iron cobra double bass pedal. I mean either way the thing was a rinky dink POS, and my fiance just got a job at a music shop. So she hooked me up with a pair of SpeedCobras for cheap!

They are super nice and way smoother, but my speed hasn't increased THAT much.. maybe a little bit, but I still have a ways to go.

Then I found this video the other night LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tM2OGL_VkM

Yeah... the pedal doesn't matter. Although to be fair on myself, he is not using stock springs on those.
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2014, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

I feel it's worth pointing out that there is such a thing as an inferior pedal. One of my students has a CB drum kit with a bass pedal where you can't adjust the beater angle, and if you tighten the springs to the level I would personally find comfortable, the adjustment screws protrude below the level of the baseplate. Extremely poor design. Not all entry-level pedals are made equal.
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  #25  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Like others have stated 3 months is not long enough for the development of muscles and tendons that you would notice the differences in a better pedal. Until you play enough to actually develop natural technique and feel - will you "dance" on the pedal, or stay put on a "sweet spot" you'll develop, or feel more comfortable playing heel up or down - calf and shin and foot muscles and their development will all play a part in deciding that. Then you move on to other kinds of techniques you may find more efficient for you.

On the other hand, not knowing your aptitude, you may find having a pedal with better quality allows you to play with more satisfaction.

The only thing I shoot is a pellet gun to keep squirrels of my bird feeders. But it IS a pain in the neck to have a pellet go six inches away from where I'm aiming with the lesser of two guns I have.

Many of us started on a Speed King which was top of the line back then, and still a preferred pedal for lots of players today. I would not tell you not to purchase a better pedal if doing so inspires you and puts more passion into your practicing.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:28 AM
iwearnohats iwearnohats is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth1987 View Post
See I thought a new pedal was my problem as well. I had a Jr. Iron cobra double bass pedal. I mean either way the thing was a rinky dink POS, and my fiance just got a job at a music shop. So she hooked me up with a pair of SpeedCobras for cheap!
I regret ever owning an Iron Cobra Jr. I think it is an awful pedal and it was a complete waste of money. I seriously can not recommend any pedal less. My parents even offered to get me the Eliminator (this was for an 18th or something) and I said no because of the price difference.

I'll put it this way: I'd choose a double pedal based on the Pearl P-100 (which is by far the best modern cheap pedal I've used, but not for a few years now I guess) before I'd ever recommend using an IC Junior again.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:07 AM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Will a new pedal help?

I may as well chime in too.

I play 3 different single pedals:

My Axis pedal from the 90's is still my main pedal. It plays well, it's adjustable (though I never adjust it much at all), and it is rock solid. I can trust it to hold up to anything I put it through. Hopefully, if you pay all that money for a pedal, what you're also paying for is something that will last for years...decades.

I also play an Asba Caroline strap drive pedal from the 70's. Works great! It was top of the line back then. I got it for 15 bucks at a local swap meet. It makes a little noise but it plays really fast and loose. I had a GP pedal on that kit, but I swapped it out with this one. GP drums are cool, but the hardware is not so much.

I also play a cheap Mapex pedal and it is actually a decent one. It is a little tighter than the other pedals, but it has a nice, smooth action to it. No problems with that one either. If I can play and not have to think about my pedal, then I'm happy.

I learned how to play using a Ludwig SpeedKing and then a classic Pearl chain drive. Both were really good pedals.
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