Are you ready to bask in the limelight? Ready to take off the kid gloves and stick it out to learn double bass? Think you don’t have a ghost of a chance? That you’re some fly by night amateur?
Well, you’re wrong! You can do it, you just gotta know what you’re doing!
Learning to play the double bass drum pedal is not impossible. In fact, it’s easier than fitting seven Rush songs into the intro of a blog article, Tom Sawyer!
Follow these steps and you’ll be rocking the double bass like Neil Peart in no time!
1. Prepare Your Body
Double bass pedal can be rough on your legs. If you hurt yourself while practicing, that’s just going to make it harder to learn. It’s a good idea to work to build stamina and increase your leg muscle.
Calf raises are a good way to do this. Shoot for 3 sets of 25 a day. Also, try to do an extra set a little before you play to help loosen up. Relaxed bike rides can be another good way to get your legs in shape when you aren’t behind the kit!
If you build up your legs you’ll avoid injury and be able to play faster.
2. Pedal Adjustments
Before you spend a lot of time behind the kit practicing, you’ll want to make sure the pedals are tuned to the way you like them. Adjusting the spring tension can give you a different sound, but it will also affect your comfort as you play.
Check out this great article about setting up your pedals!
3. Heel Up or Heel Down?
The next thing you’ll want to do is determine which foot technique is right for you.
Heel Up is a technique where you press in the middle of the pedal with only your toes and the ball of your foot. If you bounce your knee when sitting in a chair, your foot is probably in this position. This technique will give you a louder, more aggressive sound.
The Heel Down method is for less aggressive styles like jazz. You play with your foot flat on the pedal, using the pedals natural leverage to play. This gives you more control but has a more subdued sound.
Once you decide which style is for you, it’s time to practice!
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like learning to play drums initially, learning the double bass is best done by practicing rudiments. You’ll want to start slow, but practicing your rudiments and focusing on building control with your weak foot will get you there.
Try starting with sixteenth notes. Go slowly, alternating between the left and right pedal, then slowly increase the speed. Once you perfect it at one BPM, jump up a little and perfect it at the faster speed.
Once you can do 16th notes well, go to 32nd notes. Try other patterns like paradiddles. One trick you could try if you don’t know what the practice is taking a piece of sheet music that you’d play in concert band and try to play the snare part on the bass drum.
The most important thing to remember is that at first, you’re going to be bad. The only way to be good at something is to first be bad at it. So stick to it!
Custom Double Bass Drum Art
Once you’re ready to take the stage and show off your sweet double bass drum skills, why not do it in style with a custom bass drum head! Whether you’re a local band or out on tour, they really make a statement on the stage!
Contact us today to outfit your kit with a custom bass drum head!