DOUBLE BASS DRUMMING

benjamin

Junior Member
I have been practicing double bass for a short while now and i can find that i can play straight 16ths at around 100-110 pretty easily but as soon as i bump the tempo my feet can keep up, is there a technique i can do to help build more speed?, i play heel up so would i have to start using more of my ancle as it gets faster? can anyone help me with this?



Cheers Ben.
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
Well what's the problem exactly? Coordination, muscular endurance or straight up speed?

What might help would be to make sure your various settings are all where you want them. That means throne height, distance from the pedals, pedal tension, etc. That can all make a big difference.
 

benjamin

Junior Member
im pretty sure my height is ok, my legs are roughly paralell to the ground, i think it might have something to do with a bit of coordination and muscular endurance but not entirely sure, im using a pearl demon drive double bass drum pedal as well, swotchedto long board and on the lightest setting
 

inflames

Junior Member
Oh my god, you lucky thing having demon drive first off -envy-

On another note, I've recently devised myself a practice routine where I stay at one speed for about 1-1.5 weeks, then go up by 5. So by the time I'm ready to move up, I can play the speed I'm leaving smoothly and consistently. Try using that as a practice idea.
 

jamesf

Junior Member
Okay, firstly, Dude (Inflames), I love your avatar! Nicely done I actually thought there was a bug on my screen at first! :)
Secondly, I agree with the tempo threshold. I've been trying to get the hang of double-bass, but, much like Benjamin describes, there's a certain point in the tempo where it just kind of falls apart, especially when I'm running half the time on my ride or hi-hat and half that on the snare! Ugh, Double Bass drumming is not for the faint-of-heart, that's for sure!
I'll just continue to start slowly and work my way faster every time, it's just a long road...
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
im pretty sure my height is ok, my legs are roughly paralell to the ground, i think it might have something to do with a bit of coordination and muscular endurance but not entirely sure, im using a pearl demon drive double bass drum pedal as well, swotchedto long board and on the lightest setting
Well if it's the lightest setting, that might be part of your problem. I need quite a bit of tension otherwise I feel like I'm just flailing my legs while the pedals flop around.
 

The Bassist

Senior Member
It will just take time. I've been at it a while and I'm slowly becoming more and more accurate and gaining speed. I don't push myself too much when it comes to double bass, and just practice it a couple minutes with different patterns, and then just do my normal stuff and play along with other songs. One thing for speed is doing triplet 8th instead of going for 16ths. That would be something like R L R L R L R L R L R L on the feet with a ride hit (I choose ride because you can hear it more clearly than if you hit the hi hat or crash a bunch of times. A closed hi hat is also good) on the bolded letters and a snare on the underlined one. It isn't quite as fast as 16ths, but faster than 8ths and also gives you a different kind of hand foot coordination. Try to be as precise as possible.

And another thing that's helping me is making sure the pedals are spaced so that both feet are at about the same place on each pedal. Test out the spring tension too on each pedal with your hands so that they are about the same.

Even if your pedals are uneven, however (as my left pedal has a slightly smaller angle than the left one), eventually your body will learn to adapt. You should try to make their distances from the bassdrum even though. Try to find a good angle where you aren't too close and don't get any power, and not too far so that it takes too much effort.
Practicing unisons (such are R L R L on both the snare and the bass drum) with help you with coordinating them.

One last thing (at least that I can think of) is, as someone said earlier, throne height. You should probably adjust your height so that your legs are flat or your knees are slightly lower. If your knees go up, it will likely be uncomfortable and require a bit too much effort.

But, overall, it really is time and patience. I'm not incredibly solid on the bass drum yet myself after speeds of about 120, but I have improved A LOT since about June when I started practicing them a bit more. Just try not to get frustrated, because in the long run, it won't take too long. Maybe a several months to a couple years before you can use it in a song, just as long as you don't give up.
 

branflakes992

Senior Member
Not trying to be mean, but Drummerworld forums are being eaten up by "Double Bass" and "Speed Chops/Technique" posts. Try to play everything you can! Play some Latin and Afro-Cuban patterns, jazz and good timekeeping, and some James Brown funk. Play something else before double bass.
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
Not trying to be mean, but Drummerworld forums are being eaten up by "Double Bass" and "Speed Chops/Technique" posts. Try to play everything you can! Play some Latin and Afro-Cuban patterns, jazz and good timekeeping, and some James Brown funk. Play something else before double bass.
Why? Why do people act like double bass is this mystical force that can only be harnessed by drummers who achieve a certain level previously? If someone wants to learn how to play in a given genre, then they should work towards it. Spending time on jazz or funk songs that the person dislikes might make for a "well-rounded" musician, but since this is something we do for our own enjoyment then why not do what we enjoy?

I'd much rather be a somewhat one-dimensional drummer with excellent speed and power for heavy metal than a well-rounded drummer that can't keep up with the heavy stuff.
 

JPW

Silver Member
Why? Why do people act like double bass is this mystical force that can only be harnessed by drummers who achieve a certain level previously? If someone wants to learn how to play in a given genre, then they should work towards it. Spending time on jazz or funk songs that the person dislikes might make for a "well-rounded" musician, but since this is something we do for our own enjoyment then why not do what we enjoy?

I'd much rather be a somewhat one-dimensional drummer with excellent speed and power for heavy metal than a well-rounded drummer that can't keep up with the heavy stuff.
IMO whatever gets you behind the kit is a good thing. And not every drummer reading these forums are wanting to be an all around professional session drummer with the need to know every style. While I agree that it would be a good thing and there are other more important aspects in drumming than double bass rolls, it's a good thing if that's the thing that gets you to practice. I didn't have that when I was a kid and then I stopped playing -> not good.

And some old people might not realise how big a thing this metal music is for example here in northern europe at the moment. We have every radio station playing heavy music these days not just some minor stations. So of course many people want to play the popular kind of music with their friends and not some "oldies".

I personally can relate to both camps. But I don't get it why all the hostility between each camp. We are all drumming afterall.

What you shouldn't do though is ONLY practicing double bass technique. I have found that foot technique is much much more easily accuired than hand technique, and everything should also be able to be put in groove context. So I just hope every metal player realizes not to only practice with your feet and with some weird technique like heel-toe or swivel, at first at least.
 

yesdog

Silver Member
I am working on my double bass chops, I don't play metal but its always good to have good double bass in your bag of tricks. You never know when you will need them.
 

JPW

Silver Member
explain right now man
I'm not saying it doesn't take years. But a foot is much more easily aligned correctly, the mechanics of the strokes are simpler and there aren't many different things you can do with feet. With hands there are much much more nyances, many different techniques for stroking, buzz rolls, brushes. There's also much more dynamic space with hands than with feet. For example I wouldn't really say there's such thing as half stroke with feet, maybe low and full.

If your only goal is to blast as fast as possible, sure, the speeds of hands and feet might go hand in hand. At least if you only use fingers. But if you want to actually play something else, it becomes much more complicated.

For these reasons I practice hands and feet 3:1. At least for now that ratio gives me about the same amount of progress for both.

I have always wondered how do all these death metal drummers learn their hand technique if they only concentrate on bass drum rolls. It gives all the beginners an illusion that hand technique is lesser and trivial thing while the truth is very different.
 

Hedon

Senior Member
I'm not saying it doesn't take years. But a foot is much more easily aligned correctly, the mechanics of the strokes are simpler and there aren't many different things you can do with feet. With hands there are much much more nyances, many different techniques for stroking, buzz rolls, brushes. There's also much more dynamic space with hands than with feet. For example I wouldn't really say there's such thing as half stroke with feet, maybe low and full.

If your only goal is to blast as fast as possible, sure, the speeds of hands and feet might go hand in hand. At least if you only use fingers. But if you want to actually play something else, it becomes much more complicated.

For these reasons I practice hands and feet 3:1. At least for now that ratio gives me about the same amount of progress for both.

I have always wondered how do all these death metal drummers learn their hand technique if they only concentrate on bass drum rolls. It gives all the beginners an illusion that hand technique is lesser and trivial thing while the truth is very different.
i believe many dm drummers have pretty basic hand technique with a huge focus on SINGLE STROKE.
so, no technique, just speed

i pretty much agree. the foot indeed has much less to learn than the hand
 

Dynath

Junior Member
Hey man, Alright I've still been having a tough problem with speed as well cause in my band I'm in we've been covering ALOT OF SUPER QUICK stuff.
Like Idk if you know this song but listen to bass drum bursts in This Calling by All That Remains or Six by All That Remains.

What I've been doing is rudiments on my double bass. It's hard when you try and do like Paradiddles but it worked for me so I'd give that a shot.
 

joeysnare

Silver Member
I have been practicing double bass for a short while now and i can find that i can play straight 16ths at around 100-110 pretty easily but as soon as i bump the tempo my feet can keep up, is there a technique i can do to help build more speed?, i play heel up so would i have to start using more of my ancle as it gets faster? can anyone help me with this?



Cheers Ben.
One thing that helped me was (just for practice puposes) i raised my throne really high so i could only use my ankles. It forced me to really get my technique proper, then after that all i had to do was learn to transition from slow speeds( full leg movements) to higher speeds ( ankle movments).
Also doing wind sprints of sorts will help, start slow and slowly bring the tempo up until you hit your max and your strokes start to become uneven then slowly bring the speed back down, you'll definitly notice an increase in speed and endurance from doing this.
 

Filacterua

Senior Member
Hey man, Alright I've still been having a tough problem with speed as well cause in my band I'm in we've been covering ALOT OF SUPER QUICK stuff.
Like Idk if you know this song but listen to bass drum bursts in This Calling by All That Remains or Six by All That Remains.

What I've been doing is rudiments on my double bass. It's hard when you try and do like Paradiddles but it worked for me so I'd give that a shot.
Dude - that guy is playing for Black Dahlia Murder now... If my band wanted to cover that I would thank them for all the memories and move on. Too much for me...
 
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