Double bass drumming is an advanced concept that can add a lot of spice and variety to any beat. The concept of double bass drumming is fairly simple; however, it requires muscle development to succeed. This lesson will teach you how to play double bass by increasing your muscles in your legs. It will show you the best practice exercises to work out your independence on both left and right feet. Double bass drumming is not only used in hard rock music; it can be played in all styles like jazz, Latin, Country, and other contemporary styles. As a drummer is always good to have every limb working for you, so make sure you can use both hands and feet independently! Double bass drumming is something each professional drummer can play!
Start off by warming up. Since you are not really used to double bass yet, keep things to a few basic stretches and taps. Make sure you warm up before any practice or jam session. Now if you are playing on a set of double bass drum pedals, make sure you set those up so they are comfortable to you! Make sure the tensions on the springs are even. Now that you are all set up and warmed up its time to start developing your double bass.
You can play the double bass 2 ways, heel up or heel down. Both are useful and should be practiced evenly. Heel up bass drumming is very effective for loud and fast beats. Having your heel up gives you more power and force for every stroke. You can put your whole leg into it, giving you a louder sound. This is also more effective for fast beats as well. Heel down drumming gives you more control of your bass drum pedal. You can feather the bass drum if you want, or play loud. This is more used for softer music like Jazz, and soft rock. Another technique for bass drumming is the Heel Toe technique. This is where you use both heel and toe to get a double stroke out of your pedal. This is a very popular method that has been around for quite a while. Definitely one of the best ways to improve your speed and control with the double bass pedal.
Eventually, you want to view your feet the same way you view your hands. So the best way to practice your feet control is by playing basic rudiments on your double bass pedal. Start with the single stroke roll. This is one of the most common things you will play with double bass. Practice these rudiments very slowly at first, you want to make sure you play them correctly first, then work on speed. The paradiddle will develop independence with your left and right foot. This is very important since you should be able to distinguish them from each other when playing. Finally, work on your double stroke roll on the bass drum.
Now that you have more of a feel for your bass drum, try implementing these bass drum patterns overtop of our sticks. Start by playing the most basic 4/4 beat on your hi hat and snare. Instead of kicking once per bar, add a single stroke 8th note roll on your bass drum. This may take a few tries to develop; however once you get this you will see exactly how the double bass can really spice up any regular beat. Try playing the roll overtop of other patterns on your hi hat and snare. Eventually, you should move into playing triplets on your bass drum and different beats overtop. The double bass should become more and more easy to play as you play these grooves. Try this double badd groove:
Remember that too much of something can be bad. With this said, do not overuse the double bass. A lot of times a drummer will figure out how to add a really nice sounding double bass fill. The drummer will then forget about the sound of the song and insert this fill wherever he/she can. This can easily take away from the song. Playing the double bass can add a lot to a song, but can also take away, so make sure you use the proper balance. Practice these techniques in your next practice session and you will develop your double bass faster than you think! For further instruction, check out Jared Falks Bass Drum Secrets, this is a product completely dedicated to increasing your bass drum double speed.
Learn how to play double bass with the complete Drumming System by Mike Michalkow!