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Playing TheBass Drum

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  • Playing TheBass Drum

    I have a very simple question. When U kick the bass drum do you have to press the pedal all the way into it or just kick and release? It's very important for me because I often use both and I see that it has a different sound.Wha do U think a bout it? Does a hole i tha bass drum make a difference(I don't have one)?

  • #2

    There are many foot techniques as there are hand techniques.

    The kick pedal may be played heel up or flat on the foot board. Both techniques can allow you to 'pull' back off the head once you hit it. But in both technique i believe , even when pulling back off the head, your foot should not leave the foot board. you may get a sloppy sound if you do so... and you may also hear the pedal swinging away. Leaving the beater against the head will give you more of a pronounced attack while pulling back draws more of the boom out. Different songs require a different sound, so practice both techniques.

    Having a hole in the reso head of your bass drum is a frequently asked question. try searching around here in this forum and you'll find dozens of threads on it. it will explain to you all opinion on why and why not to have a hole.
    Take Care N God Bless.

    Tama Drums, Hardware and Pedals
    Zildjian Cymbals
    Remo Drum Heads
    Vic Firth Drumsticks and Mallets
    Vic Firth Education Team


    • #3

      might be the wrong information... but i learned to play by having my foot down on the bass pedal... when i play i play the bass drum and let the beater rest back against the drum... but then again i have my bass drum tuned with no resonance what so ever because i think the short, low, punchy sound sounds better for the music i play...(punk) but the proper way is probably to press down the pedal, hit the bass drum, and bring the beater back again... i don't do that though... oh well... if that helps... mikeym



      • #4
        Altering your seat height and distance from the bass drum may help. Some people sit high and sort of hang their foot off and bounce it lightly on the pedal ( Ringo) and others will sit low and have a quite deliberate action ( John Bonham). It's worth experimenting with but it will affect the position of strike for the rest of the kit. If you find a good position then rejig the kit around it. Also if you have to play someone elses kit doing support gigs etc. don't adjust the whole kit first but take your own stool and adjust the height first and see if you can live with the kit without adjusting the donors kit too much. You'll be surprised how often that works out and the guy who you're borrowing the kit off will ask you back again. It's not perfect but it's nice.


        • #5
          energy transference


          The bass drum stroke can be looked at in similar terms as your say, snare drum stroke. Striking the head of your snare releases the energy stored up in your arms and hands (or foot and leg), creating inherent reaction, in this case the rebound of the stick. Using this energy to your advantage you benefit from the rebound of the stick (or bass drum beater). Double strokes between your bass drum and your hands is an excellent exercise to develop this technique.

          Keeping the beater on the batter head between strokes does serve a purpose. Decreases duration and sharpens immediate attack.

          Foot position for me varies on the music being played. Back beat R&B, blues, small group jazz, foot flat on the footboard. Big band jazz, rock, or other dynamically charged stuff, my heel is generally up with my big toe centered on the sweet spot of the pedal.

          Good drumming, drummers.
          Jimmy Fenno
          Austin, Texas