For anyone who wants to know how to get power with fast double bass

JT1

Silver Member
i agree
i think when you get the skill after all the hard work, equipment is like 0.01% of the whole thing, so..
No unfortunately i don't agree with this at all, if you've been playing your pedal a certain set up comfotably for years and then you play someone elses who is the complete opposite, you will find yourself struggling. I would say the way the gear is set to your liking is about 50% of the overall contribution. I played a mates pedal last night which is completely different to mine. I play 6.5 inches from the head, medium tension, full beater length and the footboard as flat as it can go, he had his set full spring tension, medium beater length, 4 inches from the head with about a 35 degree footboard angle. Lets just say i couldn't play it very well at all.

Also i agree that the quality of equipment doesn't really affect your playing but certainly how the pedal is set up does? If you are used to a set up that is comfortable to you and suddenly change, your playing will suffer (by the way i am talking about double pedals here not singles as singles are usually fine).
 
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JPW

Silver Member
No unfortunately i don't agree with this at all, if you've been playing your pedal a certain set up comfotably for years and then you play someone elses who is the complete opposite, you will find yourself struggling. I would say the way the gear is set to your liking is about 50% of the overall contribution. I played a mates pedal last night which is completely different to mine. I play 6.5 inches from the head, medium tension, full beater length and the footboard as flat as it can go, he had his set full spring tension, medium beater length, 4 inches from the head with about a 35 degree footboard angle. Lets just say i couldn't play it very well at all.

Also i agree that the quality of equipment doesn't really affect your playing but certainly how the pedal is set up does? If you are used to a set up that is comfortable to you and suddenly change, your playing will suffer (by the way i am talking about double pedals here not singles as singles are usually fine).
Why not practice with all the different setups then? We do practice with different surfaces with our hands you know. I hate it when I have to play with a different kit and my foot doesn't like the feel of the pedal. So I want to eliminate that with practice.
 

JT1

Silver Member
Why not practice with all the different setups then? We do practice with different surfaces with our hands you know. I hate it when I have to play with a different kit and my foot doesn't like the feel of the pedal. So I want to eliminate that with practice.
Yeah i know i've been in the process of switching things around for quite some time now to get comfortable but at the end of the day i always take my pedal to gigs and never use anyone elses. I might actually start practicing with another pedal set differently i guess it would be nice to see how i progress with that.

You mentioned earlier that you switch your tension, what routine do you do and for how long at different tensions?
 

JPW

Silver Member
You mentioned earlier that you switch your tension, what routine do you do and for how long at different tensions?
I usually switch it around in 3 days cycles, but I'm still not sure if that's the optimal interval. If anyone else has done similar things I would also like to know how frequently they switch.
 

rootheart

Senior Member
Spring tension increasing power doesn't logically make sense, it should be the opposite because the higher spring tension means you have to expend more force to overcome the force of the spring.
Yes...imagine a spring attached to your drumstick.

About speed: the highest spring tension and the fastet hightech pedal cannot withdraw the beater from the head any faster than you can withdraw your foot.

The fastet you can go is by using the rebound of the bassdrumhead. I have my springtension as low as possible (even on the e-drum pad). If I play single pedal, I even have the springs removed. For anyone who ever tried this often recommended idea, and it did not work: it works perfect with the Ludwig Speedking (because of the offcentered pivot), but it does not work with any other pedal I tried.

About power: In the 60ies it was indeed necessary to kick the bassdrum really hard, cause it wasn´t microphoned. My power came from sitting really high and such putting all my bodyweight in the kick impact. I used to break a lot of bassdrumheads those days. The band always had some acapella songs in the set, to give me the time either to change the bassdrum head or to hammer more and more nails into the stage floor to keep the bassdrum from moving forward....e.g. the band played girl by the Beatles, accompanied by my percussion: hammer hammer, donk donk....grin
 
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fugazi

Member
Whatever works
Overall the further the beater travels the more power in the strokes .
After a certain speed youll sacrifice volume.After 250 bpm EVERYONE triggers.
Ive seen some top extreme drummers performances without triggers and after a certain speed the bass drums just dissapear so power is not a factor after a certain speed you neeed to trigger the sounds for definition.
I have 3 double pedals ALL set differently overall a loose spring will give you more power as there is less resistance on the downnstroke
Just my 3 and 1/2 cents
Tim
250 bpm sixteenth notes?

thats pretty darn fast lol.
 

CCdrummer

Senior Member
True enough schist, you never said that the heavier shoes would give you more speed, so what I really should have said is that they might give you that little extra bit of power.

I do really agree, like everyone knows, that there is no substitute for practice, but when you are at the top of your game, no matter what it might be, little tweaks like this can be helpful.
 

diosdude

Silver Member
It's been twenty years since i took high school physics, but if i remember correctly, FORCE=MASS x VELOCITYsquared. POWER is a measure of work or energy transferred over a unit of time ie.- kW/h

To get more FORCE out of a bass drum strike, you need a more MASSive (heavier) beater. By extending the length of the beater shaft, you increase the radius, and thereby the circumference of the stroke arc and thus increase the travel length. If your rate of play is the same from the choked position to the new extended position, the beater is travelling a farther distance in the same time, thus increasing VELOCITY. Since MASS is multiplied by the SQUARE of VELOCITY, you are benefitting EXPONENTIALLY, FORCE-wise by lengthening the beater shaft. If you make those two adjustments, heavier beater, longer shaft and if you adjust your play to match the same tempo, the end result will be MORE FORCE.

You cannot change the laws of physics. But you might get away with sleeping through physics class.

I know... all drummers are dumb
 
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JPW

Silver Member
It's been twenty years since i took high school physics, but if i remember correctly, FORCE=MASS x VELOCITYsquared. POWER is a measure of work or energy transferred over a unit of time ie.- kW/h

To get more FORCE out of a bass drum strike, you need a more MASSive (heavier) beater. By extending the length of the beater shaft, you increase the radius, and thereby the circumference of the stroke arc and thus increase the travel length. If your rate of play is the same from the choked position to the new extended position, the beater is travelling a farther distance in the same time, thus increasing VELOCITY. Since FORCE is multiplied by the SQUARE of VELOCITY, you are benefitting EXPONENTIALLY, FORCE-wise by lengthening the beater shaft. If you make those two adjustments, heavier beater, longer shaft and if you adjust your play to match the same tempo, the end result will be MORE FORCE.

You cannot change the laws of physics. But you might get away with sleeping through physics class.

I know... all drummers are dumb
But you have to also transfer the energy from the beater to the head, so you have take in to account how large the beater is and what material (viscosity). But as I said earlier, beater shaft length and beaters mass is the two most important things to consider when we speak of power.

Weight of the leg plus weight of the shoe gives your leg more momentum on the way down BUT you have to pull the leg up so you are actually doing a lot more work in the end. You could use that extra work to produce greater downward momentum on your leg without much mass on the leg or the shoe so the two scenarios are equal for equal amount of power.

Of course if you have really tight springs on your pedals they help to lift your leg BUT for every unit of energy they help you to lift they are going to resist on your way down and this time it's actually worse since it's eating the momentum of the beater just before it hits the head. Also the momentum of the massive leg-shoe-system is much bigger so to change the direction of it's movement is going to cost you a lot more energy than changing the direction of a skinny leg with socks.

In my opinion best way to play would be to have as little spring tension as possible, maybe play even without springs at all and play with socks or really light boots. And to not bury the beater and use as much of the rebound as possible to your advantage to save the momentum and not eat any of it. But I guess it's part of the metal act to be a stiff sweaty lump of flesh behind the kit.

BTW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdJ9MzYMfXE
Will be really interesting to hear what he has to say about all this after the research he is doing. AFAIK he's also using really low spring tension.
 

diosdude

Silver Member
But you have to also transfer the energy from the beater to the head, so you have take in to account how large the beater is and what material (viscosity). But as I said earlier, beater shaft length and beaters mass is the two most important things to consider when we speak of power.

Weight of the leg plus weight of the shoe gives your leg more momentum on the way down BUT you have to pull the leg up so you are actually doing a lot more work in the end. You could use that extra work to produce greater downward momentum on your leg without much mass on the leg or the shoe so the two scenarios are equal for equal amount of power.

Of course if you have really tight springs on your pedals they help to lift your leg BUT for every unit of energy they help you to lift they are going to resist on your way down and this time it's actually worse since it's eating the momentum of the beater just before it hits the head. Also the momentum of the massive leg-shoe-system is much bigger so to change the direction of it's movement is going to cost you a lot more energy than changing the direction of a skinny leg with socks.

In my opinion best way to play would be to have as little spring tension as possible, maybe play even without springs at all and play with socks or really light boots. And to not bury the beater and use as much of the rebound as possible to your advantage to save the momentum and not eat any of it. But I guess it's part of the metal act to be a stiff sweaty lump of flesh behind the kit.

BTW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdJ9MzYMfXE
Will be really interesting to hear what he has to say about all this after the research he is doing. AFAIK he's also using really low spring tension.

Excellent points. Technically, the work load would be the same if you average the scalar and vector in both directions. My thought is, why not let both gravity and the springs do the most of the work for you? All you're doing by increasing the mass of your foot is really making it do more work in the opposite direction for the same result. If you took 2 totally different sized drummers, a big dude like Dennis Chambers and somebody really waifish, like Jojo Mayer and they both played the same double bass setup (spring tension and beater mass/ length) and if you gave Dennis heavier shoes vs Jojo in no shoes and if their strokes were equal length and they were both playing 220bpm sixteenths, I think the volume of the bass drum is going to be about the same, although individually, Dennis would be expending more energy in the effort to raise his feet and lower leg back to starting (high) position. I think it's much easier for your leg/ foot to push downward with less work/effort to raise it back up than it is to do the other way. I would want my effort to be focused on the downstroke and less on the upstroke.

This discussion and further research would make an awesome biophysics science project. I can attest that i use a Trick pro1v detonator pedal and heel down method to play 90% of the time and i gravitate more toward higher tension springs, more massive and longer beaters most of the time.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
YES, but - when you're wearing heavier-soled shoes, it does. The extra weight of the shoe, coupled with the increased spring tension, increases power/beater distance. I know because I tried it today with a new pair of skate shoes I bought the other day.

Conversely, when tried with a looser spring tension in the same shoes, I find myself losing potential beater distance/power, because of (again) the extra weight of said shoe. At the same time tho - yeah, you're right, you'd get more power with a looser spring tension if you were playing in "normal" shoes (Volleys, Converses etc.), or even socked/barefoot, than a tighter one.
I used to play with higher spring tension than nowadays, and back then I felt I lost power with decreased tension. I then switched to very loose tension to gain more control of my feet and I've since learned to get more power with less tension then I had with high tension before. Nowadays, when I increase spring tension, I find it easier to play evenly at high tempos, but I lose power.

Also, beater distance doesn't automatically equal volume. At my top speed, I have a lot of beater distance, but not so much volume.

For the record, I play either in skate shoes, or in outdoor (trekking) shoes, so I'd say I use what you call "heavier-soled shoes".

JPW said:
In my opinion best way to play would be to have as little spring tension as possible, maybe play even without springs at all and play with socks or really light boots. And to not bury the beater and use as much of the rebound as possible to your advantage to save the momentum and not eat any of it. But I guess it's part of the metal act to be a stiff sweaty lump of flesh behind the kit.
Well then, I guess all the drummers we see except of the metalheads use no springs at all, right?

It doesn't work that way because there is simply not enough rebound from a typical kick drum head to return the beater far enough and fast enough to effectively play at those types of speeds (200+ bpm).
 

JPW

Silver Member
It doesn't work that way because there is simply not enough rebound from a typical kick drum head to return the beater far enough and fast enough to effectively play at those types of speeds (200+ bpm).
There's always rebound. The question is, how much of the momentum is eaten by the rebound when the beater hits the head or how much is eaten by the spring before the beater hits the head. If we knew these for different surfaces we could easily say which way to go.

But let's use the stick analogy, if you play on a pillow, you still can play as fast and as powerfull but you are using different muscle groups (almost 100% wrist) than on a good rebound surface like snare or in an extreme case low tension mesh head (you could use fingers 100%, but of course wrists work too). So if we'd play on a pillow with bass drum pedals what would happen? Without springs we could only play one stroke without "some rebound" but is there such thing as no rebound? I think it's always a scalar and never 0%.

How much does that spring actually help when we get to speeds over 220bpm? My intuition says, the faster we go, the less the spring has time to do anything. There HAS to be rebound for it do anything. If the beater would just stop on the skin (think super glue) the strored energy in the springs would be rather small and it definetly wouldn't pull the beater far after the "glue" was removed. So even with high tension springs you will need rebound that is more than 0%.

I practice with a rubber pad that has very little rebound, so that if I haven't got spring attached at all, the beater isn't coming off the head unless I strike the pedal with all my force. But even then there's really no difference in power when I compare the two opposite extremes of the spring tensions. When I use high spring tension I feel I can play more easily with heel up but I also feel I'm working against the springs all the time. When I play with lower possible tension I'm working against rebound all the time but this time I have way better control and I also think I have more power with heel down that way.

Try to play swiss triplets (or any other flam pattern) with your feet such that the flams are true flams (grace note really low and main note as high as possible), do you feel you have as much control with hight tensioned springs as with low tension? I don't. And to me control = power.
 

Derek Roddy

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I love it when people "look" for the answers.

I think the biggest thing about spring tension..... is getting lost because of what people think the tightened spring will do.

I tighten my springs all the way down....have for many years and only because the tighter the spring is.....the faster the recoil of the beater to playing position.... and the longer the pedal will move in sync with itself.

It's much harder to push a pedal like this though.

If the pedal is back at the starting point before your next stroke....means you aren't interrupting the natural motion of the pedal coming back.
With a lighter spring....when playing higher tempos.....the recoil is "in the middle" of it's travel back to the starting position.

It's a balancing game really......you have to know your pedals and your playing..... and work with the physics around that.....not by what someone else does with their gear.
Work with your gear and your playing.

Cheers,
D.
 

JPW

Silver Member
I love it when people "look" for the answers.

I think the biggest thing about spring tension..... is getting lost because of what people think the tightened spring will do.

I tighten my springs all the way down....have for many years and only because the tighter the spring is.....the faster the recoil of the beater to playing position.... and the longer the pedal will move in sync with itself.

It's much harder to push a pedal like this though.

If the pedal is back at the starting point before your next stroke....means you aren't interrupting the natural motion of the pedal coming back.
With a lighter spring....when playing higher tempos.....the recoil is "in the middle" of it's travel back to the starting position.

It's a balancing game really......you have to know your pedals and your playing..... and work with the physics around that.....not by what someone else does with their gear.
Work with your gear and your playing.

Cheers,
D.
Exactly. Your point of natural movement of the pedal is magnified if you try to play multi-pedal orchestrations. There is no such spring tension setup where there isn't a "dead tempo" somewhere where you just can't do a stroke because the pedal has moved to the position where the beater is the closest to the head. You just can't make a audible stroke then. Then you have to change the tension so that you can play the desired tempo with the orchestration.

And I'm not saying any type of setup is inferior or superior. I'm saying they are quite equal and you have the use the one which allows you to play clean and the least energy possible.

One point though, what is the use of the power when you use triggers? If what Tim Waterson says is true that everyone uses triggers past 250bpm (not because of lack of power, but lack of separation of sound of the strokes) what do we use the power for at those tempos? Just to show off? I mean it can look cool if we hit piezo with a sledge hammer sweating like crazy and having evil grin on our face but the piezo will give your midi-interface the exact same signal and the exact same sound is played. =P

Yeah, I'm lazy, and I want to protect my body so that I can play as long as I can breathe.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
How much does that spring actually help when we get to speeds over 220bpm? My intuition says, the faster we go, the less the spring has time to do anything. There HAS to be rebound for it do anything. If the beater would just stop on the skin (think super glue) the strored energy in the springs would be rather small and it definetly wouldn't pull the beater far after the "glue" was removed. So even with high tension springs you will need rebound that is more than 0%.
Take a heavy duty spring and put it on your pedal. Set it up to max tension. Set up the beater resting angle to 45 degrees from vertical. Hold the beater against the head with your hand. Release it. Do the same with spring tensioned just enough to actually separate the beater from the head, but no more. Compare the results. What have you learned?
In my experience, there is absolutely no need for rebound of any kind with high enough spring tension (and, in my experience again, "high enough" doesn't have to be very high at all).

Note that I'm not a proponent of high spring tensions, in fact my springs are just above slack. I like to use the rebound of the head as much as possible, even though I play on a literally finger tight head on the kick drum.
Still, I acknowledge that for extremely high speeds on low rebound kick drums (low tuning and dampened), additional spring tension can be helpful and not a detriment.

In my opinion, Derek is right on the money:
...you have to know your pedals and your playing...
 
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