Double Bass Drumming: important skill to develop or not?

Discussion in 'General' started by Bullseye_Doc_Holiday, Jul 12, 2018.

Is double bass a necessary tool/skill that should be developed?

  1. Double Bass is genre specific. If you play those you need it. Otherwise, a good single kick player

    68.8%
  2. Double Bass is as much a skill as playing rudiments and a tool all drummers should have in their bag

    31.3%
  1. Bullseye_Doc_Holiday

    Bullseye_Doc_Holiday Very well Known Member

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    I am in my 24th year of playing drums. I've played every genre in live situations except metal. While I do enjoy listening to some of the more mainstream metal like Slipknot, Korn, Pantera, I've never really tried to play it outside of home. I bought my first double pedal about 4 years ago and have used it minimally to practice at home. I'm at a point where I'm frustrated with some of the ergonomics it creates for me (Hi-hat too far away, linkage rubbing on hi-hat stand) and am considering dropping it, but there's a nagging thought that maybe I should stick with it and try to develop the skill. Thoughts and votes appreciated.
     
  2. repete

    repete This one goes to eleven

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    I grew up listening to and playing Metal but never found double base Genre specific - Over the years as the bands I've been in changed ( I still love Metal though )
    I haven't found much use for it in those situations so I don't gig with it - it stays on my practice kit at home.
    Some folks think of Metal as plowing through songs doing 8th notes or what have you - try mixing up fills with it, work on quads ( RL with hands then RL with feet )
    or substitute with your feet anywhere in a fill or in a beat - work on it slowly.

    If you can read, try a stick control book but use your feet instead under a steady 4/4 beat -
     
  3. jtpaistegeist

    jtpaistegeist Well-Known Member

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    I use one 98% of the time in my setups. Not that I am constantly using it, or doing runs with double bass. For me, it is just part of my kit. I have used one for 22yrs and just feel good having it there. I treat it like my hands. I dont have any issues with placement, as my DP is as compact as it will go on the linkage.
     
  4. cworrick

    cworrick The BIG Bunny on the block

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    I had an early double pedal. It SUCKED so I didn't put the time into it to get good, or have the need for it with what I was doing.

    Fast forward several years - I attended a Kenny Aronoff clinic. The kind of music he usually plays doesn't require a double pedal/bass, but what he did with one impressed me enough to look at a new (much better) one and spend some time with it.

    I still don't run into a lot of situations where I NEED it, and I am no double bass monster, but I can get by. It's nice to know I can do it if it is called for. It's like having another pair of stick/brush related implements in your stick bag. It may not always get used, but it's nice to know it is there if I ever have the need.

    Plus I've done some fun things in practice that may/may not ever be used in a real gig.


    It's also nice to actually use the left foot for something other than keeping the HH closed.
     
  5. wolfereeno

    wolfereeno Well-Known Member

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    I have no practical use of dbl bass in any music I play. And some musicians I play with are even hostile to the very idea! (I played in a pop punk band for a while where the guy even hated double strokes on one BD!)

    But I think it's a great skill for opening up the mind to be more flexible for left and right side things. So I practice dbl bass a lot just for the heck of it.
     
  6. Tmcfour

    Tmcfour DFO Veteran

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    For me it's important. Yes I play Metal, Hardcore and Punk for the most part. But in my pychobilly band I only use a single bass and 1 pedal. Sometimes it's called for sometimes it isn't. Either way I think it's a good tool to be able to use and pull out to make things interesting. It isn't all just doing blast beats, or runs either. Sometimes it's doing ruffs or radamaques or flams or quads between the two bass drums and you toms, or simply switching to the left kick and leading with that so that it makes something easier to go into or pull off. Bellson, Shaunessey (sp?), Peart, Bissonette, Morgenstien, Bozzio and Baker all seemed to think it was a good idea.
     
  7. Tama CW

    Tama CW Well-Known Member

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    I've had a double pedal for 25 yrs and never really practiced it seriously...until 6 months. My left foot has improved dramatically...and that translates over into hi hat work and feel as well. Who knew? So my vote is do it....why not? The only downside might be overdoing it....and getting cramps in your foot until the muscles and tendons learn how to do it.
     
  8. cplueard

    cplueard Well-Known Member

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    I view it as another tool, Carter Beauford is a good enough example to show what can be done without playing metal. Depending on the style you can get by with as little as just a snare up to snare/bass/hats, so I'd argue it holds as much usefulness as anything beyond snare/bass/hats from a musical standpoint. From a professional gigging standpoint most music currently isn't in need of one, so if you're only looking to play pro gigs that don't require one you don't need it. I still think it's as valid musically as playing anything else with two hands.
     
  9. VintageUSA

    VintageUSA Very well Known Member

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    I play a double-pedal and I do think it is an important option to have in your tool kit.
    I don't play thrash or metal -- I play classic rock -- but there is still a place for economic use of a double-pedal -- in other words, not to be over-played.

    I reply to address your concern about "hi hat too far away".
    I got rid of that problem quickly and both pedals at my left foot are in comfortable range and without clutter.

    I bought a new Tama Iron Cobra hat stand (use your favorite) and I drilled the rivets out in order to remove the tripod.
    I bought the monster clamp from Gibraltar and I clamp the hat stand to a nearby cymbal stand.

    Problem solved -- both pedals are where I need them to be -- no clutter around my left foot area.
     

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  10. RickP

    RickP Dan RH Jr.

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    I own a double pedal, in fact I had two till last week. It is a useful tool I am sure, but I cannot see myself gigging with it till I am proficient with it.
    I keep mine on an e Kit in my practice room. I like noodling with it in practice and it is a lot of fun but it will not see any gig time anytime soon.
     
  11. moodman

    moodman Lone Wolf

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    I can do multiple 16ths and bounce a shuffle with one pedal, the Blues and Rock I play doesn't require more.
     
  12. blueshadow

    blueshadow Just Shuffling along Staff Member Moderator

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    I doubt I'll ever need to play double bass but I have a double pedal set up on my electronic kit at home mostly just for fun but also because I wanted to try and develop the skill. I've had it for about 3 years but just have not put any time into it. I can get a pretty good dugga dugga going and can play along to a few tunes that I like, Live Wire and Red Hot from Motley Crue come to mind. I'd love to get a fast shuffle going like Space Boogie but I'm no where near there yet.

    It's good to be well rounded as a drummer but if you know you'll never need or use something then I don't fret too much about it. For 90% of what I do just being able to keep a solid beat, in fact most gigs I really don't need Toms but I have more fun if I have them so I use them.
     
  13. skinsman

    skinsman DFO Master

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    Double Bass is not double pedal. Two bass drums is quite a bit different than single bass with a double pedal. Sounds way different, sound pressure levels, posture while playing etc....
    For me double pedal is the hokey way of trying to simulate two bass drums. You get the speed of two kicks but not the sound. The beater bounce is completely different as well and of course schlepping two kicks is huge fun not to mention the venues are close to non existent to play in.
    But it is way way way fun to play two kicks. It was always worth the extra effort for me until my physical and health conditions have slowed me down to a crawl stamina wise.
    Two kicks = Double bass.
     
  14. Cauldronics

    Cauldronics DFO Master

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    I only have time for a short answer atm, but my immediate thought is that just having a double pedal setup is enough to make me overuse and rely too much on what can be done playing dbl bass. The counter of that is what should be done. I have since disconnected the 2nd pedal to find it makes me play more creatively and with better foot technique.
     
  15. Frank Godiva

    Frank Godiva Well-Known Member

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    Don't think double bass is a required skill, but there is a time and place for everything. Will also second that a double bass pedal is not the same as playing 2 bass drums. IMHO it is more then playing the same note faster. I prefer having a 24 on the left and a 22 on the right. Different sizes and different first octave notes makes the foot patterns stand out much better.
     

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