Double Pedal

TheDrumster

Senior Member
I've been a single pedal guy for 35 years, and I'm debating trying a double pedal. I'm interested in people's thoughts and experience with going to the double pedal. Does it take a long time to get the new foot in the groove? I have decent control on the HH, but mainly for barks and slow to mid tempo quarter note pulse.
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
I assume that HH stands for Hi-hat. Playing the double bass with your hi-hat foot, let us call it left foot, is different from playing the hi-hat with the left foot. The hi-hat is usually played with a steady pattern, or for assistance when playing the top portion with the hands. I am not sure, but I think Keith Moon played the left bass drum like he did the hi-hat with a steady pattern.

Playing the bass drum with the left foot you can play fills with both feet, you can roll with both feet, or you can play the steady pattern like the hi-hat. Although, I find playing the steady pattern on the same drum as the main bass drum not as easy to do as with two drums. Perhaps, that is just me, but I find a sort of an interference when playing on the same drum and the two pedals hit the drum at the same time together. I am not that good at rolling with both feet any more, but that is due to injury mostly.

There are some drummers that like to play the hi-hat with the heel of their foot and the bass drum with the toe of the foot. I can not do this type of left foot playing. I tried it many years ago and found it very difficult. I am not sure, but I think Ginger Baker plays his two bass drums like this. When I started learning double bass drumming I picked up the Louis Bellson book on progressive studies for double bass. It is a good book and teaches odd time signatures as well. There are probably other books that the others members of the forum would recommend. The one thing I found with the double bass drumming is that sometimes I can use it to conserve my right foot a little.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
you can always use the double pedal as a single while your learning too dont forget

start out with easy things like 1/8 and 1/16 notes to get the feel down..

snare drum rudiments and accent sheets REALLY help...

it will make your drumm fills so much more full with a double too.

but not.. its not hard to incorporate...
 

lsits

Gold Member
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm 58 and have always played single. I got the double bass book by Joe Franco. It's only been a week or so but I can see steady improvement. His technique (he calls it the single stroke technique) is to use your lead foot (in my case the right) on the 1 and 2 and three and fours and your other foot on the e's and ah's. If you get this book (or any book) take your time and work with a metronome.
 

ThumperJim

Senior Member
Just make sure your right foot technique doesnt suffer. Keep practicing some of the time with the left side disconnected.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Yes it takes a long time. Your years of hi-hat playing will probably translate to some basic skills.
 

Matt Hennen

Junior Member
Are you heal up or heal down on single? Heal up is the only way to go on double. If you play heal down, you'll want to learn heal up and/or heal-toe at the same time for both feet. It wiil be woth it.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I played single pedal for a lot of years too. A couple years ago, I decided to try a double.

At first, I thought, this won't take long. But that bubble was burst quickly.
I saw pretty good progress after about a year.

At about 2 years, I decided I was where I wanted to be with it. Not super metal fast, but fast enough for any type of music that interests me.

I could probably get better still, if I put more work into it. And I lose a bit if I knock off for a while.

Also - I still like using a single pedal more than a double.
 

Michaelocalypse

Senior Member
None of us can really say how long it'll take you to learn it. I would suggest paracticing different patterns as well as a straightforward single stroke roll at different speeds.
There is a different feel and technique to playing hi-hats vs bass drum. You'll get the hang of it as you try to even out the sound between both feet.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I tried to describe my experience with it and how long it took me.

No one can say how long it would take TheDrumster (or anyone else) to progress.

Maybe quickly, maybe never, maybe somewhere in-between. It also depends on exactly what his goals are.
 

TheDrumster

Senior Member
Are you heal up or heal down on single? Heal up is the only way to go on double. If you play heal down, you'll want to learn heal up and/or heal-toe at the same time for both feet. It wiil be woth it.
I play heal up, mostly.... Thanks for the input.

I guess the real issue for me is whether it is worth putting in the time getting up to speed with the double, at the expense of practicing other things. I realize that's a personal decision. If I thought I could put in 15 minutes a day for 6 months and have reasonable speed and independence, I would probably do it. I'm not a metal guy, and it would not be an integral part of my playing.

I really appreciate hearing other people's experience.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I LOVE having a double pedal for fills. its like having another arm in a sense. i feel naked when going to a single i have used a double for so long.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
I LOVE having a double pedal for fills. its like having another arm in a sense.
I agree. I love the fact that it's an extra limb for doing fills with!

You do have to put the time in, but it depends how you want to use it. I got my double pedal 15 years ago, played it on and off for about a year, didn't really make much progress, and put it away. Then I got it out again (maybe 8 years ago) and stuck with it. Now I use it a lot. I use mine more for fills and soloing than for steady beats. Well worth the effort.
 
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