Bass Drum technique


Junior Member
I have been working on my bass drum technique for the past 6 months. Unfortunately with only small improvements.
The goal is to play straight 8th notes until about 160/170 bpm to play some mid tempo blast beats or some Dave Grohl kind of beats like my hero/scentless apprentice.
And also some led zeppelin communication breakdown kind of beat, but a bit faster.

From watching most rock drummer play, the seem to use full leg motion. I found some helpful youtube videos how to work on that.
And here is my problem. If i practice full leg motion without a pedal, just on the floor, i can do 8th notes until 150 bpm. As soon as i switch to the pedal i loose completely control at about 120 bpm, and i see zero improvement. I also worked a bit on my ankle motion, and heel down technique to get a better feel for the spring and everything - but no real improvement there.
Anyone went through the same thing?

And another problem i am struggling with is, if i play a standard kick/kick snare beat, at about 170 bpm my kick is always much too early and gets inconsistent. also been working on this for quite some time with very small improvements. the goal would be to go up to 200 bpm.


It's hard to pinpoint anything without seeing you play, but the first thing I would do would be to change the plan of attack from the the bpm to moderate tempos stressing clean accuracy with consistency over longer periods of time. Speed usually follows.
I think Old PIT Guy is right on. The fact that you can physically make the motion without the pedal suggests that this is a control issue. Adding in the factors of rebound and spring tension is probably throwing you off. I would drop down to much slower than you think you need and really get a feel for the mechanical aspects of the pedal and learn how to let them do the work for you and that will eventually carry over to the faster tempos. Accuracy and consistent are essential precursors to speed.


Platinum Member
Are you playing mostly heel up?

Also, where is your foot on the pedal? Like the stick has a balance point, the pedal has a sweet spot where it is easier to play. It's in the middle somewhere, you have to find it. Too high up and the distance of travel of the pedal is greater, and too far down it's harder to push the pedal down.

also been working on this for quite some time with very small improvements.
This is how it's supposed to work. There is no magic bullet for drums. The key is repetition and time. The more repetitions you do over time will show more improvement. The less repetitions you do over time will show less improvement. No one wakes up one day and is considerably faster than the previous day.


Active member
I agree with what everyone has said. Just remember, you can logically deduce and understand drum music in your head much more quickly than being able to play it. Patience is key - not just with what you hear and want to hear but with knowing your musculature and nerves must adjust to what it is your brain already has digested. That is the hardest rub with drumming. I can logically tell you all about having four different rhythms going, one in each hand and each foot. Then how I want to be able to switch two rhythms (let's say what the rt hand is doing with the left foot and vise versa) on one of the next measure without affecting the time/tempo. But I can't do that right now - maybe in a year.