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Double Bass Drums and Its Playing Techniques

Nov 13, 2007
The primary characteristic of a bass drum is that it produces indefinite or low-pitched sound. We can generally classify them into concert bass drum, pitched bass drum, and the kick drum. As the name suggests, concert bass are used in concerts or orchestras. The kick drum is, usually, seen on drum kits. It is attached to a pedal and is stuck with a beater to generate music. Marching bands and drum corps use the pitched bass.

When two bass drums are used operated by each foot it is called the Double bass drum. It was used as early as in the 1940s and 1950s. Louie Bellson, a jazz drummer, first formulated the idea of using two bass drums. He was in the high school then. Earlier, two pre-tuned bass drums were used as a double bass drum. Later on, with cost of electronic extension getting lower, double pedal was employed. Now, the tuning has also become easier.

Ray McKinley and Ed Shaugnessy were the first to use the double bass drums in jazz concerts. However, Ginger Baker of Keith Moon of the Who, created public approval for them. Music is a form of experimentation, and drummers are no slouch in using trial and error method in creating new and exciting beats.

Drummers have used two different tuning for each bass drum. They also have tried working with two drum beaters with more than two pedals.

Double bass drums have been popular with some form of extreme punk, heavy metal and jazz. Both, heel-up and heel-down methods are being used in playing double bass. A difficult technique to use is the heel-toe technique. Here the first note of the composition is played with the heel, with the feet being suspended over the footboard.

For the budding drummers the tip is to develop the technique of playing the double bass drum in the right way. This would save valuable practice time in the future for the drummer, both novice and intermediate alike. If a beginner can learn around 20 drum beating techniques from an experienced drummer he can then progressively build up his drum skill.

This also helps in building up the speed drumming process. Not only experienced drummers can help an aspiring drummer but there are video tutorials also which can help improve the double bass drums beating skill.

Here are some important points related to double bass drumming techniques:

- Heel-down is harder to accomplish than heel-up technique. It also is harder to gain speed with this technique.
- It is difficult to not find the sweet spot and still attain the maximum speed. To find it, one needs to find the center of the pedal and then need to place the groove between the toes and the foot.
- One of the better ways to attain the balance of playing double bass drums is to sit up straight.
- Another proper way is to find out the proper muscle position while playing the drum for a long time. Some postures will help the drummer to play for a long time with less exhaustion.
- Ordinary calf raises is a good exercise to help in getting strength in the calf-muscle area.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, and synthesizers. You can find the best marketplace for guitars, drums, and synthesizers at these 3 sites: guitars, bass guitar, bass drums, double bass drums, and synthesizers, keyboards.
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