Double Bass - 32nd. note counting/technique

Big_Al47

Senior Member
Guys,

Started working on my double bass and it's coming along OK I think. I'm using the double bass encyclopedia lesson book and taking each page slowly. I can play 16th. notes at 92bpm fairly comfortably (4 notes per click). I started at 60bpm and worked my way up slowly over a couple of months.

I'd like to play metal style music and just trying to confirm that most of what I'm hearing on the records are 32nd notes on double bass and not 16ths. I'm assuming to practice 32nd notes, it's the same method I'm using now, but I will be playing 8 notes per click, correct? Start painfully slow (like 40bpm) and just count on my feet 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 (per click) all the way through the measure? Keep snare on 2 & 4, etc.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I recommend keeping the click tempo crazy slow and playing through the table of time on your feet

the amount of space between the clicks will improve your time and this will also give you the ability to seamlessly flow through all subdivisions

start with square divisions (eigths, 16th, 32nd etc) before adding the round divisions (quarter trips, 8th trips, sextuplets etc )....and of course play simple hand patterns over the top of this....maybe 8th notes on your right hand and 2 and 4 on your left.... assuming you are right handed

simply playing in one subdivision at high tempos won't do much much build endurance

which is fine...you need that...but there is a lot more to playing double kick than endurance

don't just play fast for the sake of playing fast.....play in time and through subdivisions



...and I usually count 32nds as 1e+a +e+a ..and so on
 
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Bretton

Silver Member
16ths.

If you can rip 32nds in excess of 200bpm, I stand in awe!! :)
I usually think of my songs as 100 bpm (or 90, or 110, or whatever). and play 32nds. at 200 bpm, you can't really even keep a "one ee and ah, two ee and ah" count going in your head, it all just turns into mumbly noise, and that's just thinking it, nevermind saying it.

to "count" through 32nds, I would say you have to abandon the notion of counting out the bass drum hits, and count the 8th notes, making sure you hear 4 notes in between. Playing double time, like Slayer, I count the 16ths on the ride/hat and try to make sure my right foot matches. For half time, I would still count the 8th notes, so I count a number for every 4 bass drum hits. There are only ride/hat hits every 8 bass hits, so I try to pretend there's an "invisible" ride/hat hit in the middle. Might even help to hit your thigh with the stick there.
 

shadowlorde

Senior Member
wait .. what .. people agreeing with 32nd notes ... NOOOO.. 16ths man .. 16th notes .. ...

i think you got it all confused ... in records like slayer .. the hats are 8ths not quarters ...

approx reference being that you said you want to play metal ... power metal 150 - 180, thrash metal 17 - 200 ,death metal 180- 250+
.. tip to double bass ... play along to the big 4 of thrash (metallica, megadeth, anthrax, testament) when that's easy move up to cannibal corpse, deicide, morbid angel, and death ... then move up to hat eternal, nile, behemoth ... etc (if you can )
 

iontheable

Senior Member
wait .. what .. people agreeing with 32nd notes ... NOOOO.. 16ths man .. 16th notes .. ...

i think you got it all confused ... in records like slayer .. the hats are 8ths not quarters ...

approx reference being that you said you want to play metal ... power metal 150 - 180, thrash metal 17 - 200 ,death metal 180- 250+
.. tip to double bass ... play along to the big 4 of thrash (metallica, megadeth, anthrax, testament) when that's easy move up to cannibal corpse, deicide, morbid angel, and death ... then move up to hat eternal, nile, behemoth ... etc (if you can )
Those last few there are especially "if you can" bands..

I think that's a pretty good layout though for what someone, who wants to play metal should focus on. Start with the skank beats and simply blasts, those have to be so stupidly solid before you can even get to the next level of playing.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Well if you consider what some peeps can do... Actually this is getting close to 200 bpm... as 32nd notes! Tim Waterson hit(s) about 365 bpm, and some guy (there's a YouTube video) does 1.500ish notes per minute (equals about 380 bpm).
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
you guys are going about it in a way where there are very few benefits

don't go by 16th notes and BPM..... go through subdivisions at a low BPM so you have a better understanding of how to internalize the quarter note and your time

many many more benefits to this approach and will give you many more options as a player

trust me

it may take longer to master but you will be a much more versatile player
 

Messerschmitt

Senior Member
wait .. what .. people agreeing with 32nd notes ... NOOOO.. 16ths man .. 16th notes .. ...

i think you got it all confused ... in records like slayer .. the hats are 8ths not quarters ...
My toughts.
I can`t remember any songs that use 32nd notes for double bass, but 90& of the double bass songs i know and listen to use 16th notes or 16th note triplets for the bass drum. They sound like 32nd notes just because they`re fast as hell , lol!
My advice would be: start playing 16th notes at a low tempo (let`s say, 120 BPM) and slowly work your way up. I can currently go as high as 180, wich is pretty enough for me, althrough my goal is 200.
 

Bretton

Silver Member
Yeah, don't forget about triplets, it's just as important to be able to play those in time as groups of 4.

as for tempos, I'm from the Gene Hoglan school of thought, that 32nd notes DO exist, and to say you're playing at 200, or 250, is just doubling the tempo and playing 16ths instead to make it sound more impressive. At 200 I can't count 1 ee and ah 2 ee and ah in my head, nor can I headbang quarter notes, so what I'm actually feeling is 100 bpm.

Sorry if that sounds insulting to anyone, no offence to anyone intended.
 

Big_Al47

Senior Member
Thanks again everyone! I'm glad to know it's 16th. notes on the double bass. I can play a normal 4/4 beat at around 140bpm but that is really pushing it. There is no way I can play double bass at that tempo, not at this point anyway.

I will keep practicing at my pace now and hopefully I can push those tempos up in a few months.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
At 200 I can't count 1 ee and ah 2 ee and ah in my head, nor can I headbang quarter notes, so what I'm actually feeling is 100 bpm.
But isn't that just splitting hairs? I'm guessing you can't count 32nd notes and bang your head on the 8th note at 100bpm either?

Why is saying "I can play 32nd notes at 100bpm" any less impressive than saying "I can play 16th notes at 200bpm"....I don't get it.

Most of these metal tunes are written at in excess of 200bpm.....if that's the case, then the foot patterns are 16th notes, not 32nd notes. Wasn't that what the Op was asking, or am I missing something here?
 
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