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  #1  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:17 AM
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Default a different question about spring tension.....

Ive recently been experimenting with many different aspects of my kit/layout and one of the things im messing with is my spring tension. I normally have it pretty loose, and i even went looser a few days ago, but i wanted to know HOW loose do you guys keep your tension and at what point, if there is one, is it too loose?

right now after loosening it even more than it normally was it feels easier to do singles but it feels a little harder to do my doubles (single pedal). Is this a issue of just spending time adjusting to the less responsive spring or...what? also the spring is loose enough so that when your foot is not on the pedal you can kinda push the beater back (away from the head) and it falls back a little farther, so there is like this point where the beater can kinda rest at two different points.. hope that makes sense.... is that too loose ?

i only ask this cause i hate wasting time on experimenting if im heading down a dead end road so to speak.

thanks in advance
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

You will adjust to the looser tension it just takes some time maybe a session or two.
I think a looser spring forces your foot to work harder which makes your foot stronger in the long run.

I think most have at least some spring. Some more than others. It reall depends on what your comfortable with. If you find that you can control the pedal well with your present spring tension then leave it at that.

Myself I like a bit, I find if its too tight the beater comes back too fast and you kind of have to cushion the pedal so your ready for the next hit. But that's me, Im sure if I tightened it I could adapt to the new action, but I don't want to, I like it just the way it is.
I guess spring tension is like anything else on your kit ie: the positioning of your hihats some guys like them close together like 1/2" apart some like them 2" or more apart.
It's up to you.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

I would have thought that a looser tension would make your foot do less surely? Because it's easier to push the pedal back, I find I have to do much more work with a higher tension.

Anywho I keep my spring at about 1/4 tightness, and I keep my bass drum quite tight so I get a lot of rebound from it. Since I changed to this setup a few months ago my footwork has improved quite a bit, took me a week or two to get used to it though.

I can still do doubles just fine, I think the key part is that the beater comes back quickly, and if the spring isn't pulling the beater back quickly enough for doubles then you might want to try tightening the bass drum head.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

A couple of years ago I spent lot of time on this issue.
One thing thats important is how you play the notes on your bass drum.

Are you buring the beater?

I focus on the reaction of the drum head, just let the rebound of the beater
do part of the job, and let the correct tension just to play confortable doubles
relying on the rebound of the drum head.

I think you have to experiment more, and is worth it, because when you get
the correct spring you can focuse more on the control of the stroke.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2008, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

i guess my question is not on technique but on the issue of how loose is too loose, if such a condition exsists. like i said i can see a benefit in my singles but when it comes to my doubles it seems to be a little harder and thay may be down to just learning to back off the pedal more b/c of the reduced tension. im just trying to get that "perfect" tension but i hate wasting time, so i was looking for feedback from people who have delt with loose spring tension and been through this same ordeal.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatsMcGee View Post
i guess my question is not on technique but on the issue of how loose is too loose, if such a condition exsists. like i said i can see a benefit in my singles but when it comes to my doubles it seems to be a little harder and thay may be down to just learning to back off the pedal more b/c of the reduced tension. im just trying to get that "perfect" tension but i hate wasting time, so i was looking for feedback from people who have delt with loose spring tension and been through this same ordeal.
Good observation, Beats. You are correct- loosening the spring too much will make it easier to do singles, but harder to do doubles. If you loosen it even further, it will become hard to do singles OR doubles!

Heres what's happening:

Foot technique is like hand technique. Ever notice that most people can do a double stroke roll much faster than a single stroke roll? That is certainly true for me. Well, the spring tension needs to pull the beater back fast enough to keep up with your foot. I suspect your double strokes are faster than your singles. Right now, you have the spring tight enough that it's keeping up with your singles. In fact, it has made singles easier because you don't have to push down with as much pressure. The problem is that the spring can't keep up with your doubles now. Loosen the spring even more, and it won't even keep up with your singles!

You need to put the spring just tight enough to keep up with your doubles, but still loose enough that it's not too hard to push for singles. The exact tension is different for everyone, depending on the speed of their doubles, and their comfort preferences.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRitter View Post
Good observation, Beats. You are correct- loosening the spring too much will make it easier to do singles, but harder to do doubles. If you loosen it even further, it will become hard to do singles OR doubles!

Heres what's happening:

Foot technique is like hand technique. Ever notice that most people can do a double stroke roll much faster than a single stroke roll? That is certainly true for me. Well, the spring tension needs to pull the beater back fast enough to keep up with your foot. I suspect your double strokes are faster than your singles. Right now, you have the spring tight enough that it's keeping up with your singles. In fact, it has made singles easier because you don't have to push down with as much pressure. The problem is that the spring can't keep up with your doubles now. Loosen the spring even more, and it won't even keep up with your singles!

You need to put the spring just tight enough to keep up with your doubles, but still loose enough that it's not too hard to push for singles. The exact tension is different for everyone, depending on the speed of their doubles, and their comfort preferences.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!
Hi Matt, I don't want to start an arguement here because I respect your opinion and knowledge on the subject BUT, you shouldn't need a specific spring tension or any tension to get you're doubles to be fast or controlled . After you're whole thing about "Unburying the Beater" you should know that a bounce is going to be faster to react then any spring could catch up with. To me it seems like BeatsMagee is suffering from a slight bury the beater problem with his doubles. The reaction time to redirect the beater for the second note of a double stroke is only as good as the 1st bounce is received (accepted). A bounce is faster than a spring can be. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCLVH...e=channel_page) I'm not playing doubles here but you'll get the idea. I play an extremely loose spring and I have no problem doing doubles as fast as I need. I'm not saying that everybody needs to play like me. How boring. What I'm saying is spring tension should not dictate the quality of you're doubles. The WAY you play them should. If you're depending on the spring, then you're going to be waiting longer for the return of the beater than if you use bounce.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
Hi Matt, I don't want to start an arguement here because I respect your opinion and knowledge on the subject BUT, you shouldn't need a specific spring tension or any tension to get you're doubles to be fast or controlled . After you're whole thing about "Unburying the Beater" you should know that a bounce is going to be faster to react then any spring could catch up with. To me it seems like BeatsMagee is suffering from a slight bury the beater problem with his doubles. The reaction time to redirect the beater for the second note of a double stroke is only as good as the 1st bounce is received (accepted). A bounce is faster than a spring can be. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCLVH...e=channel_page) I'm not playing doubles here but you'll get the idea. I play an extremely loose spring and I have no problem doing doubles as fast as I need. I'm not saying that everybody needs to play like me. How boring. What I'm saying is spring tension should not dictate the quality of you're doubles. The WAY you play them should. If you're depending on the spring, then you're going to be waiting longer for the return of the beater than if you use bounce.
Hey, SEVNT7

Thanks for the input here. Interesting point. I like the idea you offered, but I'm not 100% convinced yet that it's entirely accurate. I am definitely thinking about it though! I sure wish I were a physicist! It seems to me that the speed of the beater's bounce back is contingent upon a handful of factors. First of all, it depends on the velocity of the beater as it strikes the head. Secondly, it depends on the tension of the drumhead and how much energy is lost in the impact itself. These things, I'm pretty certain of. As for the spring, though...hmmm...this is where I wish I were a physicist. It definitely seems to me that having spring tension on the beater will increase the speed at which it bounces away. If nothing else, my personal experience has seemed to indicate this. If the spring is too loose, the pedal feels sluggish to me. Again...I can't say for sure what the reason is. I'll look into it. Maybe there is some physics stuff online about springs. In any case, I like the way you're thinking here. Let's both try to get to the bottom of it. As I sometimes like to say, "I'm not interested in proving who is right, but rather in finding out what is true!"

Thanks again!

Last edited by MattRitter; 12-10-2008 at 09:57 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRitter View Post
Hey. SEVNT7

Thanks for the input here. Interesting point. I like the idea you offered, but I'm not 100% convinced yet that it's entirely accurate. I am definitely thinking about it though! I sure wish I were a physicist! It seems to me that the speed of the beater's bounce back is contingent upon a handful of factors. First of all, it depends on the velocity of the beater as it strikes the head. Secondly, it depends on the tension of the drum head and how much energy is lost in the impact itself. These things, I'm pretty certain of. As for the spring, though...hmmm...this is where I wish I were a physicist. It definitely seems to me that having spring tension on the beater will increase the speed at which it bounces away. If nothing else, my personal experience has seemed to indicate this. If the spring is too loose, the pedal feels sluggish to me. Again...I can't say for sure what the reason is. I'll look into it. Maybe there is some physics stuff online about springs. In any case, I like the way you're thinking here. Let's both try to get to the bottom of it. As I sometimes like to say, "I'm not interested in proving who is right, but rather in finding out what is true!"

Thanks again!
I agree w/ you're points about velocity and head tension. However, when a spring is coiled up in one direction( in this case it's being spread apart) it has to wait a split second to start moving the other way (recoil). A bounce is emediate (sp?) it doesn't wait. Think of tossing a ball into the air. There is a time in space during the direction change where the ball stops before it comes down. Gravity is the spring. Now throw ball up indoors so you hit a celling. What happens? the bounce makes the direction change faster. It is not waiting for gravity's effect (spring) to move the other direction.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
I agree w/ you're points about velocity and head tension. However, when a spring is coiled up in one direction( in this case it's being spread apart) it has to wait a split second to start moving the other way (recoil). A bounce is emediate (sp?) it doesn't wait. Think of tossing a ball into the air. There is a time in space during the direction change where the ball stops before it comes down. Gravity is the spring. Now throw ball up indoors so you hit a celling. What happens? the bounce makes the direction change faster. It is not waiting for gravity's effect (spring) to move the other direction.
Again, I'm not sure this is completely accurate. I think technically there may also be a split second of pause during a bounce. The ball speeds toward the wall, then stops for an instant as it hits the wall and changes direction. Not sure. I readily admit that I am out of my expertise area here. This is probably true for both of us, since we're not physicists (you're not, are you?). I'll do a little research on this stuff and see what I can find. It would be very interesting to find out what the reality is behind the action of a spring.

Very interesting stuff. Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

cool! now we are starting to get into the discussion i was hoping for!

see i want the spring as loose as can be but i dont want to lose or "suffer" in my double stroke/bounce speed. I love pumping out my doubles which, I feel i can do pretty damn fast, but i want the nothingness feel that you get from a super loose spring. I can definitly feel my singles improving like you said but the doubles feel harder and i just wonder if its something that is due to me needing to improve/get used to the looseness or what
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

I agree that the ball or beater also have to wait a split second to recoil or bounce back. But that reaction is going to still be faster than waiting on the spring to move the other way (back). So in a sense the spring recoil is a hair behind the bounce. I did take a fair amount of Physic's in school. but I don't know the equations. It's been 30 years. If you do some research, my guess is that I'm on the right path so to speak....Let me know.. .Thanks..T
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
I agree that the ball or beater also have to wait a split second to recoil or bounce back. But that reaction is going to still be faster than waiting on the spring to move the other way (back). So in a sense the spring recoil is a hair behind the bounce. I did take a fair amount of Physic's in school. but I don't know the equations. It's been 30 years. If you do some research, my guess is that I'm on the right path so to speak....Let me know.. .Thanks..T
Great. This is interesting. One of the mysteries for me to solve here is why the pedal feels sluggish for me when the spring is loose. I don't think I'm imagining that- it definitely seems to be a reality. So the question is WHY! Isn't there something about "stored energy"? Would the spring contain "stored energy" perhaps? I might not even be using that term correctly. I think I'll shut up now until I do some investigating! To be continued...
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Here are my thoughts on the physics of the beater striking the head, rebound, etc. It seems to me that a few things happen in the course of a bass beater's travels throughout a note (utilizing rebound).

1. The foot pushes the pedal causing the spring to stretch (applying negative force back, against the foot) and the beater moves forward.

2. The beater strikes the head, the head moves the air through the drum while simultaneously absorbing part of the energy put into it from being struck, and also returns some energy repelling the beater.

3. The beater returns back to the position it began in.

At step 2 there are a couple of things that happen. A bass head is typically larger in diameter than others on your kit, and is slower to move a larger amount of air when struck. It ripples more when struck and absorbs more energy than smaller, more tightly-tuned heads on the rest of your drums. This is after all, why we have springs on our pedals, right?

The question is, after the head is struck, is is the rebound or the spring that first initiates the return of the beater, backwards. I would say it's the spring. The tension is always there and the spring is constantly pulling backward on the beater. Since the head absorbs much of the energy when struck, it makes sense that the spring will be the first thing to pull the beater back.

But, this could prove wrong if the spring has less tension than the amount of energy that is returned from striking the head. There are other variables too, like technique and what type of beater is being used.

I would think you'd have to consider your technique, how you tune, and what type of beater you're using to determine how much spring tension you need.

I'm not a physicist either, I'm just thinking out loud.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

but does this ultimately mean that you can still master doubles with a very loose spring, just have to really get used to backing off the pedal quickly or quicker than with more spring tension?
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Here are my thoughts on the physics of the beater striking the head, rebound, etc. It seems to me that a few things happen in the course of a bass beater's travels throughout a note (utilizing rebound).

1. The foot pushes the pedal causing the spring to stretch (applying negative force back, against the foot) and the beater moves forward.

2. The beater strikes the head, the head moves the air through the drum while simultaneously absorbing part of the energy put into it from being struck, and also returns some energy repelling the beater.

3. The beater returns back to the position it began in.

At step 2 there are a couple of things that happen. A bass head is typically larger in diameter than others on your kit, and is slower to move a larger amount of air when struck. It ripples more when struck and absorbs more energy than smaller, more tightly-tuned heads on the rest of your drums. This is after all, why we have springs on our pedals, right?

The question is, after the head is struck, is is the rebound or the spring that first initiates the return of the beater, backwards. I would say it's the spring. The tension is always there and the spring is constantly pulling backward on the beater. Since the head absorbs much of the energy when struck, it makes sense that the spring will be the first thing to pull the beater back.

But, this could prove wrong if the spring has less tension than the amount of energy that is returned from striking the head. There are other variables too, like technique and what type of beater is being used.

I would think you'd have to consider your technique, how you tune, and what type of beater you're using to determine how much spring tension you need.

I'm not a physicist either, I'm just thinking out loud.
Yes, this sounds common sense.
Guy in SEVNT7's video is using rebound. Question- what would he do with very loose drum head? Is it possible to do it with low dynamics? And what about singles or just simple clean doubles?
He is doing only long passages and has problems to even start them. I'm not putting him down- acctually I think it's an achievement to use rebound as much as possible. But we must not forget that our hand can compensate small rebound by picking up the stick and for foot it's the spring that do the job. In doubles we use fingers to even the second strokes, because it's note enough with rebound. Bass drum head can be much more loose. Without spring if we play doubles, first hits would be always accented. I think, that for each drum head type, beater type and drum size combination there is a certain spring tension threshold after which it's not possible to even out the doubles anymore. Yes, after tiny rebound you could try to do higher velocity second stroke but there is limits on how much you could compensate with it.
I might be terribly wrong but then I'd like to see even doubles without spring on very loose bass drum in different dynamics.

Last edited by abe; 12-11-2008 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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Originally Posted by beatsMcGee View Post
but does this ultimately mean that you can still master doubles with a very loose spring, just have to really get used to backing off the pedal quickly or quicker than with more spring tension?
I watched a Buddy Rich dedication video feat. Steve Smith, Dennis Chambers, and Phil Collins. In between performances, each drummer would comment on Buddy. DC said he went to see him play and during Buddy's solo, his spring snapped. He said Buddy kept playing and started out w/ 8th notes on the kick and then brought it up to 16ths. DC talked to him after the show and asked how he pulled that off - Buddy told him just to practice without a spring on his pedal.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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I watched a Buddy Rich dedication video feat. Steve Smith, Dennis Chambers, and Phil Collins. In between performances, each drummer would comment on Buddy. DC said he went to see him play and during Buddy's solo, his spring snapped. He said Buddy kept playing and started out w/ 8th notes on the kick and then brought it up to 16ths. DC talked to him after the show and asked how he pulled that off - Buddy told him just to practice without a spring on his pedal.
Practicing without a spring would be freaky but it would definitely build up your control. You could only rely on rebound.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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Practicing without a spring would be freaky but it would definitely build up your control. You could only rely on rebound.
Dennis Chambers was floored by that...his comment was something like, "Now here's a guy that's SERIOUS about drumming....".

Yeah, I'm not going to start doing this anytime soon...
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Here are my thoughts on the physics of the beater striking the head, rebound, etc. It seems to me that a few things happen in the course of a bass beater's travels throughout a note (utilizing rebound).

1. The foot pushes the pedal causing the spring to stretch (applying negative force back, against the foot) and the beater moves forward.

2. The beater strikes the head, the head moves the air through the drum while simultaneously absorbing part of the energy put into it from being struck, and also returns some energy repelling the beater.

3. The beater returns back to the position it began in.

At step 2 there are a couple of things that happen. A bass head is typically larger in diameter than others on your kit, and is slower to move a larger amount of air when struck. It ripples more when struck and absorbs more energy than smaller, more tightly-tuned heads on the rest of your drums. This is after all, why we have springs on our pedals, right?

The question is, after the head is struck, is is the rebound or the spring that first initiates the return of the beater, backwards. I would say it's the spring. The tension is always there and the spring is constantly pulling backward on the beater. Since the head absorbs much of the energy when struck, it makes sense that the spring will be the first thing to pull the beater back.

But, this could prove wrong if the spring has less tension than the amount of energy that is returned from striking the head. There are other variables too, like technique and what type of beater is being used.

I would think you'd have to consider your technique, how you tune, and what type of beater you're using to determine how much spring tension you need.

I'm not a physicist either, I'm just thinking out loud.

Well, as luck would have it, I am a physicist(well, a senior physics major, anyway). Sometimes people expect physics to spit out simple answers to complex problems, and it never does. I'll try to clear up what I can, though.

First of all, let's get our terms straight. Forces are pushes or pulls, and energy is the ability to do work. There are two basic kinds of energy, kinetic and potential. Kinetic is energy in motion, and potential is stored energy. Energy is essentially force times a distance, so they have different units(therefore, it makes little sense to compare them directly).

First, the spring. The spring equation is F=-kx(really only valid for small displacements), where F is the force, k is a number that depends only on the properties of the spring, and x is the distance the spring is pushed or pulled from equilibrium. What this says, then, is that the more you pull the spring, the harder the spring wants to pull back to its equilibrium length. So Zambizzi is right when he says the spring is constantly exerting a force on the pedal. Matt's also right that the spring stores energy, to the tune of kx^2. The kinetic energy of the pedal is transferred into the potential energy of the spring on the downstroke, and the reverse happens during the rebound phase. Note the nature of the force: it acts most strongly at the beginning and keeps acting as time goes on.

Now, the rebound off of the head. This is mostly the famous "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" law. As the beater impacts the drumhead, both will deform. The drumhead will deform inwards(towards the resonant head), and then snap back, pushing the beater away. The beater, similarly, will squish up and then push back out. I don't know of any equations that tell you how long this process takes; it's usually taken as essentially instantaneous. Keep in mind that this force is done acting as soon as the beater leaves the head.

I vote we ignore any effects of gravity, friction, quantum tunneling, etc. They're probably ridiculously small anyway.

I say all of this to allow you to try to draw your own conclusions. Here are my thoughts:

I see no particular reason for a delay in the action of the spring force. The spring itself is constantly pulling, and in fact is strongest when the beater is on the head. However, F=m*a, where m is mass and a is acceleration(This is the most important equation in mechanics). Therefore, this force will accelerate the beater as time goes on. The point is, the spring starts pulling instantly, but needs time to really accelerate the pedal.

The rebound, on the other hand, has completely transferred all of its energy to the pedal as soon as it leaves the head.

To be really rigorous, we'd need to measure the spring constant and measure the velocity of the beater as it strikes the head. We could then do some calculations and compare the actions of the two forces as time goes on. But if the two forces aren't too different(which they're probably not), we could suppose that the rebound has a faster response(completely done as soon as the beater's off the head), while the spring will be more important for everything that happens after that.

This seems to imply that the faster the double stroke, the more important the rebound is and the less important the spring is. If I may be so bold as to interpret Matt's techniques, however, I would say that the spring is important for getting the pedal away from the head and allowing one to return to a relaxed position. I'm sure someone else is more qualified to interpret the implications of this for technique, spring tension, etc, but it seems clear that both are necessary to be able to perform a variety of techniques.

Matt, I also want to thank you for the excellent DVD.

Hope this helps. Let me know if anything's unclear or if you see a mistake in my reasoning.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Of COURSE a real fancy-pants physicist is going to come along! ;) Thanks for the insights...interesting!

This board is just too awesome...what a great assembly of peeps.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

WOW....We really are GEEKS!
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Wow! Thanks, Drummist222! Tremendous!

I think everything you said rings true to me. I'll have to sit with it for awhile to figure out exactly how to use this info in interpreting my experience of spring tension. Today, I spent a few minutes playing around with various spring tensions, including no spring at all. It was very interesting. I mostly found that I could indeed play very fast with little or no spring tension. On the other hand, I also became painfully aware of the spring's importance in pulling the beater back for the initial "wind up" that happens before even striking the head. This initial wind up was significantly slowed down with lower spring tension. Perhaps this is part of what I have perceived as sluggishness in the past when I've tried a very loose spring. Also, as you (and Zambizzi) pointed out, the spring is exerting a certain amount of force on the pedal at all times. This, in turn, is holding the pedal against the foot. If the spring tension is decreased, it seems that the pedal will not be held as firmly against the foot. Does that mean the pedal will be somewhat less responsive to the subtle movements of the foot? Not sure. I definitely plan to play around with all of these ideas as soon as I get a chunk of free time with a bass drum pedal.

Thanks again for the excellent post! Really terrific! Exactly what we needed.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRitter View Post
the spring is exerting a certain amount of force on the pedal at all times. This, in turn, is holding the pedal against the foot. If the spring tension is decreased, it seems that the pedal will not be held as firmly against the foot. Does that mean the pedal will be somewhat less responsive to the subtle movements of the foot?
I was thinking about this tonight during practice. If you don't use proper technique then you could easily misjudge how much tension you need both in head tuning...and your spring. For example, if you don't get out of the way of the rebound and just bury the beater...you have very little need for a spring and can tune as low as you want. Otherwise, you'd just be wasting all that energy of fighting the spring on the way down...and absorbing the shock of the rebound upon impact. Seems very inefficient and perhaps harmful...just as it would be with your hands.

Another worthless thought:

At some point as you loosen the spring, the rebound of the head is going to take over responsibility of providing the force that returns the beater to its original position.

My guess is; the amount of energy returned by the bass drum head after being struck is less than the spring would provide if cranked up enough to be useful. I think this would confirm that the spring is what most people rely on for much of their rebound.

Except for Buddy, of course...
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Drummist, When you said this, "This seems to imply that the faster the double stroke, the more important the rebound is and the less important the spring is." Does this mean I'm correct. Thanks for you're input. T
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Drummist222 Drummist222 is offline
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by slingerland755 View Post
WOW....We really are GEEKS!
I get that a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
Drummist, When you said this, "This seems to imply that the faster the double stroke, the more important the rebound is and the less important the spring is." Does this mean I'm correct. Thanks for you're input. T
Essentially, yes. Keep in mind that I'm making some assumptions here that may not be borne out by the facts, but my reasoning indicates that in a fast double stroke the spring doesn't have time to significantly accelerate the pedal. You can try to test this by attempting double strokes with no drum head, just the pedal sitting by itself. I just tried this and it doesn't seem like the pedal gets back fast enough for those really really fast doubles I hear the pros doing, but my tension is pretty loose and I'm certainly no technique guru. It certainly comes back fast enough to allow some decent doubles, though. Let us know if you figure anything out.

Also, let's keep in mind that what happens after the second stroke is finished will be only influenced by the spring. Matt espouses a technique where you return to a relaxed position after a series of doubles, and if the spring were too loose this probably wouldn't work; you'd get extra strokes or something.

To really answer the question, we would need a quantitative analysis of the forces involved and an analysis of the optimal conditions for different techniques. The first would require someone to take apart their pedal and measure the spring constant and then find a way to measure the velocity of the beater just before it hits the head. The second would require someone who knows the techniques much better than I to do a lot of thinking. Sounds like Matt's making some progress, but I'm sure a collective effort would be more efficient. Obviously, the techniques and the spring tension/ head tension will influence each other, probably in a fairly complex manner, and there's never a right answer for everyone, but I'm certainly enjoying the discussion.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

WOW! An amazin thread. Very interesting, this forum is amazing!
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

As we're thinking about this, I'm going to elevate the "geek" factor even further by throwing a small monkey wrench into the equation. When people talk about a "fast double stroke," they may not realize it, but they are actually talking about the time (or lack of time) between the 2 hits. This is a different issue than the actual speed (velocity) of each individual hit. For example, in a "fast double stroke" that is played quietly, the 2 individual strokes will be somewhat slower than the individual strokes in a "fast double stroke" that is played loudly...even if the metronome tempo is the same. So, now I'm thinking that even the volume we play at is a factor here! Abe was on the right track when he asked "Is it possible to do it with low dynamics?" So, now we've got head tension, beater weight, volume, technique specifics, spring tension, and probably numerous other factors influencing the feel and responsiveness of a pedal. Yikes! It seems Drummist222 was right when he said "Sometimes people expect physics to spit out simple answers to complex problems, and it never does." In this case, I'm starting to think that the true answer may be much more complex than the question!
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:27 PM
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummist222 View Post
I get that a lot.



Essentially, yes. Keep in mind that I'm making some assumptions here that may not be borne out by the facts, but my reasoning indicates that in a fast double stroke the spring doesn't have time to significantly accelerate the pedal. You can try to test this by attempting double strokes with no drum head, just the pedal sitting by itself. I just tried this and it doesn't seem like the pedal gets back fast enough for those really really fast doubles I hear the pros doing, but my tension is pretty loose and I'm certainly no technique guru. It certainly comes back fast enough to allow some decent doubles, though. Let us know if you figure anything out.

Also, let's keep in mind that what happens after the second stroke is finished will be only influenced by the spring. Matt espouses a technique where you return to a relaxed position after a series of doubles, and if the spring were too loose this probably wouldn't work; you'd get extra strokes or something.

To really answer the question, we would need a quantitative analysis of the forces involved and an analysis of the optimal conditions for different techniques. The first would require someone to take apart their pedal and measure the spring constant and then find a way to measure the velocity of the beater just before it hits the head. The second would require someone who knows the techniques much better than I to do a lot of thinking. Sounds like Matt's making some progress, but I'm sure a collective effort would be more efficient. Obviously, the techniques and the spring tension/ head tension will influence each other, probably in a fairly complex manner, and there's never a right answer for everyone, but I'm certainly enjoying the discussion.
What about triple strokes? If it's true that the spring is the only factor after the second note of a double, then where do you get a third note to sound even with the other two notes of a triple stroke. My contention is tight or loose doesn't matter if you play doubles with "proper technique" (what ever that means ). I can play any speed variation nessesary and at any volume. My double clarity is not lost or different as speed and/ or volume change. I control the speed, the spring doesn't. I have my springs as loose as they will go without falling of the spring cam. (Yamaha Flying Dragon). I don't have any flutter (extra notes) problem. Flutter is not a spring issue, it has more to do with foot control and proxcimety(sp?) to the drumhead after the stroke is completed. If you use some type of stroke/slide motion to play doubles, then you are mirroring the motion of you're hands when they play doubles. The slide part is the same as the fingers continuing to pull in for the second bounce. this is the part of the stroke for feet or hands that allow and control the speed and timing of the second bounce. My hands do not have springs. The rebound alone brings the stick back up. I'm doing the same thing with my feet. My spring to me only serves two purposes; 1- supply just enough back pressure to keep the pedal plate in line with my foot. 2- To bring the beater off the head if I do leave it close to the head. I think I'm right in assuming that the original reason for the pedal spring is to do just what I describe in #2. Otherwise every time you don't play a bounce stroke the beater will just die on the head. My spring tension is just tight enough to pull the beater back so it falls into playing position. To me tighter springs=faster potential is a myth. Just like you're hands, you're feet and the control you have over the BOUNCE is what dictates every thing . Not spring tension. Remember the tighter the spring, the harder it is to push down, creating resistance. Would you do this with you're hands to create more potential speed? I think not.........T
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Hooke's Law:

F = -kx

Where F = Force

k = the spring constant

x = displacement of the spring along a vector

The amount of displacement you deliver to the spring, is proportional to the amount of energy is stores in "Newtons". In a perfect spring load, like old bass drum pedals had, there was a double-edged problem for the pedal user. Either you keep the pedal loaded less, so that you exert less force to go "fast", or you load up the spring so that it rebounds better, but requires more energy to push down. Most drummer tuned higher in "the days of yore" than they do today and also had no holes in them, so there would be more force coming back to the beater, in the form of rebound. Most drummers could cope with the inherent issue of not enough or too much tension, by tuning their drum accordingly.

The interesting factor in modern pedal design, is that the spring might violate an exact order of Hooke's Law--and with specially designed cams and "progressive-force" spring designs--you can achieve far more force and receive a quicker response on a lower-tuned drum than was possible before. Conversely, one can tune up a spring on a modern high-end pedal and because of the same cams and spring designs, the pedal tension is "reduced", while returning faster than the lower tension. The degree of adjustment possible in most modern pedals is staggering. Even my Iron Cobra--circa 2001--is chock full of stuff I've never really messed with. It was pretty much right on from the get-go.

But it's interesting to note Hooke's Law, when we deal with not only pedal tension, but the reaction of the stick on the head and the tension on the drum heads themselves.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Bottom line though is your muscles compensate for whatever spring tension you are playing on. If it's tight, we exert more force, if it's looser, a little less. I don't think there would be too much disagreement to me saying that it's possible to have incredibly fast doubles within all the normal ranges of spring tension, so if I were you Beats, I'd say tension it so it works for you, which really depends on your technique, your pedal, your spring tension, your bass drum size, your bass drum tension, your reso head (ported or not), your normal bass drum volume, your beater material, how much if any muffling, etc. but most of all your preference.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

wow this thread has become a whole new type of monster lol. Ive been fooling around with it and ive gotten use to the new looser tension and its working better.

the bottom line is the looser you can have your spring and still get the desired response and do what you need to the better because its requires less force.
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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Originally Posted by beatsMcGee View Post
wow this thread has become a whole new type of monster lol. Ive been fooling around with it and ive gotten use to the new looser tension and its working better.

the bottom line is the looser you can have your spring and still get the desired response and do what you need to the better because its requires less force.
So we've succeeded in making you sorry for asking? I believe our work here is done gentlemen. ;)
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

My brain hurts,,aahhhhh
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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So we've succeeded in making you sorry for asking? I believe our work here is done gentlemen. ;)
lol not really, there was some good stuff said here, something else helpful would be for people to say exactly how loose their spring is and then how quickly they can do their doubles.

i also started wondering about this speicifcally when i saw a video on youtube of tony royster jr. it was through the drum channel and they showed his foot work during a solo and i noticed he had his foot farther down the pedal than i usually do. so naturally i attempted to play like him cause hes so damn awesome and all, and i realized to play farther back you need less tension on the spring... so this is why i asked about it because if he plays like that and can do such quick doubles then i can too !! :) lol

here is the video check it out and tell me what you think!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VRhCenWgDo
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Actually, I think TRJ is a robot...or superhuman...or something. I like your sense of hope though...ha!

Personally, my tension is about "medium". I once had it cranked as high as I could get it....then I lowered it to the point of barely influencing the stroke (if at all). I recently had to turn the tension back up a bit as I found I was burying the beater just out of the sheer weight of my leg - it was just too loose to remain nimble.

I think my doubles are pretty fast for a relative n00b. I can hit a quick 32nd. note double on a mid-tempo groove. I'm working on control and dynamics more than speed these days though.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Such a great thread. Now its got me wondering about the beaters throw. I'm going to mess with the springs, but what effect would the beaters throw and/or length adjustment have?
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

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Originally Posted by intheruff View Post
Such a great thread. Now its got me wondering about the beaters throw. I'm going to mess with the springs, but what effect would the beaters throw and/or length adjustment have?
If you check out this clip ( Pause at 0:01) you'll see my set-up for the pedal (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mCUqdP...e=channel_page). I like the idea of setting up the pedal beater position to be as close to what a stick feels like in your hand when your fulcrum is in the balance point (sweetspot). I have the beater 1 1/4 inches down the shaft and I put the counterwieght all the way at the end of the beater shaft. This way I am getting the feel of the pedal to feel more like a stick in my hand . At rest my beater sits 90 degrees from the drumhead. Like a full stroke position for the hands, (note; Danmer hard felt beater, DW counterwieght) My spring tension is stated in a previous post on this thread................T
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Old 12-13-2008, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by intheruff View Post
Such a great thread. Now its got me wondering about the beaters throw. I'm going to mess with the springs, but what effect would the beaters throw and/or length adjustment have?
It has a big effect on the feel of the stroke, IMO. Like SEVNT7 said - it's like the fulcrum on your hands. I like my beater about 1/3 of the way away from the head, between the head and my foot (sorry, best description I could think of). I have it hitting dead-center on a 22" head. I really like the Iron Cobra felt beater w/ a single counter-weight all the way at the top of the shaft of the beater.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: a different question about spring tension.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEVNT7 View Post
If you check out this clip ( Pause at 0:01) you'll see my set-up for the pedal (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mCUqdP...e=channel_page). I like the idea of setting up the pedal beater position to be as close to what a stick feels like in your hand when your fulcrum is in the balance point (sweetspot). I have the beater 1 1/4 inches down the shaft and I put the counterwieght all the way at the end of the beater shaft. This way I am getting the feel of the pedal to feel more like a stick in my hand . At rest my beater sits 90 degrees from the drumhead. Like a full stroke position for the hands, (note; Danmer hard felt beater, DW counterwieght) My spring tension is stated in a previous post on this thread................T
Hey SEVENT7, I just realized that you where on the videos. Sorry if I sounded critical, when I said that the guy in video can't start the long passage. As you maybe noticed, I still admire your ability to use rebound. What I mean with my post, is that I'm very curious to see video with fast and slow doubles in different dynamics and without spring.
When I compare hands with feet, I've notice that, for example, on loose floor tom we ''pick up'' the stick; rebound is not enough for even doubles. It's very logical because of loose head that doesn't return a lot of first stroke's energy. In theory we could make after first hit's little rebound higher acceleration for second stroke thus avoiding need for even stick height for both hits. Same with bass drum, if it's loose and with no spring (or extremely low) how it would be possible to even out the second stroke? No matter how able is the drummer to use rebound, beater won't have enough energy to return to starting position. Maybe it's possible to raise acceleration for beater and get same volume lower hit? And if that's possible does it work in different volumes, speeds.
I'm not near to your skill level so, I'd appreciate your opinion on how it would be possible to play even doubles without (or with extremely low tension) spring on loose bass drum?

Anyway I watched other videos. You have mad skills and very good coordination :)
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