annoying vibration on kick drum hit

ether_joe

Junior Member
Hey everybody ... I am having a situation with my kick drum + pedal which is really starting to annoy me.

So I use a kick-and-hold type technique most of the time, ie., I hit the drum and then hold the batter against the drum rather than letting it rebound. So the batter is pressed against the drum most of the time except when I'm retracting to get ready for another kick. (Do you guys have a term for that?)

Thing is, when I hit the kick, it feels like the batter does not 'settle' properly. I want the batter to hit the drumhead and stay there... no fluttering, no settling -- it hits the drum one time, produces the kick punch, and stays put. I'm hitting the pedal with plenty of authority so it's not a quesiton of lack of force.

I've got a Tama iron cobra pedal with the stock batter, which is a small circular batter with a flattish contact area. Maybe I should switch out with a round 'fuzzy dice' type batter?

Sorry if my vocabulary is lacking ... maybe I can learn some new terms from you guys. In the mean time though ... my big question is, is there anything I can do to reduce this vibration type feeling and make it feel like a single really clean hit on the kick.

Thanks all!
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
What you do is 'bury the beater'.

Does the vibration matter? IE, can the audience hear it or is it just you?
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Although you say it's not likely to be a problem with lack of force, it's still likely to be a technique issue, namely the way in which your foot is making contact with the plate. Where is the contact concentrated? Heel up or heel down?
 

PeteN

Silver Member
The vibration your feeling is called "chatter" and that happens when you bury the beater on a bass drum with no muffling it. Some guys will barely tension their batter head to avoid the chatter thing so that they can keep the bass drum wide open. The other way is to tension the batter head where is has good feel and tension and then muffle the bass drum with small pillow or a bed sheet right against the batter inside the drum.

Whatever you decide to do for now is a temporary fix and working on bass drum technique will be a long term solution. Burying the beater should be used only when needed for optional effect and not all of the time. I would practice not burying the beater as this will be the long term solution and will also sound better for most situations.
 

ether_joe

Junior Member
My contact is entirely on the front of the foot ... heel is only on the pedal to rest in between kicks. So I think that would be 'heel up' technique.

'chatter' is a good term to know, thanks.

As far as audience hearing it ... it is more of a playing satisfaction for me. I want clean, authoritative sound and it feels like the pedal is just fluttering around. So it's more about just me being happy playing.

I'll take a look at not burying the beater, as far as technique. I like the muffled sound but I expect this can be accomplished in other ways as well... so I'll experiement.

Thanks for the suggestions and info!
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I used to have this problem. I think it's just because burying the beater isn't a technique that works all the time, the best thing in my view is to approach it rather like a controlled stroke with the hands and catch the beater just off the head, ready for the next stroke to begin.

Also, if you think about it, the only reason this is happening is because you're holding the beater just close enough to the head for it to catch the head multiple times, a bit like a buzz stroke. You either need to stop the head vibrating by holding it closer, or let the beater rest further away from the head so it doesn't continue to make contact.
 

ether_joe

Junior Member
Re muting the batter head with a pillow ... any suggestions as far as a pillow? Just buy a pillow at Target or something? Do you guys have a favorite place to get one?
 

PeteN

Silver Member
I suggest starting with a small bed sheet only against the batter head. That usually is enough to improve the feel.
 

b. ellenbecker

New member
I know it's been a long time since this post but I was searching the same thing. I play heel up and have a weak left foot due to injuries growing up. playing double kick I tend to always rest my left foot on the pedal(bad technique I know). But I found with new bass drum heads I would get the chatter after tuning. Tuning would leave the head tight and I would get lots of chatter. Most people tune reso head looser than the beater head to get more of a thump with less vibe and ring to the drum. However I learned to do it the opposite for the bass drum and go tighter with the reso head while also utilizing the sheet trick.This caused the pedals not to rebound off the head as much fixing my problem and the reso head being tighter let the thump ring out and actually have really nice muffled sound to it without sounding too dead. I hope this helps. also check hardware on pedals because sometimes loose screws around the spring can cause I'm needed movement as well.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah, you'll just have to adjust head tension and muffling and find the balance point + pedak setup.

I don't bury the beater much personally, only when rarely going for that sound, but plenty of the greats do/did.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
You must forgive my ignorance, but this does in fact seem to be a ridiculous issue. To put this in context....

Hey everybody ... I am having a situation with my snare drum + sticks which is really starting to annoy me.

So I use a hit-and-hold type technique most of the time, ie., I hit the drum and then hold the stick against the drum rather than letting it rebound. So the stick is pressed against the drum most of the time except when I'm retracting to get ready for another stroke. (Do you guys have a term for that?)

Thing is, when I hit the snare, it feels like the stick does not 'settle' properly. I want the stick to hit the drumhead and stay there... no fluttering, no settling -- it hits the drum one time, produces the snare punch, and stays put. I'm hitting the snare with plenty of authority so it's not a quesiton of lack of force.

I've got a Vic Firth 5A sticks with the stock tips, which is a small oblique circular tip with a rounded contact area. Maybe I should switch out with a nylon barrel tip?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
When it comes to gear issues there are no ridiculous issues.
I'll try to be more considerate then..

@ether_joe
Press muting is a technique that is typically employed to create a brief note in instances like song endings, beat drops, and parts where the manner in which the BD enunciation requires variety. It's really not something someone employs full time as their stock methodology for striking an instrument.

In parts that require press muting, you can avoid the farty "blowing raspberries" sound by dampening either side of the device. Some use pillows to dampen the head side. Some use a plush beater on the pedal side. Some use the technique so infrequently that they simply stick/feather the beater.

If you developed the habit of of press muting the BD all the time, I'm going to suggest the Bob Newhart method of breaking the habit.
 
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