The double bass pedal seems like a simple equipment that just requires you to apply some constant force with your leg and produce tasteful music. But that’s not the case, the bass pedals are complex instruments when it comes to tweaking, before they can function as required. Prior to playing, the double bass pedal must be adjusted so that it can complement the beat that is to be played.
Double bass pedals are mainly used by drummers who play the extreme forms of metal and we must say that they uniquely make the whole ensemble produce some well-coordinated and entertaining sounds. Double bass pedals come in varied designs, some that have less features to tweak and others that will eat up a good amount of your time before, you can achieve the perfect setting.
The prices of the bass pedals also differ, those with less features tend to be cheaper than those with the most features, and given that tweaking them involves some kind of a steep learning curve, we want to help you out, read on.
How to set up your double bass pedal
So as we get down to the pedal settings, it is important to note that the settings are customized with regards to the player, so what might good for you, there are high chances that they won’t work for another. The above especially applies to the spring tension, and the drummer should therefore, consider their body size and weight.
For example with the ankle technique, the weight of the drummer’s leg will be translated to the pedal, which means that individuals who are heavier will have to use the medium spring tension, and For the lightweight individuals, a low spring tension will be appropriate.
- To proceed with the setup process, the drummer will first place their foot on the pedal and then start on a 45degree beater angle, while at it they should ensure that the spring tension is also low.
- Remember that for the first setup process, the heel is not as raised but for the second process, the heel must be raised because the beater must be pushed against the bass drum head.
- For the second step, the drummer will have to place their foot at the middle of the pedal, and then raise their heel; for this step, they may want to adjust the low spring tension to high spring tension so that they can get the beater to bounce back and forth.
- And, to confirm that the beater actually works as it is supposed to, the drummer will again place their foot at the middle of the pedal, then proceed to raise the heel and observe the beater.
- For the above, the drummer will be looking at whether the beater hits the bass drum head, or whether it stops just before the bass drum head, or whether it touches the bass drum head lightly.
- The idea is to get the beater to slightly touch the bass drum head or to stop just before the bass drum, so to get the right setting; the drummer will have to keep on increasing the spring tension until they get the relevant 45-degree beater angle and the right spring tension.
- Drummers who are polishing their ankle technique and are looking to get better speeds and volume, then the above settings should suffice.
The speed and volume offered by the double bass pedal are also subject to change via the pedal settings, a procedure that can help make playing the bass pedal and enhancing the volume and speed a lot easier.
Double bass pedal volume and power settings
There are situations where a drummer might need more volume and maybe they don’t have the bass drum trigger, the above should not cause worry because they can simply adjust the angle of the beater by increasing it to 70° or 80°. Remember that our initial setting above was 45°, the increase in degrees, therefore, will enable a bigger and beater swing thus increased volume.
- For enhanced volume, the drummer should be sure to reduce the spring tension from medium so that they can get the beater to hit the bass drum head.
- But for the bass drum speeds, things are going to be a whole lot different because the changes will be made in the opposite direction. So, what will happen is that the drummer will reduce the beater angle to either 30° or 40°, remember that we are still coming from 45°.
- The above adjustments call for an increase in the spring tension, which will ensure that the beater stays closer to the bass drum head, thus the drummer won’t need to put in much energy when engaging higher tempos.
- Important to note is that the speed settings do come with some cons, for example, the drummer will have a hard time, controlling the beater, as it needs to bounce back and forth with ease thanks to the higher spring tension that translates to less feedback from the pedal.
- The above also means that playing the mid-tempo will be a lot harder especially with the ankle technique. Drummers can, however, get around this by employing a beater weight which is to be placed exactly below the bass drum beater. The above will make the pedal too slow and is only convenient when playing at slow tempo.
The added beater weight adds weight thus the bass drum beater won’t need to go far back; the speed settings will, therefore, enable the drummer to play between 140 and 160, and the ankle technique. Ideally, when using the spring settings a drummer can reduce the beater angle to 30° or 35° and be sure to increase the spring tension so that the beater can easily go back and forth complete with a responsive spring, which then helps one to save energy when playing the higher tempos.
The major settings for the double bass pedals relate to the tempos, so with regards to the tempo that you want to play the bass drum beater must be adjusted accordingly; the same goes for the volume. The above settings are to help you achieve higher volume but by utilizing less energy. Drummers can, therefore, tweak their double bass pedals also with regard to their weight.
Must my drumming set have a bass drum pedal?
No, it must not, unless you are playing the heavy forms of metal.
How far should the bass drum beater be situated from the bass drum pedal?
The bass drum beater can be situated about 4 inches away.