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Thread: double pedal question

  1. #1

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    hi guys, I'm glad I've found you because I see you really answer people's questions in here I am a 26 yeard old from Eastern Europe and i've been drumming for 1 year and a half now. I am focusing now on double pedal. I dream in being in a band like Agalloch, The Morningside, Saturnus (that melancholical doom metal kind of stuff) so I don't really want to be a double pedal guru (and I don t think I can anyway). I want to do drumming in my spare time (already have a day job) so that I can pursue my musical dream but I am ambitious about it. In this 1 year and half I did my drum "homework" around 5-6 days per week (1 hour each day aproximatelly). I did some sacrifices at first but now I can keep up with my day time obligations. So enough with the introduction , let me just ask you guys this:

    how can you stay relaxed while on double pedal? I've been practising double bass for a month, almost 2 I think and I am verry tense. In order to achieve higher speeds I've seen many drummers giving this advice: stay loose ! Well I really can't do that. I am ok at around 120 bpm but once I try to get higher....I get all stressed and my legs start to hurt. My drum tutor told me that I catched double bass really quick so I can't be an antitalent I guess. Surely there is something that I am doing wrong. Can you give me some advices regarding double pedal? thanks !!

    PS: I am also trying to train my left foot for 8th notes and so far I can do this at 135 bpm. Still I can;t do both feet at a higher speed than 120...

    2nd PS: I am using an electronic set, a kind of cheap one so the bass rebound is not that good. On my teacher's acoustic set I could do double bass at a higher speed.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by -sean- View Post
    hi guys, I'm glad I've found you because I see you really answer people's questions in here I am a 26 yeard old from Eastern Europe and i've been drumming for 1 year and a half now. I am focusing now on double pedal. I dream in being in a band like Agalloch, The Morningside, Saturnus (that melancholical doom metal kind of stuff) so I don't really want to be a double pedal guru (and I don t think I can anyway). I want to do drumming in my spare time (already have a day job) so that I can pursue my musical dream but I am ambitious about it. In this 1 year and half I did my drum "homework" around 5-6 days per week (1 hour each day aproximatelly). I did some sacrifices at first but now I can keep up with my day time obligations.
    Welcome to Drum Chat Sean, and thanks for sharing your background!

    Quote Originally Posted by -sean- View Post
    So enough with the introduction , let me just ask you guys this:

    how can you stay relaxed while on double pedal? I've been practising double bass for a month, almost 2 I think and I am verry tense. In order to achieve higher speeds I've seen many drummers giving this advice: stay loose ! Well I really can't do that. I am ok at around 120 bpm but once I try to get higher....I get all stressed and my legs start to hurt. My drum tutor told me that I catched double bass really quick so I can't be an antitalent I guess. Surely there is something that I am doing wrong. Can you give me some advices regarding double pedal? thanks !!

    PS: I am also trying to train my left foot for 8th notes and so far I can do this at 135 bpm. Still I can;t do both feet at a higher speed than 120....
    Sean stay with it, and work at the speed where you can do everything evenly. Then gradually push the speed up, but never to the point where your technique falls apart. Remember that you body has to learn new skills, so it just takes time to get to the next level. Keep working, and you will get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by -sean- View Post
    2nd PS: I am using an electronic set, a kind of cheap one so the bass rebound is not that good. On my teacher's acoustic set I could do double bass at a higher speed.
    I was going to mention working with the bounce, just as you do with the sticks. Keep in mind, that even with less bounce, your hands have learned to deal with it. Give your legs time too. 1-2 months isn't a lot of time, so be patient. It sounds like you have some real talent, and things have come fairly easy so far. Just remember that there is always something that takes a little more work, and don't let it discourage you.
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  3. #3

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    Welcome to drumchat sean! Yes, plenty of friendly folk around to answer your question at all hours which is nice indeed. If you want to play most any kind of metal, you will need to get into double pedal technique for sure. Don't get intimidated or thrown off, just practice at a pace that feels right. 120bpm is good for a start, I guess to me around 160-200 feels like a good spot to have foot speed at(do you even need a double to play 120?). Regarding pedals, what is your budget?
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    As PB and Russ have said, just keep with it. When you are comfortable at a speed, push the tempo up 5 or 10 bpm, then get comfortable there, etc. If you feel yourself getting tense, back the tempo back down, get comfortable and try again. Also, It's a good idea to do rudiments with your feet, just like your hands. Personally I do singles, doubles, triplets, paradiddles and flam taps with my feet. Don't be afraid to ask questions around here...Everyone is more then willing to help. Welcome to the forum!
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  5. #5

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    wow, you guys are really friendly ! ... not to mention helpfull I'll follow your advices and I'll stick with 120 BPM tempo until I am doing those 16ths right on time ( I guess I m doing them right, I ll just have to focus today on that aspect - 5 min perfect 16 ). then gradually move to 125-130.

    @ defcon - I think rudiments with my feet are a bit too complicated for me. For the time I can invest in my drumming skills I think knowing one technique, and knowing it well, would do the trick

    @ russ - I already bought a double pedal. so I'm doing the exercises at home with my DW 5000. I'm really proud of it....I feel I don't deserve this pedal, yet (It's pretty awkard to see begginers with expensive setups :P). I can do 16ths at 120 but not continuous...I think...well I've never tried anyway

  6. #6

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    welcome to drumchat sean

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  7. #7

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    Stick with it. I myself cant go above 150, doing sixteenths, and iv been playing about 3 years now. But i spent one solid day, a few hours, just keeping up with 130. a few hours straight, and that pushed me up to around 150. All practice, and working out technique.
    And welcome to the forum man! Nice pedal. I myself have a really cheapo PDP402 pedal.
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  8. #8

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    I agree with all of the above practice and you will get better.

  9. #9

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    almostmatt1, your message really helps. As I know very few drummers close to my experience in drumming (my teacher is 40 +) I haven't got a....scale to evaluate myself. I don't know if my progress is right and stuff like that. I know now that I shouldn't rush into things (especially in this particular problem:P).

  10. #10

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    Welcome to DC Chat, Sean. As to how I stay relaxed with a double pedal or two single bass drum pedals, basically, if your thighs are somewhat parallel to the floor when seated, that's a good start. However, if your lower leg is perpendicular to the floor and you're trying to play heels up, that's where you might have problems with tension. What you need to do is to relax your hamstrings, Achilles tendons and calf muscles by just ever so slightly shifting your seat back (or if your bass drum is free off toms and tom holders, perhaps shift that a little forward without affecting the position of your stands, toms, cymbals etc, although you will also need to shift the double pedal forward to go along with the bass drum). Now, what you'd find is that your ankles are just slightly in front of your knee, but if you're looking from above, the bass drum beater, toe, ankle, knee and hip of both your legs should still line up in a somewhat straight line. However, what you can find is that you will be able to play both heels up and heels down, because the Achilles tendon, ankles and calf muscles can relax and drop into the heels up and heels down positions. Practicing your exercises and double kick beats both ways cannot but help you with your endurance.

    Just my 2 cents. Cheers.
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  11. #11

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    To stay relaxed just do it consistently for a bit at a speed you're comfortable with. Speed doesn't come naturally to everyone; it came natural to me, but that's a God-given ability that most people don't have. Remember, everything takes time. Work on technique for the most part before getting into speed and all that stuff.
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  12. #12

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    Three things that i've found particularly helpful when learning double bass technique:

    1) good posture, helps to control your legs easier
    2) take breaks and keep a fan/water bottle nearby
    3) do rudiments with your feet, as well as mixing hands/feet, not just hands
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by -sean- View Post
    wow, you guys are really friendly ! ... not to mention helpfull I'll follow your advices and I'll stick with 120 BPM tempo until I am doing those 16ths right on time ( I guess I m doing them right, I ll just have to focus today on that aspect - 5 min perfect 16 ). then gradually move to 125-130.

    @ defcon - I think rudiments with my feet are a bit too complicated for me. For the time I can invest in my drumming skills I think knowing one technique, and knowing it well, would do the trick

    @ russ - I already bought a double pedal. so I'm doing the exercises at home with my DW 5000. I'm really proud of it....I feel I don't deserve this pedal, yet (It's pretty awkard to see begginers with expensive setups :P). I can do 16ths at 120 but not continuous...I think...well I've never tried anyway
    I think what everyone here is trying to convey is building your stamina/endurance. I have a double pedal but rarely use it. My own fault because I just don't use it. I'm pretty content with a single for now.

    There was a topic on this forum sometime back about if you really need a double pedal. I stood corrected and "ate some crow" so to speak as I felt in certain genre's of music you did, but I was proved wrong and it really inspired me to try harder to get my speed up on my single pedal. just check out nicco mcBrain from Iron Maiden, I never really watched his technique until it was pointed out to me in that thread. I always assumed he used a double pedal but again was corrected, he uses a single. Now I'm Learning some Jon Bonham beats for me that has really opened things up with my speed and accuracy on a single pedal. It's kind of like reaching for that something just out of reach, but when you get it, it's value seem more rewarding.

    Not saying you shouldn't play double pedal, but you would be amazed how fast you can play with a single if you work at it.

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  14. #14

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    I think it just takes time. When I play fast double bass, I usually am pretty tense. Its not really a bad thing. Im still working on it. Try loosening the pedal too. With a trigger kick the rebound it usually pretty excessive. Loosening it will keep you from working so hard.
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  15. #15

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    I feel great guys ! Yesterday I was able in doing 16ths with no problem at all at 125 bpm (that means I can do them even in 130 bpm and if I think more optimisthic that means 135 bpm on an acustic set :P) The key to loosen up really is in aproaching the problem gradually as I've done first 16ths at 115 bpm. Practice and patience surely do resolve every problem regarding drums isn't it?

  16. #16

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    Hi sean,

    To be honest i really think there is no "miracle" solution for double bass. It's just something you have to paractice, practice and practice again. Some professionnal "double bass freaks" use to say that it needs a few years before being able to be "confident and relax" with your double pedal, which is in my opinion the most important part.

    No matter that you can play 16th at 160bpm or something if you can't do it continuously and without paying really attention to it while you're working with your hands. You just need your body to get used to it, and work different patterns when you train. Speed will come as soon as you get confident with what you're doing at low-speed
    Last edited by TheWeirddrummer; 06-16-2011 at 10:05 AM.

  17. #17

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    Sean,

    I reread your original post and you said you had been practicing double bass for a month, maybe two. No offense to you, but nobody gets the entire jist of double bass in 2 months. I didn't, it took me probably around from October to around Christmastime to get my speed, which is about three months, and i'm still learning how to control it now, 9 months into having it. It takes work and as long as you approach it with the mentality that you need to learn from IT (as in, this pedal will teach me everything I need to know about double bass, and I can't get frustrated or speak out against it, I just have to shut up and listen, like in class) then you will see how much work needs to be put into learning double bass and how much this double pedal can change the way you play. However, you can't rely on it too much in songs; it's like taking a test on your own when you've been studying straight from your books. You can't take your book with you to a test.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWeirddrummer View Post
    To be honest i really think there is no "miracle" solution for double bass. It's just something you have to paractice, practice and practice again. Some professionnal "double bass freaks" use to say that it needs a few years before being able to be "confident and relax" with your double pedal, which is in my opinion the most important part.
    TWD nailed it on the head. I know from an interview I read of Joey Jordison and Drum! magazine that Joey had a single pedal for the longest time, until he heard Metallica's Ride the Lightning CD. He played along with the likes of Bonham, and Moon, and it wasn't until the late 80's, after's Slayer's Reign in Blood album, when he really started getting into double bass. He joined Slipknot in '95, which at the time, wasn't what it is today. It wasn't until 1999 when he really started using double bass effectively in his songs with Slipknot. That's almost 10 years of work. Speaking of rudiments with your feet, the intro riff to (sic) is a paradiddle. Rudiments show up everywhere.

    It's going to be a while, but maybe someday I might see your name up there with the likes of George Kollias and Derek Roddy. Who knows?

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    So itchie, how did the kick sound?
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