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  1. Registered User

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    May 2018
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    Default Beginner double bass drumming - where do I start?

    So, I've been playing drums for 35 years, and for the entire time, my main setup has been either a four or five piece kit with one bass drum, but I recently decided that I'd like to learn to play double bass. After playing one bass drum for so long, it feels very awkward, especially since my right foot is so much stronger, and my left foot is underdeveloped. I realize that it will take some time, dedication, and good old fashioned practice, but I was just wondering if there are any good exercises or video tutorials that might help. I can play a basic beat using my left foot, and I've been doing that a little bit, but if anyone has any pointers on how to develop the strength in my left foot, that would be great.

  2. The Sensitone Guy

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    I tried double bass and failed.

    Decades ago, I played double bass for an entire year; trying my very best to make it a part of my style. I never got comfortable with it and going back to single bass was like meeting up with an old friend. I gave up my double bass aspirations and never looked back.

    If you can figure it out, hat's off to you.

  3. Registered User

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    Apr 2018
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    I just started as well. I've been playing as much of my normal stuff as possible with only my left foot. I'll also do simple beats with both feet. 16th notes, '+ a' on the kick, etc. I'm no double bass expert as all, just beginning as I stated. But I'd imagine it would be like hands. If you can get the control down slow so you're not thinking about it you can get it sped up.

  4. ...A mind like Water...

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    Control is the most important thing. Start slow, on a metronome and work your way up 1-2 BPM every week. If you can't play a speed that you reach, bump it back and hold it for a long time.

    Control > Endurance > Dynamics > Speed - Speed becomes a symptom of the prior.

  5. Registered User

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    Apr 2018
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FArpzF1Sn68&t=1605s

    Gene Hoglan has some interesting ideas on the double kicks, and he is one of the best. This is a great video to watch.

  6. Drumming Since 1943

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    Just get a really fast double pedal. Like, super quick. That should do it.
    Way Too Much Crap

  7. Registered User

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    May 2018
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    Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I'll definitely keep all of these in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
    I tried double bass and failed.

    Decades ago, I played double bass for an entire year; trying my very best to make it a part of my style. I never got comfortable with it and going back to single bass was like meeting up with an old friend. I gave up my double bass aspirations and never looked back.

    If you can figure it out, hat's off to you.
    That's too bad. I realize that double bass drumming isn't for everyone, and that's totally fine with me. I really hope I can get the hang of it, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

    Quote Originally Posted by roadshow230j View Post
    I just started as well. I've been playing as much of my normal stuff as possible with only my left foot. I'll also do simple beats with both feet. 16th notes, '+ a' on the kick, etc. I'm no double bass expert as all, just beginning as I stated. But I'd imagine it would be like hands. If you can get the control down slow so you're not thinking about it you can get it sped up.
    Cool. Glad to hear I'm not alone. I agree on the control aspect. I'm sure it just takes time and practice.

  8. life start at 125bpm

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    i'm a little as in the same boat.played double bass for couple years , byt that was a decade ago haha. i want to resume playing an old double pedal i have laying under couple inches of dust, but i'm completely lost.i've thought it is like a bicycle,you never forget about how pedaling a bike is done ,.

    nope.it isn't like that lol.

    i'd like to find a begginer tutorial ,where you learn the basics,where you get valid exercises to build your left, ,something that can speed up the mental aspect of DB.......as example, my right foot owns THE connection with the brain,which means you incounsciously start a beat with the right,which is pretty much the reflex implanted by years of single pedal playing ; i'd like to be able to reverse this reflex,like allowing the left foot to take control.
    also,when fills comes to me, i always initiate it via the right foot whereas many times it should be the left leading ,so you end up the fill via the right foot.

    these observations is where it's at for me. i need to wake up my left pedal, but i'm guessing now that this can be achieved only via exercises and a good detailed tutorial.
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  9. Rogue Ex-Mod

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    You and I are in a similar spot. I've also been playing single bass for over 30 years. The singer in my original band wanted to start a metal cover band and convinced me to be the drummer even though I told her I didn't think I was a good fit and I'd have to learn double bass from scratch.

    It's been a slow process. I work on it about 3 days a week in addition to the weekly band practices. I started off very simple and slow just doing basic RLRL, RRLL, LLRR, RRRL, LLLR, RRRR, LLLL like I was doing Stick Control exercises. I use a metronome with headphones to be sure I'm staying steady. I also started playing basic beats with my left foot instead of my right foot to try and retrain my brain to be able to use either foot for single bass. That really exposed how weak my left foot is when I'm doing heel up and not hi-hat work. I do some extra exercises with just my left foot and a metronome to try and build up those muscles.

    I also isolated some simple ways to use it like doing three bass drum hits into a snare hit starting with both my left foot and my right foot (RRL Snare or LLR Snare or RLR Snare or LRL Snare) I worked on all of those until I could do them nice a tight at various tempos.

    I also do straight endurance runs where I pick a tempo that I can hold for a bit and I see how long I can go without losing the beat on straight RLRL.

    You might also isolate your limbs so just do RLRL on your feet while you only play the hi-hat or ride and leave out the other hand completely. Then switch and only hit the snare and don't use your right hand at all. Try doing different things on the hi-hat with your RLRL on your feet to make sure that RLRL is natural and you can do it without thinking about it.

    I'm curious if you find any other techniques that work, I'm improving but it takes time. I don't pick stuff up as quickly as I did when I was a teenager.
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  10. Registered User

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    First, please keep in mind I am an EXTREME NOVICE drummer and not even a spec close to most of you here and this is only a "thought" suggestion to MAYBE try. The hard part is "teaching an old dog new tricks", which I certainly fall into that catagory. The older we get, the more we are use to doing something that same way we have always done it. Our bodies and brains get set in patterns and the older we get, typically, the harder it is to retrain both body and brain.

    With that said, in my early teenage years when I started on the drums, seperation was my most difficult task. I had no type of formal training/teaching and it was all on my own. And of course the internet did not even exist to have reference to.

    What helped me greatly was to literally switch the kit from "righty" to "lefty". I am a heavy "righty" to this day, but by switching things around and forcing me to play opposites did help greatly with my seperation issues. Still not perfect, but definitely helped. I have never played double bass and this will be a brand new adventure (probably tragedy) because the new kit I'm about to put together will have a triple bass setup, all with double pedals (I still have yet to work out the exact mechanics on how I will accomplish this).

    But MAYBE trying the reverse can help at least get better strength to your left side, because it forces you to actually use it. Maybe a little less brain stress and more physical demand from that weak side.

    Just a thought.

    If I was ever to suggest something to a new young drummer, it would be something like this, because they are both mentally and physically more adaptable in most cases and with true total seperation skills and basically equal strengths on both sides...that could make for some serious drumming styles.
    "Wisdom comes with age .. but many times these days, age comes alone."

  11. Registered User

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    Apr 2018
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    A couple posts above brought up an awesome suggestion. Go through Stick Control and do the exercises and turn the 'sticking' into 'kicking.' I could see that doing wonders for evening out your feet.

  12. th droids yerlookn4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickTamlin View Post
    So, I've been playing drums for 35 years, and for the entire time, my main setup has been either a four or five piece kit with one bass drum, but I recently decided that I'd like to learn to play double bass. After playing one bass drum for so long, it feels very awkward, especially since my right foot is so much stronger, and my left foot is underdeveloped. I realize that it will take some time, dedication, and good old fashioned practice, but I was just wondering if there are any good exercises or video tutorials that might help. I can play a basic beat using my left foot, and I've been doing that a little bit, but if anyone has any pointers on how to develop the strength in my left foot, that would be great.
    my first suggestion ,,,and the most inexpensive , turn your entire kit around ...play it backwards for a while not only does it build strength, but it help those little nuances like that bouncy trick you do on the led zep song or what have you ...
    this is a personal thing , but i prefer the feel of two actual bass drums with two matching pedals ..over a double pedal ... for me , a double pedal is a quick easy to use tool for quickly setting up for gigs . but if i was going to seriously play a LOT of double bass id bring the full rig
    also ...another tip get an x hat ... this way you have second hat , closed at the ready . take your normal songs you practice to , and lead with your opposite foot .try to get your weak foot to play all the dominant parts ..

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