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  #1  
Old 09-27-2012, 01:05 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Double Bass Note Values

When someone talks about playing double bass at say, 200 or 240 BPM, what kind of note values are they referring to?

I mean like 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 notes, or whatever.

Just curious because there's a huge difference.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

Most of the time they are referring to 16th notes. All the big name guys certainly speak in 16th notes.

From time to time I do hear some people call them 32nds, but I take that to mean a misunderstanding of the note value, rather than these kids having feet that move at light speed.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:33 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

Ha ha - I'll probably never get there then. I was just wondering what the 'benchmark' was.

I can get steady 1/8's at 200, (1/16's at 100), and start getting floppy at 240 (or 120).

Almost halfway there - LOL. I guess I can't expect too much. I've probably got less than 10 hours in with them.
Not a big priority for me.





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Last edited by wildbill; 09-28-2012 at 01:02 AM. Reason: numbers
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

wildbill,
from the moment you use (or: discover) ankle motion things (speed) will change significantly... This will be the time for you to actually play 200+ bpm (16th notes)! It can be a matter of weeks to get there (depending on what/how you're practicing). Look for 'ankle motion' on YouTube to get a better idea if it's unclear to you ATM.

Now this is completely ridiculous, but a few extreme drummers use quad pedals to hit speeds of well above 300 bpm and might get close to 400, and at 400 bpm it would actually equal 200 bpm 32nd notes. But the 'normal' extreme drummers' max speed is around 280 bpm (16ths), for a pretty limited amount of time (5-10 seconds) - as far as I know. We're talking singles - with doubles there's more speed potential.

One of those hyperspeed quad drummers is the guy from Henker. At full speed his quad bass pedals produce a sound which can't really be identified as individual notes by the human ear. Thus, it sounds like a low-pitched fart... basically no musical value except you like/need this as an 'effect'. Here's that Henker drummer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcAuXrThJXk

(While I do like fast double bass playing - the 'normal' playing - into the upper speed ranges I have to scratch my head when it comes to quad pedals/400 bpm range.)

Last edited by Arky; 09-27-2012 at 02:27 PM. Reason: a few letters were missing/editing error
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:21 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

Thanks.

Looked up the ankle motion thing. Not something I would have ever thought of trying on my own.
I'm going to give it a try, but the whole double bass thing is just a novelty for me.
I doubt I'd ever use it seriously because "it sounds like a low-pitched fart... basically no musical value", (ha ha), but it's fun to goof around with.

Never heard of a 'quad pedal' either, till you mentioned it, and I looked it up. Cheaters! - LOL.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

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Originally Posted by Arky View Post
wildbill,
from the moment you use (or: discover) ankle motion things (speed) will change significantly... This will be the time for you to actually play 200+ bpm (16th notes)! It can be a matter of weeks to get there (depending on what/how you're practicing). Look for 'ankle motion' on YouTube to get a better idea if it's unclear to you ATM.

Now this is completely ridiculous, but a few extreme drummers use quad pedals to hit speeds of well above 300 bpm and might get close to 400, and at 400 bpm it would actually equal 200 bpm 32nd notes. But the 'normal' extreme drummers' max speed is around 280 bpm (16ths), for a pretty limited amount of time (5-10 seconds) - as far as I know. We're talking singles - with doubles there's more speed potential.

One of those hyperspeed quad drummers is the guy from Henker. At full speed his quad bass pedals produce a sound which can't really be identified as individual notes by the human ear. Thus, it sounds like a low-pitched fart... basically no musical value except you like/need this as an 'effect'. Here's that Henker drummer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcAuXrThJXk

(While I do like fast double bass playing - the 'normal' playing - into the upper speed ranges I have to scratch my head when it comes to quad pedals/400 bpm range.)
Thanks for posting that clip Arky. Just came across a horrendous quality video of the same clip on FB the other day- this ones much better.
Yeah at those speeds (and cheating with the quad pedal) sounds like a lawn-mower!
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

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Thanks for posting that clip Arky. Just came across a horrendous quality video of the same clip on FB the other day- this ones much better.
Yeah at those speeds (and cheating with the quad pedal) sounds like a lawn-mower!
I wouldn't exactly call it cheating - it kind of is, but as we all agree those pedals (regardless of design) _have_ to be played, they don't play by themselves. Meaning some can do it (at high speed, with rhythmic evenness and dynamic control, and last but not least - overall coordination and integration into handwork etc), some can't. So I'm sure it absolutely takes discipline and effort to learn it. Honestly I wouldn't. I'm fine with 'normal' double bass playing and am happy to stay in the 200-300 bpm range, haha. Swivel/doubles is the greatest cheating thing I have in my bag, but quads - no, never.

Todd, actually I just for the first time really thought about how to play a quad pedal... Now if that hyperspeed guy is playing at 400 bpm on quads let's break it down into (doubles) motions on 2 regular pedals: 200 bpm. I (and many more) can do this with ease. Now if I'm imagining that every time my heels have contact with the pedalplate butt end and would produce strokes on a quad pedal... 400 bpm actually is absolutely not out of this world. Still I don't care for this design. (Recently a Sonor Giant Step/single w/ double function pedal went on German Ebay at a quite low price... I might be intrigued ;-)
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

So this would be an example of swivel technique?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mnxm1qh_1rw
Would you say swivel is faster/ more accurate than heel toe?
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

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Originally Posted by toddmc View Post
So this would be an example of swivel technique?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mnxm1qh_1rw
Would you say swivel is faster/ more accurate than heel toe?
I know that video of George, it's a classic! (I have his DVD where it's on, too.) Yes, this is swiveling. But not in its 'purest' form as George's feet are swiveling differently. His left foot tends to swivel more.

Here's another video - specifically shot to demonstrate swivel. Fasten your safety belts, that guy (Chris Thorpe) is demonstrating swivel up to, yes, 300!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dos1Ee-Zns

It was THIS video which made me reignite my efforts to learn this technique. I said to myself if some (see above) can do 300 I want to do at least 250. I've reached 230 by now (within a few months), and it doesn't even feel like working hard. From my experience it IS easier than singles (speed-wise, not technique-wise), it takes less energy, and you tend to hit higher speed. For now swivel feels quite similar to heel-toe. I can already hit around 290 (if really pushing, but not clean) with heel-toe. So I don't expect to even get faster with swivel, I "only" want to have swivel down as yet another way to do, say, 260, with comfort for longer periods of time (30-60 seconds, maybe minutes). Just for the hell of it, I don't have any need for speed so far.

Todd, as you can already do doubles - I guess you'd learn swivel easier. Try it but it might take you a while for some tangible progress. Stay patient. I think I have around 4 months of swivel practice now [EDIT: Wrong! - I looked up in my practice log - must be some 6-7 months now]. I felt like "I'm half way there" months ago - and days ago. It's a medium to longer term process.

- - - - - - -

Sorry folks for hijacking this thread a bit, but maybe the stuff discussed is interesting for some.

Last edited by Arky; 09-27-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

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Originally Posted by Arky View Post
It was THIS video which made me reignite my efforts to learn this technique. I said to myself if some (see above) can do 300 I want to do at least 250. I've reached 230 by now (within a few months), and it doesn't even feel like working hard. From my experience it IS easier than singles (speed-wise, not technique-wise), it takes less energy, and you tend to hit higher speed. For now swivel feels quite similar to heel-toe.

Todd, as you can alredy do doubles - I guess you'd learn swivel easier. Try it but it might take you a while for some tangible progress. Stay patient. I think I have around 4 months of swivel practice now. I felt like "I'm half way there" months ago - and days ago. It's a medium to longer term process.
.
Cool video- saved it for future reference. If you could clarify one thing though- is this a rebound technique (ie 2 strikes per downstroke like heel toe) or is he doing all singles?
Probably the only reason I'd spend time learning this is I feel the whole rebound thing with heel toe has the potential to get out of control (not so much with extended periods of 16ths but shorter bursts and patterns).
I find it difficult to "stop on a dime" with heel toe- maybe swivel is the answer?
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

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Originally Posted by toddmc View Post
Cool video- saved it for future reference. If you could clarify one thing though- is this a rebound technique (ie 2 strikes per downstroke like heel toe) or is he doing all singles?
Probably the only reason I'd spend time learning this is I feel the whole rebound thing with heel toe has the potential to get out of control (not so much with extended periods of 16ths but shorter bursts and patterns).
I find it difficult to "stop on a dime" with heel toe- maybe swivel is the answer?
It's all singles. Of course you could do doubles and introduce swivel (this is what I already could do in the past but singles w/ swivel feel quite differently and are harder when you start learning it). But George and Chris are doing singles only. Well some drummers don't consider swivel (even being singles used) as "real" singles technically. When I said that around 280 is max speed even for world class extreme drummers this was related to "real" singles. Altough as for George - I wouldn't say he's cheating, no way. You know what, let's simply forget the term "cheating" in a drum context. Do whatever takes you to where you need/want to be.

Keep in mind swivel is a way the body reacts to handle the work you want it to do when pushing for speed. When you're maxing out with singles some drummers would start to introduce swivel naturally, it would simply creep into their playing. I had to re-program my brain. But having been working on it for a while I now feel the same tendency when doing fast singles, esp. my left foot wants to break the linear single motion and start swiveling. It might sound stupid but actually this sideways motion helps to get along with high speeds better as you're using more muscle groups so the work is spread on more muscles/muscle area to be executed. There's nothing more ergonomoc than swivel.

Here's another helpful swivel video from a French guy (member on the Derek Roddy forum) - first the thread he created on this instructional video. That guy learned swivel to get him from 220/heel up to... 280. Not bad!
http://www.derekroddy.com/forum/view...p?f=24&t=20963

...and the YouTube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMnJrjaqdUU

As for heel-toe (or - similar - constant release) bursts/stops: Now this can be addressed with specific exercises. I struggled with transition control for months and still need much work on it. What I'm doing is e.g. playing 1 bar of 8th notes/singles, followed by the same foot motions but as 16th notes. Think hand rudiments - 1 bar 8th, 1 bar 16ths - pretty easy. Simply switch between singles and doubles. Then start to mix it up into singles/doubles patterns but stick to your R foot playing all on-beat and the L foot playing all the off-beat notes. So just leave out some 16th notes but always assign your feet for the same note positions within a bar. I'm sure this will help you. Well some guys can play all those patterns with regular singles but why not learning/practicing a mix of singles and doubles. This will give you flexibility to handle everything.

Last edited by Arky; 09-27-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

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Originally Posted by Arky View Post
As for heel-toe (or - similar - constant release) bursts/stops: Now this can be addressed with specific exercises. I struggled with transition control for months and still need much work on it. What I'm doing is e.g. playing 1 bar of 8th notes/singles, followed by the same foot motions but as 16th notes. Think hand rudiments - 1 bar 8th, 1 bar 16ths - pretty easy. Simply switch between singles and doubles. Then start to mix it up into singles/doubles patterns but stick to your R foot playing all on-beat and the L foot playing all the off-beat notes. So just leave out some 16th notes but always assign your feet for the same note positions within a bar. I'm sure this will help you. Well some guys can play all those patterns with regular singles but why not learning/practicing a mix of singles and doubles. This will give you flexibility to handle everything.
Great advice mate, will give it a go to work out my pattern issues with heel-toe.
That French video was a lot better then the last one (despite the subtitles). Looks like it takes most drummers at least 6 months to get proficient with swivel.

OK- I'd say we've hijacked this thread for long enough! : P
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:20 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Double Bass Note Values

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arky View Post
wildbill,
from the moment you use (or: discover) ankle motion things (speed) will change significantly... This will be the time for you to actually play 200+ bpm (16th notes)! It can be a matter of weeks to get there (depending on what/how you're practicing). Look for 'ankle motion' on YouTube to get a better idea if it's unclear to you ATM....

Well Arky - I don't know whether to thank you or curse you, but I reached some kind of threshold on my limited double bass drum pedal journey today.

Not in terms of speed, but I can now maintain a steady beat faster with heels up (flat foot actually) than I can with heels down.

After many years of playing single bass, heel down exclusively, when I got a double pedal I naturally tried it with both heels down and my left foot was flopping around like a fish. So I concentrated on both heels down and got to where I could hold a steady beat, and thought I was doing pretty good.

Then you threw me the loop in the post above and got me interested. I watched some videos and tried some of the techniques. And while I could see potential in heel up, now both feet were flopping around like fish - ha ha - back to the drawing board.

This week I did some concentrated pedal wood shedding, and I don't know if it's a good thing or not (after all these years), but I can now go faster heel up than heel down. And I can tell there's more of a speed reserve yet to be tapped.

Anyways - since your post had a lot to do with me trying some of these things, I thought I'd post a progress report. For most of the time I've been playing, I never knew about all these other techniques.
Isn't the internet a wonderful/horrible thing? LOL
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