Talk about your first bass drum pedal upgrade

Auspicious

Well-known member
Hello!

Today I saw a thread, it was about a person who wanted to buy a 22" cymbal, Mark I, Mark II or a Menil Foundery. That led me to wander around Paiste's website and found that Rob Brown video about the Mark I in the "Artist" section. (Very nice cymbals in my opinion)

@ 4:15 he says something very interesting:
"I think your gear should encourage you to play."

And that led me to think more about my very first thread here on DW, it was about a bass drum pedal. I learned that the pedal isn't an obstacle in the playing and that everything is based on the muscle developpement of the player and technique. If the bass drum is hard to play, it's NOT because of the pedal it's because of the player, roughly.

The problem is, today, I still think my bass drum pedal is a piece of junk, mechanically.

After watching Rob's video, I think he is 110% correct with his gear affirmation. 😁

My question: Tell me about your bass drum pedal upgrade experience, switching a 45CAD model for a premium model? And how good was it for you?
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
Sooo. My first pedal was a super old vintage leather strap drive pedal that came apart roughly every 5 min.

Then I went to one of PDP’s first double pedals. It was also trash. But it didn’t fall apart mid song so that was good.


I’ve owned so many pedals. But my first 3-4 pedals were all just junk. But they made me a better player because when I moved to pro level gear, I didn’t have to work nearly as hard
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
All my upgrades over the last 40 years may have inspired me to play but I didn’t sound any different. At no time did I ever say a piece of gear was holding me back because I think you can either play or you can’t. If the gear is why you can’t do something, then you’re not working hard enough.

As far as bass drum pedals go, they just keep getting smoother and robust. But I’ve never broken an ancient Camco or my first, the Speed King. If I were to hear a recording over time, the thing that gets better is my time.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
played on my dads 1955 Ludwig Speed King from 1973 until 1993, and then got my current DW5000 double bass pedal new in 1994. That was a huge jump in feel and durability for playing punk and metal back then. The DW is now at the end of it's days, and I am toying with getting a new double bass pedal. Either a Pearl Eliminator or maybe a Tama Iron Cobra...

I still use the Speed King for my jazz set up sometimes...
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
@Bo Eder I am in a learning curve, in 1 year inevitably my playing will be better then today.. So if I replace my bass drum pedal it will be easy to falsely attribute my evolution to it...

I don't want to do that but Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX nailed it, there is something about the feel of the pedal.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
@Bo Eder I am in a learning curve, in 1 year inevitably my playing will be better then today.. So if I replace my bass drum pedal it will be easy to falsely attribute my evolution to it...

I don't want to do that but Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX nailed it, there is something about the feel of the pedal.
Then get it and continue on. I tend to look at the music I’m playing first - if that’s requiring a new “something” to be able to execute, then it’ll be obvious. But mostly everything made today is so much better than what I had to start with in the 70s, I’d say it’s more mental for you than physical.
 

Philaiy9

Junior Member
My first good pedal was a DW 5000 from the 90s. Great pedal I got for $40 on eBay. That replaced the pedal that came with my Ludwig Accent kit, which had OK action but was very noisy.

It was definitely worth it. I could play the kick with more conviction and control from there on out.
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If the bass drum is hard to play, it's NOT because of the pedal it's because of the player, roughly.

That's not to suggest that every pedal behaves the same. Some are sluggish or have an uncomfortable feel that can't be adjusted to your liking. The goal is not to adapt to the pedal, it's to have the pedal adapt to your foot... and of course your foot needs to be developed to an extent as well. Neither the foot or pedal should be expected to rely too much on the other, yet the pedal shouldn't limit you.

That said, you want a pedal that can stick to our foot. In other words, whatever your foot can do, the pedal will respond not only on the downstroke, but the upstroke as well. That's especially important when playing fast figures. The pedal needs to allow your foot to do what it can do, without holding it back.

So what pedal sticks best? That's very subjective. Most pedals are quite smooth and responsive, and a group of drummers will respond with several best pedals from DW, Yamaha, Pearl, Tama, Sonor, Taye, Ludwig, Trick, Mapex, Natal, the new Rogers, etc.

My first pedal upgrades were in the seventies. I went from my Ludwig Speed King and Standard pedals to a Rogers Swivomatic, then a Pearl 810, both leaps and bounds better - in my opinion - than the Ludwigs I was using. They were smoother, and effortless, and let my foot do what it was capable of, and allowed me to develop it further. Over the years I went through many other pedals. I currently own 46 pedals from 12 companies. :)

Did I ever find the perfect pedal for me? Well, I always think the one I'm using is perfect, yet I keep my mind and my eyes open, and am always willing to try something new to help ensure I'm using the right gear, or to consider a change. I've made very few changes, and am currently very happy with the Ludwig Atlas Pro (recently re-issued as the Speed Flyer) that I've been using since 2015.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
My first drum kit was a Gracy (MIJ stencil kit), and it's pedal was ...... a ...... not the best. It was the 60's ..... and about the best pedal I could get my foot on, was a Ludwig Speed King. We had one of those (and a Ludwig Hollywood kit) in the band I was in. So I knew what a good drum set and bass pedal were. My first pedal upgrade was ...... a Ludwig Speed King. Big jump in feel and adjustability.

Once I actually had the chance to play a bunch of different pedals ..... I went with the Tama 6740 Hi Beat (which is actually a lot like the Rogers Swiv-o-matic pedal). Had I known about the Rogers pedal ...... maybe I would have got it over the Speed King?

And then, I got into the "Camco by Tama" type pedals. And those are basically the perfect pedal for me.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
My first pedal ever was a Ludwig Speed King, which came with my first kit ever, also a Ludwig. Suffice it to say that I was eager to switch to Pearl a few years later. I don't recall my first Pearl pedal in detail, but I do remember that it was a significant "upgrade" over the Speed King, which squeaked like a mildewed mattress recovered from the Titanic. The Speed King was louder than my bloody snare drum.

I don't subscribe to pedal hierarchies from a cost standpoint. Right now, I'm using a Pearl P930, which retails for just over a hundred bucks. I like it more than other Pearl pedals twice its cost. Some pedals have too many bells and whistles, which can constitute dead weight in my experience. Give me a streamlined pedal with a fluid motion. My body takes care of the rest.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I went through a pile of cheap pedals before getting a late 80s/early 90s Gibraltar double in 93. It was my first "real" pedal. Before then it was crap pedals on 2 drums.

I've been through and played on numerous pedals, and I always come back to the round cam. I dont need 12457900 adjustments or a double chain. Light and simple meets my needs.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
All my upgrades over the last 40 years may have inspired me to play but I didn’t sound any different. At no time did I ever say a piece of gear was holding me back because I think you can either play or you can’t. If the gear is why you can’t do something, then you’re not working hard enough.

As far as bass drum pedals go, they just keep getting smoother and robust. But I’ve never broken an ancient Camco or my first, the Speed King. If I were to hear a recording over time, the thing that gets better is my time.

While any drummer can play on any drum set and get good and sound good, I do think think your statement in regards to pedals is a little off base.

The low end pedals new drummers start with, especially off brand stuff, literally has functional inequities when compared to high end pedals. I know personally when l was starting out, and then finally upgraded to a pro Level pedal, I realized I was working a whole lot harder on my cheap pedals vs when I played my high end stuff. Pedals are one of the few pieces of gear where you can see improvements in your playing just by switching the gear
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
While any drummer can play on any drum set and get good and sound good, I do think think your statement in regards to pedals is a little off base.

The low end pedals new drummers start with, especially off brand stuff, literally has functional inequities when compared to high end pedals. I know personally when l was starting out, and then finally upgraded to a pro Level pedal, I realized I was working a whole lot harder on my cheap pedals vs when I played my high end stuff. Pedals are one of the few pieces of gear where you can see improvements in your playing just by switching the gear
I doubt I’m off base, but you can believe what you want. I started on a Ludwig Speed King - and John Bonham made all those Zeppelin tunes with a Speed King - so I never thought “I suck because of my pedal”. I made it work and upgraded from there when I really wanted to try
Something new. I went to a Camco pedal after that (which is basically the base design for every pedal on the market), so you could also argue that other than robustness, the feel hasn’t really changed over the last 50 years as well. Except for the bottom plate, there hasn’t been anything new in pedals since then.

so when you look at what’s been accomplished with the old stuff, you’ll forgive me when I say it’s still not the gear that makes the player.
 

iCe

Senior Member
My first kit was a Pearl Export and was a complete kit with stands and a pedal (without cymbals though, but got a Paiste 302 pack). Can't remember the type though. Eventually got a double pedal (WorldMax, believe it was the only one they had and can't remember the type) and used that for a few years. After a while it felt sluggish and the springs wore out. Searched for some replacment springs, but eventually thought 'gotta get a good pedal' and went to a shop to try a few out. So i count what comes next as the first real upgrade.

Tried the Pearl Eliminator, DW 5000 and Tama Iron Cobra. The Pearl and Tama felt the nicest, but eventually chose the Tama (Power Glide). When on my kit i immediately noticed how smooth it played, not to mention it was louder as well. Used it for years until i switched to 2 bass drums. Got the (newer) single pedals for those and just the perfect pedals.
 
switching a 45CAD model for a premium model
I'm so stupid - it took me a minute to realize this is the price (45 Canadian dollars) and not the name of the pedal. 😬 :D
My first pedal was a cheap 80s model: squeaky, shaky, balky, you name it... I think I bought a DW 7000 after one year of playing it. It felt more stable, but I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't the big leap I was hoping for. I often play on other people's sets at jams and I couldn't tell you one pedal that was on them. Other drummers are more particular about what they want, but for what I play, I don't really care unless it's a really bad pedal. Any mid range pedal from Yamaha, Pearl, Tama,... is fine with me.
"I think your gear should encourage you to play."
Well, it's a promotional video on the Paiste channel - of course he won't say "Buy used stuff and don't worry about gear. The other players just want you to play well and don't care about your gear unless the sound is obnoxious or the sets collapses every other song."
But since your current pedal has been annoying you for a year now, it's probably safe to say that you don't like it. Is there a drum store where you can try a few pedals and compare it to your current one?
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I doubt I’m off base, but you can believe what you want. I started on a Ludwig Speed King - and John Bonham made all those Zeppelin tunes with a Speed King - so I never thought “I suck because of my pedal”. I made it work and upgraded from there when I really wanted to try
Something new. I went to a Camco pedal after that (which is basically the base design for every pedal on the market), so you could also argue that other than robustness, the feel hasn’t really changed over the last 50 years as well. Except for the bottom plate, there hasn’t been anything new in pedals since then.

so when you look at what’s been accomplished with the old stuff, you’ll forgive me when I say it’s still not the gear that makes the player.
I doubt I’m off base, but you can believe what you want. I started on a Ludwig Speed King - and John Bonham made all those Zeppelin tunes with a Speed King - so I never thought “I suck because of my pedal”. I made it work and upgraded from there when I really wanted to try
Something new. I went to a Camco pedal after that (which is basically the base design for every pedal on the market), so you could also argue that other than robustness, the feel hasn’t really changed over the last 50 years as well. Except for the bottom plate, there hasn’t been anything new in pedals since then.

so when you look at what’s been accomplished with the old stuff, you’ll forgive me when I say it’s still not the gear that makes the player.


Old stuff is not what I mean. I would have loved to start drumming on a speed king.

There is a reason Ludwig re-issued the speed king. People love it.

But for me, I started on pedals that were cheap and a double stroke was damn near impossible. But if I took my same technique and skill level to a DW9000 pedal, it translate to much smoother easier doubles by just changing pedals.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I'm so stupid - it took me a minute to realize this is the price (45 Canadian dollars) and not the name of the pedal. 😬 :D
My first pedal was a cheap 80s model: squeaky, shaky, balky, you name it... I think I bought a DW 7000 after one year of playing it. It felt more stable, but I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't the big leap I was hoping for. I often play on other people's sets at jams and I couldn't tell you one pedal that was on them. Other drummers are more particular about what they want, but for what I play, I don't really care unless it's a really bad pedal. Any mid range pedal from Yamaha, Pearl, Tama,... is fine with me.

Well, it's a promotional video on the Paiste channel - of course he won't say "Buy used stuff and don't worry about gear. The other players just want you to play well and don't care about your gear unless the sound is obnoxious or the sets collapses every other song."
But since your current pedal has been annoying you for a year now, it's probably safe to say that you don't like it. Is there a drum store where you can try a few pedals and compare it to your current one?
Yeah Canadian Dollars heheh

My pedal annoys me yes, I think it's bad engineering plain and simple. I will go visit 2 stores today and see if they have some pedals for me to try.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Old stuff is not what I mean. I would have loved to start drumming on a speed king.

There is a reason Ludwig re-issued the speed king. People love it.

But for me, I started on pedals that were cheap and a double stroke was damn near impossible. But if I took my same technique and skill level to a DW9000 pedal, it translate to much smoother easier doubles by just changing pedals.
That's what I highly suspect.
 
Cool, try to take your pedal with you to serve as a baseline. I hope that you find something useful that's not too expensive. As others have said, a mid-range pedal might be perfectly fine. :)
 
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