Bass Drum Double Stroke Technique Lesson

Hi Everyone,

I created a new lesson video on developing double stroke technique on the bass drum. I've been messing around with double strokes for a few years and thought I'd share some insights on how to practice them and how to incorporate them into solos and grooves.

https://youtu.be/HLJP-pb-Ev8

I would love for you to check it out! I would be happy to answer questions, if you have any.

Thanks,

Geoff
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Great video. You do it very different than me but this way is more effective in the slower ranges.. The way I play doubles is great from 180-240 but under that it isn't as good. I may learn this as well to have in my bag of tricks.

quality video and good job explaining it.

thanks
 
Have you posted any videos of your technique? I'm curious, because I max out around 200 bpm -- and it took me a really long time to get them that fast. I'm impressed that you can get them up to 240!

By the way, thanks very much for watching! I plan to post more lessons on the other rudiments, so hopefully they'll interest you, too.

Great video. You do it very different than me but this way is more effective in the slower ranges.. The way I play doubles is great from 180-240 but under that it isn't as good. I may learn this as well to have in my bag of tricks.

quality video and good job explaining it.

thanks
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Great teaching video. Very professional, lots of info. and high quality audio too. It looks like you're using the slide technique. Good job.
 

Demford

Member
Great vid. I just got a dbl. pedal so I'll be trying these. I'm curious, do you or did you when you started, try to get the spring tension for both pedals exactly identical? I'm not sure if I should kill myself trying to get them identical or just set the slave where it's most comfortable for my weak left leg. I've played drums my whole life so my right foot is pretty solid and I can pretty much do what I want with my right on any setting. My left foot, on the other hand....embarrassing. Actually, just playing bass drum with my left foot alone I can do pretty well. Trying to alternate..that's humbling. Thanks!
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Great vid. I just got a dbl. pedal so I'll be trying these. I'm curious, do you or did you when you started, try to get the spring tension for both pedals exactly identical? I'm not sure if I should kill myself trying to get them identical or just set the slave where it's most comfortable for my weak left leg. I've played drums my whole life so my right foot is pretty solid and I can pretty much do what I want with my right on any setting. My left foot, on the other hand....embarrassing. Actually, just playing bass drum with my left foot alone I can do pretty well. Trying to alternate..that's humbling. Thanks!

I have mine NEAR identical... they would be if I had 2 bass drums, I find with a double pedal to have them feel the same sometimes they have to be adjusted just slightly different.

I wouldn't kill your self worrying about it too much if they are close and you are comfortable, but you have found a weakness so no better time to work on it. I found one in my left hand so I have been working on it extra hard lately.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtX0k97H46A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2gjb9AzpRw


There are 2 videos I made, I have adjusted my technique abit since these but I find for heel toe it really helps to trigger at these speeds and have a tight batter head. Your technique seems to be better if your head is loose as you won't get the rebound I am using for mine as my springs are actually kinda loose.

I don't recommend either of these to most people until their single strokes are tight. I find too many people starting to learn heeltoe before they can do fast consistent singles, and then never bother learning them. My singles suffered after I learnt this and I am working on getting em back up to speed.

To be honest I have been playing quite slow lately and just enjoying grooving instead of the deathmetal stuff but I still play in the band so I need to keep the endurance up lol.

The way I do it is VERY easy, once your settings are all perfect. If they arn't it doesn't work as well. Which makes gear sharing a problem for festivals and stuff, I always end up needing my own bass drum etc.

Triggering helps with the sound too, Although if i wasn't triggering id just pull the beaters back further / add spring tension and top out a bit slower.
 

Demford

Member
I have mine NEAR identical... they would be if I had 2 bass drums, I find with a double pedal to have them feel the same sometimes they have to be adjusted just slightly different.

I wouldn't kill your self worrying about it too much if they are close and you are comfortable, but you have found a weakness so no better time to work on it. I found one in my left hand so I have been working on it extra hard lately.
Okay, that's pretty much what I was thinking. Thanks.
 
Great vid. I just got a dbl. pedal so I'll be trying these. I'm curious, do you or did you when you started, try to get the spring tension for both pedals exactly identical? I'm not sure if I should kill myself trying to get them identical or just set the slave where it's most comfortable for my weak left leg. I've played drums my whole life so my right foot is pretty solid and I can pretty much do what I want with my right on any setting. My left foot, on the other hand....embarrassing. Actually, just playing bass drum with my left foot alone I can do pretty well. Trying to alternate..that's humbling. Thanks!
Hi Demford, thanks for watching! I have my springs set more or less equally. I try to keep them the same, but I agree with beyondbetrayal in that I don't obsess over it very much. My spring tension is about medium. More specifically, it's enough to get the beater back off of the head, but not so much that I'm fighting against it on the downstroke. I keep my bass drum head pretty loose (only a couple of drum key turns past the point where it would have wrinkles from not being tight enough), so I need some spring tension to counter the lack of natural rebound.

One thing that helped me work on left foot control was reversing my set by putting the hi-hat on the right and forcing my left foot to be the primary foot on the bassdrum. As you can imagine, I was terrible at first (sorry bandmates!), but over time I got the hang of it. It also helped the development of my left hand, which I now greatly appreciate. I now use two hi-hats (one on the right and one on the left) because I like being able to play with either side leading and want to keep forcing myself to use all limbs as equally as possible. I see more and more drummers doing this, too, which is cool.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions!
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtX0k97H46A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2gjb9AzpRw


There are 2 videos I made, I have adjusted my technique abit since these but I find for heel toe it really helps to trigger at these speeds and have a tight batter head. Your technique seems to be better if your head is loose as you won't get the rebound I am using for mine as my springs are actually kinda loose.

I don't recommend either of these to most people until their single strokes are tight. I find too many people starting to learn heeltoe before they can do fast consistent singles, and then never bother learning them. My singles suffered after I learnt this and I am working on getting em back up to speed.

To be honest I have been playing quite slow lately and just enjoying grooving instead of the deathmetal stuff but I still play in the band so I need to keep the endurance up lol.

The way I do it is VERY easy, once your settings are all perfect. If they arn't it doesn't work as well. Which makes gear sharing a problem for festivals and stuff, I always end up needing my own bass drum etc.

Triggering helps with the sound too, Although if i wasn't triggering id just pull the beaters back further / add spring tension and top out a bit slower.
Those videos are impressive! I'm going to have to try your technique out. You make it look so smooth and flawless. As I mentioned before, I max out around 200, so it would be great to find a way to make higher speeds feel easier. It's funny that you say you are playing more slow/groove-oriented stuff lately, because I used to play in a death/black metal band and now find myself doing mostly slower stuff as well. It's amazing how hard it is to keep up my speed and endurance now that I'm not playing with a band that focuses on it! Oh well, I guess that's just one more thing to work on :)

By the way, I subscribed to your YouTube channel. I look forward to checking out your other videos!
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Those videos are impressive! I'm going to have to try your technique out. You make it look so smooth and flawless. As I mentioned before, I max out around 200, so it would be great to find a way to make higher speeds feel easier. It's funny that you say you are playing more slow/groove-oriented stuff lately, because I used to play in a death/black metal band and now find myself doing mostly slower stuff as well. It's amazing how hard it is to keep up my speed and endurance now that I'm not playing with a band that focuses on it! Oh well, I guess that's just one more thing to work on :)

By the way, I subscribed to your YouTube channel. I look forward to checking out your other videos!

I'll sub to you as well.

I play alot of funk now. Working on jazz and world grooves alot.. The endurance metal playing has helped a ton though.

And this stuff makes my metal playing much more creative.

I would like to work on a combination of our techniques so I can have my bass drum head looser, but still have the speed.

The left handed setup is impressive. I have tried doing some left handed stuff playing open handed and I SUCK. haha My entire left side of my body is terrible and the last year of my playing have been dedicated to getting it better.

lots of doubles, rudiments, and practice pad time have really made a difference. Switching the kit around is dedication though. I'd like to try that one day. I can play simple on a lefty kit but it's pretty rough. haha
 

dzarren

Senior Member
Sweet. I feel we have a very similar approach and philosophy with regards to drumming, although you are far more proficient than i at the moment.
I have a very similar set up, with the two hi hat stands and two crashes. But I also have a second ride to my left. Right now I have a single rack tom like you, but i have two floor toms on each side, but it's sort of hindering my set up so i'll be switching to a single floor tom on each side soon.

I've been working on doubles for a while now, but cant seem to get past a certain level of proficiency. I will never resort to heel toe, i am just not a fan of that technique, i will always use the slide technique like you, i feel that the slide evolves naturally just from playing faster, and is somewhat natural for me.

Do you recommend first mastering rrllrrll, or the inverted doubles first? I find myself always switching between the two, because somehow once i get into it, the other one always seems a bit easier, and i lose track of what i was doing.
Also, i find playing heel up doubles is much more comfortable on a chain drive pedal, I've found my best playing to occur on a DW 5000, not my axis shortboards, or axis long boards, which i just sold.

thanks!
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
To answer your last question about mastering straight or inverted doubles first... Work on both. One will make the other better as they feel different so your body will feel and move slightly differently.

Also, don't neglect leading with your weak foot - this will also help immensely!
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
To answer your last question about mastering straight or inverted doubles first... Work on both. One will make the other better as they feel different so your body will feel and move slightly differently.

Also, don't neglect leading with your weak foot - this will also help immensely!

Leading with the left is very good

also doing patterns like rlrlrlrl rrl rrl rrl rrl
or llr llr llr

I have never tried inverted.. Doing everything you can all helps. I always find working on other styles and techniques help other ones after the fact.
 
Sweet. I feel we have a very similar approach and philosophy with regards to drumming, although you are far more proficient than i at the moment.
I have a very similar set up, with the two hi hat stands and two crashes. But I also have a second ride to my left. Right now I have a single rack tom like you, but i have two floor toms on each side, but it's sort of hindering my set up so i'll be switching to a single floor tom on each side soon.

I've been working on doubles for a while now, but cant seem to get past a certain level of proficiency. I will never resort to heel toe, i am just not a fan of that technique, i will always use the slide technique like you, i feel that the slide evolves naturally just from playing faster, and is somewhat natural for me.

Do you recommend first mastering rrllrrll, or the inverted doubles first? I find myself always switching between the two, because somehow once i get into it, the other one always seems a bit easier, and i lose track of what i was doing.
Also, i find playing heel up doubles is much more comfortable on a chain drive pedal, I've found my best playing to occur on a DW 5000, not my axis shortboards, or axis long boards, which i just sold.

thanks!
I agree with the others - that practicing both types of doubles as early as possible is a great choice. Personally, I began learning regular doubles (RRLLRRLL) first, but it's only because I didn't realize that inverted doubles were "a thing" at the time. I agree that the slide technique does tend to evolve naturally. In fact, I simply started practicing doubles SUPER slow to get the motion down, and then as I began speeding them up (over years) the sliding technique just happened.

It's interesting to hear about your pedal setup. I can relate to feeling partial to particular drive types. I've gone back and forth between different ones, but (somewhat ironically considering your comment) I fell in love most with the belt drive on my Pearl Eliminators. My feet tend to slide from the inside of the pedal to the outside of the pedal as they slide forward, so the belt drives accommodate that motion better than the more rigid chain and direct drives. (Perhaps the only reason my feet do slide in such a way is because I was practicing on a belt drive, ha!) However, in spite of that, I now also have the Pearl Demon Drive that you see in this video, which is a direct drive. It took a while, but I do appreciate the immediate response. I don't have much of an opinion on what's best overall - it seems to be a preference thing. So, if the chain drives work for you then that's awesome!

Last, I'm glad to hear about the symmetrical setup. It's funny, as I made my set more or less symmetrical, it also began to take up way more space (...I guess some drummers might argue that's a good thing!). So, now I try to scale it back wherever possible. I went from a "Mangini" approach to a "Travis Orbin"-type approach to save space and to cut down on lugging around equipment, ha. I also really liked the idea of having fewer drums so that it forced me to move in larger motions around the set.
 
Top