Learning how to play the drums takes coordination, and at first it may seem like your feet or your hands have a mind of their own. When that happens, you may need to simply slow it down. Below, Sacramento drum teacher Tim K. shares a few bass pedal techniques to practice…
How did the modern drumset get created? Before two particular inventions, percussionists would strap these drums to their bodies or set them on a chair. After the Civil War, however, bands would often play events indoors, and space limitations would not allow for more than one percussionist in a room. That person learned to be the octopus-like forebearer of the modern drum set player, paving the way for the drumset and two inventions in particular: the snare drum stand and the bass drum pedal.
There are two main methods of playing the bass drum pedal: heel up and heel down. For many years after I first started drumming, I used the heel up technique almost exclusively, mainly because I was doing a lot of loud rock and funk drumming. This technique works well for that style of music.
Now I use mostly heel down on the pedal, because I play a lot more jazz these days. This technique allows for a little more control, but usually not as much volume as the heel up style. When you have your heel up, you can really drive the bass pedal beater into the drum head with a lot of force. Check out the video below to see what I mean:
Keep rockin’ and keep practicing!!
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Tim K. teaches drum lessons to students of all ages in Sacramento, CA. Tim joined the TakeLessons team in June 2012, with over 20 years of drumming experience and a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Jazz Studies. His specialties include jazz, rock, hip hop, Latin, Afro-Cuban, funk and classical snare. Sign up for lessons with Tim, or visit TakeLessons to find a drum teacher near you!
Photo by Steve Hunt Photo.