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Thread: Double bass

  1. #1

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    I recently joined a band that requires for me to play double bass and the problem is that i really cant do it too fast or too well. Its frustrating because I have friends who will come over sometimes and they'll want to play my set and theyll use my double bass and play it better than me with no experience.
    Ive been playing for 2 years and a half and didn't start trying it till 8 months ago. My speed has never picked up and my control isn't the best. I've seen very little progress. I can do single pedal pretty well but when i do double my legs struggle to lift up at faste speeds.

    Im just wondering if theres some muscles in my legs that aren't developed that are keeping me from playing double bass. If so what warm ups or exercises can I do to improve my doulbe bass and stregthen my leg muscles?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by tampicoli View Post
    I recently joined a band that requires for me to play double bass and the problem is that i really cant do it too fast or too well. Its frustrating because I have friends who will come over sometimes and they'll want to play my set and theyll use my double bass and play it better than me with no experience.
    Ive been playing for 2 years and a half and didn't start trying it till 8 months ago. My speed has never picked up and my control isn't the best. I've seen very little progress. I can do single pedal pretty well but when i do double my legs struggle to lift up at faste speeds.

    Im just wondering if theres some muscles in my legs that aren't developed that are keeping me from playing double bass. If so what warm ups or exercises can I do to improve my doulbe bass and stregthen my leg muscles?
    Take a metronome, practice slowly and make your bass drum strokes sound even. There's no magic words, sticks or tricks, everything is dedication & answering the challenge. Dont try to run before walking correctly. Start slowly and when it begin to feel good and easier, increase the tempo and start again to work it out.
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  3. #3

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    hey bud,

    always use a metronome... work one foot at a time.. play 8th notes on one foot then on the other... make them sound even... then play together at the same time... go for bursts of 4 bars and rest... when you are training for speed, dont just try and go all out forever... go in short bursts, and then rest for about 30 seconds...

    practice everyday... in a year you will be flying on the bass drum...

    one foot at a time...

  4. #4

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    At what speed can you play, RELAXED, for long periods of time (3 minutes)? Say it's about 150bpm, then you move up to 160bpm, and work on that until you can play 160bpm 16ths for long periods of time, RELAXED. Then move up to 170bpm, and work on that until your can play 16ths for long periods of time, RELAXED. Then move up to 180bpm, and so on.

    Remember, stay RELAXED. Also, focus on getting a lot of swing from your beaters, and focus on power. Power before speed! No point in being able to go super fast and the beaters are only swinging an inch away from the head and you're struggling.

    So, power before speed, and stay relaxed! Speed will come.
    - Zack

  5. #5

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    What everybody said is right on. But I can add this. Practice practice practice. Then when your done practicing, practice some more. Takes time, at least a year or so, there are zero short-cuts, even with the best pedals it's mainly technique and muscle memory. If your being pressured to play 600 BPM, you might have to quit this band.
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  6. #6

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    Dude I had the same embarassing problem when I started double bass. I was playing single pedal for 6 years and I was lightning fast with one foot.Then when I got my double pedal, i sucked. More over, when my friends came over and played my double pedal, the kicked my ***, without any practice.
    Now the reason they were decent and even was because they had not practiced with a single pedal. Since I'd practiced with a single pedal for so long, my right foot was much much faster than my left. So my strokes weren't even. But since they hadn't built up either their right or left foot, both feet had about the same strength and they got even, clean strokes at decent tempos.
    Now my solution to this is practice.
    But I practiced using this method that I made up. People kept telling me to learn my right foot grooves with my left foot. But I kept getting distracted and tried to do single strokes with two feet. Trying to do single strokes at high speeds all of a sudden like that, without starting slow, got me no where. So what I did was, I took the right beater off of my pedal, to remove temptation, and learned all my grooves with my left foot. So even if I was tempted to try fast single strokes with both feet, I couldn't because I had taken out the beater. So try that, and see if it helps, because it sure did work for me.

  7. #7

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    Sounds good except you can't play your hats anymore except as closed. I might try that. My right foot (being right handed) plays as second nature, so maybe that would work for the left also? Worth a try.
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  8. #8

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    RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R

    RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL R L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L ..

    also,try setting your set up left handed for a week... really, just do it... learn your grooves backwards... it sucks and its hard, but if you get comfortable leading with your left it does all sorts of goodness for your coordination when you switch back... not to mention your left hand and foot will adapt and you will have mor control over them...

    good luck... use a metronome, and never stop practicing!!!

    later

    zack

  9. #9

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    im not in a band but thats how i felt at first to, it just takes time, dont try and go to fast to soon, and there are some really simple warm ups i use, just putting my hands and feet together so..
    hand: r l r l r l
    foot : r l r l r l
    Basic ey? but just slow it down, and speed it up, then hold it at odd speeds, throw in accents around the kit, it really helps with co-ordination
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  10. #10

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    When I played my double bass it wasn't on every song, just some...but you still need to practice this to get " the feel", most drummers have that ability working both feet (hats)
    so don't give up, I have never used a double pedal like most on this forum, and that scares me more than the double bass! go figure...what I do like about dbl bass is IT LOOKS COOOOOL!
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  11. #11

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    Also - if you can do it with your hands, is there a reason why you shouldn't be able to do it with your feet?
    - Zack

  12. #12

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    This won't work for heel-toe playing, but I hold my hats shut with my heel, and play the left kick with my toe. The edge of the hat pedal acts like a pivot that speeds up my left kick playing, and I can throw in some hat patterns with my double kicking.

    That being said, it seems like double kicking 16th or 32nd notes all the way through a song is BORING, and a demonstration of speed rather than musicality. THrow in some dynamics and patterns!
    And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw. . .

  13. #13

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    thanks for the help guys.Ill take your advice. Ive been practicing religiously and ive seen some progress but its better than nothing. I won't give up thats for sure.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by xweasel View Post
    Also - if you can do it with your hands, is there a reason why you shouldn't be able to do it with your feet?
    I can eat a burger with my hands; feet, not so much...

  15. #15

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybgRS6832so"]YouTube- a supEr Mom WITHOUT HANDS[/ame]
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  16. #16

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    I'm sure someone's already said this (didn't read all replys), but try playing a non-doublebass song with your LEFT foot instead of the right. That way you'll develope the muscles without being frustrated about not playing right. It takes practice.
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  17. #17

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    It doesn't surprise me that your friends who don't play sounding better. You have 2 1/2 years of control on one foot and your other foot needs to catch up. Your friends have no control. Many moons ago when I started playing double bass my left foot was actually faster then my right. I play right handed. Problem was, I had no control. What I found out about my playing was that control came at the cost of speed at first. Once I had the control, the speed came back with time and practice.

    As advised by others, start slow. If you don't, you'll still get the speed, but when not playing as fast as you can you may not have the control that you need.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverr1 View Post
    It doesn't surprise me that your friends who don't play sounding better. You have 2 1/2 years of control on one foot and your other foot needs to catch up. Your friends have no control. Many moons ago when I started playing double bass my left foot was actually faster then my right. I play right handed. Problem was, I had no control. What I found out about my playing was that control came at the cost of speed at first. Once I had the control, the speed came back with time and practice.

    As advised by others, start slow. If you don't, you'll still get the speed, but when not playing as fast as you can you may not have the control that you need.
    +1 But I started out playing Left handed at 12 or 13 and switched to right at 25, that took a year or so, and i have never had a dbp. So now I am getting one, to open a new world again. So never give up. Looks like another year of practice. Now I am 40 wow time goes by quick.
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  19. #19

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    yesterday and today i decided to play mainly with my left foot. with only two days of practicing i am doing a lot better. i think its mainly cause its teaching itself the correct technique instead of me just trying to get the other note in. Iím going to try to practice for the rest of the month this way and see how much it helps. i would recommend trying this for people that cant play double bass very well.

    i could do it once upon a time (14 years ago), but i have to teach the muscles again.

  20. #20

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    Thanks for the tip. I need to do this too.

  21. #21

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    When someone tells me I have to play double bass to be in their band, I say..."see ya later!"

    all the best...

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    When someone tells me I have to play double bass to be in their band, I say..."see ya later!"

    all the best...
    I have yet to master anything that might even come close to resembling a double bass pattern. Though I'm up for the challenge, it is easy to get discouraged.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    When someone tells me I have to play double bass to be in their band, I say..."see ya later!"

    all the best...
    i kinda understand both ways. i can understand why they want it, and i also understand a drummer saying nope, not for me.

    i just want to master it all, ill let ya know how im doing in 20 years.

  24. #24

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    There are ways to emulate the double bass sound without playing a double pedal though...
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Ro View Post
    There are ways to emulate the double bass sound without playing a double pedal though...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibE9yjAJSGo"]YouTube- Double Bass and Blast Beat Drumming[/ame]


    To do that kind of thing with one foot...

    Anyway, Tampicoli, if you look at all the guys like George Kollias, Gene Hoglan, Mario Duplantier, Derek Roddy, Inferno, Romain Goulon, Tim Yeung, Flo Mounier, Thomas Haake and all the other extreme metal drummers, you gotta realise how long it took them to develop their speed, control and power. You can't play the double kick at their level after only a few months (or few years) of practising.
    - Zack

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