Bop Drumming and Bass Drum Volume


I heard that the sound needs to be low - but how do you do that? Also, I'm assuming that solos and fills would need the bass drum loud (accented) - but should the snare always be also (There is a tendency when playing to match the snare with the bass drum.)? What is common in the type of playing?


Senior Member
I'd say in jazz the bass drum is only for accents, and is not played at all for time-keeping... some people say feather the quarter note but that's old school big band really, not for bop.

Or if you tune it open and high it becomes just like another tom tom, come to think of it that's probably what most bop players use it for...
Last edited:

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
You start out by playing the snare softly on the edge, but can do anything, accent in different ways etc...

As with anything you have to listen to the music and learn from that.


Junior Member
Supernoodle is mistaken: feathering is crucial to learning to play bebop solidly. Most bop drummers feather the quarter note, and line it up with the bassist's quarter note. Feathering means the bass drum is felt rather than heard. Get one of those soft beaters, like Vater sells (I think they call it a "bomber). Once the groove is comfortable, accents can be played on the bass drum. I've seen Roy Haynes feathering. Tony Williams, Philly Joe, Max Roach, Art Blakey...they all feathered the bass drum. Those guys could often stop feathering and use the bass for accents only. But that was after years of having mastered feathering. Learning to feather will anchor your groove.