Nothing sounds good when it is done sloppily. Hearing someone slurp up their food is gross, watching a painter scribble across the canvas with no direction is awful, and seeing a car straddle the yellow line into your lane is horrifying. We all wish everyone could just learn to do things properly.
When it comes to your double bass drumming, sloppiness is no longer excusable, because today we are going to discuss ways to improve your bass drum speed and control.
Musicians are impatient, and many of us choose to rush through, and sometime past, the basics. In today’s lesson, you won’t have this option, as great foundation is the only way to build your speed and control.
Rudiments; learn them. If you know your rudiments with your hands, transfer them to your legs. Start off with a single stroke roll. Alternate your feet back and forth and play a steady tempo of eighth notes. Once this becomes too easy, move on to a higher tempo. Instead of bumping up your note values play your eighth notes at a higher speed.
Bumping up eighth notes to sixteenth notes only does so much; you are simply playing a little faster within the same exact time signature. This works in your speed in that sole time signature. You want to develop your actual speed, so you will need to bump up your tempo itself. Once you become comfortable, turn it up another notch.
And speaking of tempo, the number one tool to improve your bass drum speed and your accuracy is a metronome. If you aren’t already well acquainted, best make your introductions now because the metronome will be your one and only best friend in improving your speed. The metronome will help you not only to push yourself further, but it will also keep you doing it correctly.
You need to learn speed while maintaining rhythm. The only way to accomplish this is by using a metronome to keep you within a box. This box is what we call a time signature, something you need to follow no matter what.
Many musicians often overlook this aspect, when in fact it is the most important part of being a musician. You can’t expect to go to bed and wake up a double bass speed demon. You have to be willing to put in the hours of practice to attain the level you desire.
The best way to do this is to develop a proper drum practice schedule and stick to it no matter what. Set aside at least an hour a day to sit down at your kit and practice your double bass using a metronome. If you keep to your schedule, you will soon see vast improvements in your technique and speed. If you want to attain consistency, you have to give consistency to your instrument. It’s a fair trade off.
Now that you know how to become a double bass monster, what are you waiting for? Go practice, and have fun!
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