Jazz bass drum pedal

Auspicious

Active member
Hello everyone,

I am a self taught.. drummer, apprentice, I tool my kit out of the boxes lately after a good music discussion we had in another forum. I like jazz very much and this is why I bought the drum kit in the first place, to practice jazz as a hobby. I have a 4 piece kit Catalina Club Jazz with a 22" K , a 17" Turkish and 13" K hi hats. My bass drum is 18 inches with a power stroke 3 front head.

I am here today because I have problems with the bass drum pedal

I don't know if the pedal itself is the problem or if it's me.. but it seems like it is not responding fast enough.. it's not responding and I already find it stiff more then enough.. the spring is at the lowest tension.. I wonder if there is another product that would provide better precision and response time to input my triplets around the kit.

In your opinion Is there another better quality product ? a pedal for jazz, which is smooth but responsive, precise, fast but for very soft playing.

This is the pedal.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
See if you can get your hands on a Ludwig Speed King. I used one for years and reallly loved it. Then one day while I was playing something seemed to happen inside and the action was gone. Not being all that handy I resigned myself to buying a new pedal. Since I had always wanted to learn double bass, I bought a double bass pedal. But earlier in my drumming days, more like college days, I played lots of jazz and my Speed King was fantastic. In fact, I now want to take mine apart and see what happened to it and see if I can fix it. I heard Ludwig is re-releasing the Speed King but that hasn't happened yet and I have no way of knowing if it will be identical or have some tweeks to it that makes it play differently. If different translates into better, then maybe it pays to wait for it. Or keep an eye out for a used refurbished one on Reverb or Ebay.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Response, precision, and speed are more influenced by technique than they are by pedals. Some drummers tend to believe that a pedal is a machine that should do the work for them. That's laughable. A pedal is a tool, just like a drumstick. Unless it's broken, a tool gives you what you put into it.

With regard to spring tension, I've always found that tight springs enhance speed, whereas looser ones promote control. I aim for something in the middle. Other players might have alternate opinions.

If you decide to experiment with other pedals, I'd recommend visiting a drum shop and trying a few out before making a decision. There's a lot of variance among the feel of pedals. Buying blind could be disappointing.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
See if you can get your hands on a Ludwig Speed King. I used one for years and reallly loved it. Then one day while I was playing something seemed to happen inside and the action was gone. Not being all that handy I resigned myself to buying a new pedal. Since I had always wanted to learn double bass, I bought a double bass pedal. But earlier in my drumming days, more like college days, I played lots of jazz and my Speed King was fantastic. In fact, I now want to take mine apart and see what happened to it and see if I can fix it. I heard Ludwig is re-releasing the Speed King but that hasn't happened yet and I have no way of knowing if it will be identical or have some tweeks to it that makes it play differently. If different translates into better, then maybe it pays to wait for it. Or keep an eye out for a used refurbished one on Reverb or Ebay.
I play only Pearl pedals but agree that the Speed King is a great option for someone who isn't sure what buy.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
The pedal's fine-- that's the exact same design jazz drummers have been using for 80+ years. Take a closer look at the spring adjustment-- at the loosest end the beater should be flopping. The nut on the bottom tensions it and the nut on top locks it.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Pedal for jazz? I’m oversimplifying it, but try a Tama Classic pedal or the Jojo Mayer Sonor Perfect Balance pedal.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
it is likely loosening to the point of no/little response. post a video of the adjustment side and somebody here will solve it for sure.
 

Noisy

Well-known member
For a softer sound, a fuzzy beater may make more sense.

Your pedal may have limited adjustments but I’ll guess as to some:
Make the beater location at rest closer to the drumhead. Adjust the angle or make the shaft length shorter for a faster and weaker response.

Make your batter drumhead tighter for more rebound. This may help you feel things are faster. Jazz bass drums can often be higher pitched.

Double check your spring settings. You can also try move your foot higher up the foot board for more leverage. Also, your muscles will get stronger with use.

Your throne position may need adjustment. The distance to the pedal is important. You may try sitting higher up with your knee lower than your thigh. This may make the pedal feel more comfortable.
 
Not much to add to the great advice above. Try everything and see how it works. Personally, I don't like very low tensioned springs - it makes the pedal feel a bit whacky to me. Since you play Jazz, you'll probably play with the beater 1 to 3" from the head often which doesn't require a lot of force but precision. In my opinion, a bit of tension helps to make the pedal feel less sluggish.
You don't need a high end pedal and your pedal should be good enough. Now, if you should find out that your pedal is actually defunct, a cheap Yamaha pedal should do the trick. I bought my early 90s double chain model 15 years ago for about $50. Absolutely zero complaints!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I’d shorten the beater a little, to lower the weight/momentum and to strike the drum nearer the centre. And don’t have the spring too loose.
 

Auspicious

Active member
Hello everyone, thanks for all the advises, this is awesome.

You have convinced me to adjust the settings of my current pedal, I will look at it tonight when I am back from work. Spring tension, angle and the height of the beater.

I think my throne needs to be a bit higher too.. that's another thing that was mentioned I need to look at.

I will come back later with this.

Thanks again.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
Jazz players use the same assortment of pedals as heavy metal players. It’s all in the adjustments.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
but it seems like it is not responding fast enough.. it's not responding and I already find it stiff more then enough.. the spring is at the lowest tension..
Put your spring at a medium tension. Start from there.

My thinking is this: If you are new to this, you might be doing something and not know it. If you bury the beater and your spring has no tension, nothing is returning the pedal to the start position. Do you bury the beater?

How is your head tension? A loose head + low spring tension = poor rebound (especially if burying the beater). An increase in head tension will increase rebound in the pedal.

Is there anything in your drum? Laundry can effect the feel of the pedal too.

I wouldn't go getting another pedal yet. Start with upping the spring tension. Give your foot some time to get used to it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Put your spring at a medium tension. Start from there.

My thinking is this: If you are new to this, you might be doing something and not know it. If you bury the beater and your spring has no tension, nothing is returning the pedal to the start position. Do you bury the beater?

How is your head tension? A loose head + low spring tension = poor rebound (especially if burying the beater). An increase in head tension will increase rebound in the pedal.

Is there anything in your drum? Laundry can effect the feel of the pedal too.

I wouldn't go getting another pedal yet. Start with upping the spring tension. Give your foot some time to get used to it.
Good breakdown. My spring tension is about medium. It's the best compromise between control and speed. I utilize more control these days, so max tension would be like running uphill for no reason. At the opposite end, low tension would feel dead and would require too much work for other reasons.

It's common for beginners, as we've discussed in the past, to blame equipment when a lack of knowledge and technique is usually the culprit. Racing to replace a pedal is rarely a useful solution. Practice is a more effective prescription. Once you've developed basic skills, you'll have a much better sense of the type of pedal you want to invest in.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Response, precision, and speed are more influenced by technique than they are by pedals. Some drummers tend to believe that a pedal is a machine that should do the work for them. That's laughable. A pedal is a tool, just like a drumstick. Unless it's broken, a tool gives you what you put into it.

With regard to spring tension, I've always found that tight springs enhance speed, whereas looser ones promote control. I aim for something in the middle. Other players might have alternate opinions.

If you decide to experiment with other pedals, I'd recommend visiting a drum shop and trying a few out before making a decision. There's a lot of variance among the feel of pedals. Buying blind could be disappointing.
I agree. Try working on adjusting the pedal you have first and see if you can get it to perform the way you want before going out and buying a new one. But if that doesn't work, I think you'll like the Speed King.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I agree. Try working on adjusting the pedal you have first and see if you can get it to perform the way you want before going out and buying a new one. But if that doesn't work, I think you'll like the Speed King.
My first pedal ever, back in the '80s, was a Speed King, which came with my first set ever, a Ludwig. The nice thing about the Speed King for a beginner is its simplicity. There's not a whole lot to tamper with. Some modern pedals are shot through with complex adjustments. If you aren't careful, you'll spend more time tweaking them than playing them. Beginners should just be playing.
 
Any pedal should work fine for jazz. I own and play different pedals from Tama Camco over Iron Cobra, Yamaha (???-old cheapo) to Perfect Balance, and no matter how different they are built, they all get the job done.
One thing they all have in common is the rather light spring tension I use ;)

It's all about adjustment and practice, and from what I read, Buddy Rich used a very light tension. We all know his right foot wasn't exactly slow. I think he practiced without the spring attached at all from time to time to gain control and speed.

I remember having right foot issues when I first gigged my little Cat, but that was due to the poor bass drum riser. Everything felt sloppy until I bought a Dixson bass drum lift. This little thing was the answer.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
You really need to get your foot on some pedals, to try out. Guys I know that play jazz ..... use the DW 5000, the Camco (Camco by Tama), Tama Flexi-Flyer, Rogers Swivo-Matic, Tama Iron Cobra Jr. ..... so. it's all across the board ..... vintage, modern, strap, chain, direct drive.

You might get your pedal to work for you .... you might not. I like some pedals ..... hate others.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I can just look at it and see the spring tension is so low that it's probably not doing much of anything
 
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