It’s very important for drummers to learn how to control the bass drum effectively. This drum is a fundamental component of most drum beats, and learning how to play it quickly and efficiently can be a very challenging process.
I’ll be teaching you how you will be able to have full control over the kick drum, and how you will be able to speed up your footwork so you can perform solos, flashy fills and amazing sounding drum beats.
Many drummers decide to use double kick pedals to improve the speed of their playing. It is however very important to establish independence with a single pedal first. This can take a very long time to master, but will give your playing a much wider vocabulary.
The techniques stated can be used for both single and double pedals, though it’s important that you master each foot separately before trying to combine the two. This will help you build up timing and coordination on both of your feet, and will give you much better speed and control in the long run.
Just like practicing stick technique, you should start off slowly and then gradually increase the speed over time. It can be a good idea to try to play along with a metronome at first. When you find yourself getting to a speed that throws off your footwork then you have found your cut off point.
You should always practice at this speed until you feel comfortable before moving on. Once you feel able to move on, then increase your speed; but only a little bit. If you are playing to a metronome, try to increase the speed by 5 marks each time.
One of the most helpful things that a drummer can do to establish bass drum independence is to imagine that the pedal is the hi-hat, and thus the driving force behind a drum beat. Rather than playing semi quavers on the hi-hat, it’s worth trying to use the kick drum instead. A cymbal can then be played in place of the bass note.
This will increase your sense of foot timing and will encourage you to use sticks more sparingly, which surprisingly can be a very difficult task! Try playing a simple 4/4 beat using semi quavers with the bass pedal, you’ll be surprised at how much of a challenge it can be to stay in time.
Rather than playing constant notes purely with the bass pedal, it can be worth mixing the footwork up with the hi-hats. By playing off-beat rhythms you will be able to give your hands more freedom. By mixing up both crochets, quavers and semi quavers with each pedal you will slowly build up a greater sense of coordination.
It’s important to try to combine foot techniques with stick techniques as well. Playing quavers, triplets and semi quavers with both toms and foot pedals can drastically improve the timing of your playing. Trying to mix this in with fills and drum solos and it will also help your playing.
Remember, it’s important to train both of your feet equally. Even if you only ever plan on playing with a single pedal this is still very important. Training the hit-hat in conjunction with the bass will give you a stronger sense of rhythm, and will increase your speed and strength in your legs, allowing you to move faster and adjust dynamics accordingly.
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