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Old 01-09-2011, 12:29 AM
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blevinspercussion blevinspercussion is offline
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

Alright, here's my $.02 on this issue, and it happens to be something that I feel strongly about...

(Let me preface me by saying that this is only my opinion, which may not work for everyone but it works for me).

I do not play double bass and I have little to no desire to ever learn. That being said, I know HOW to play double bass, I just choose not to...and I haven't practiced it much, so I have very little left foot endurance anyway.

I learned double bass while attending the Atlanta Institute of Music primarily because it was required, but I also like to be able to teach it should I have a student request it (which I have had a couple of times).

The reason that I don't play double bass, and a reason that I haven't seen discussed in this thread, is that I fear that it will make me a lazy drummer. I don't play music that requires crazy blast beats, and I don't anticipate playing any in the foreseeable future, and aside from that, I see far too many drummer using a double pedal for things that could easily be accomplished with a single pedal. For instance, one of my favorite licks to play, either in a solo or as a fill, is RLRLFF (R-right hand, L-left hand, F-foot), played as sixteenth note triplets or thirty-second notes. Almost anyone with a double pedal would use it in this instance...but why? By using the heel-toe technique (as demonstrated by Steve Gadd in his "Up Close" instructional video), you can play that lick beautifully. And believe me, you don't have to be Steve Gadd to use that technique...if I can do it, then anyone can.

I say, learn to play consistent doubles with one pedal. I've yet to see anyone do strong triples or quads with one pedal, but those are usually overkill anyway. If you really, really want to use a double pedal, don't limit yourself to doubles (remember, do those with one foot...) or blast beats. Use it for something really creative...something like that wicked right hand-left foot-left hand-right foot thing that Gregg Bissonette ripped off from Vinne Colaiuta. (Shown in this clip at 1:33 )

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Old 01-09-2011, 08:00 PM
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ddduey ddduey is offline
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

yeah if your over 50 it's just one more BIG drum to schlock around. at my age a four piece kit is a beautiful thing.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:49 AM
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

het ddeuy you can always be like me and use a double pedal instead
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:22 PM
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

OK - I'll weigh in on this one. I've used several different setups using doubles and/or double pedals and I approach this as just another option in my arsenal or bag of tricks.

My favorite (but least used) setup are using 24" and 22" BDs tuned a forth or fifth apart, (depending on the music) or the Ed Shaughnessy setup.

My most used and currently used are Double Pedals. I approach playing matched doubles as Louis Bellson approach - just another tool in arsenal for particular passages or styles.
My least used is matched double bass drums (22" or 24"). Sometimes hired-gun work will call for this set-up when hiring band(s) want the 'Visual' of double bass drums.

If I had to estimate, 80-85% of my percussion work employ a single bass drum, but I always have a passage or break that screams for a double, like the drum break in Maynard Ferguson's Coconut Champagne. )

Another point, many of the Rudiments sound great on doubles and when the Rudiments are worked between the doubles, snare, toms and cymbals.

Last edited by drumtech; 01-10-2011 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:35 PM
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

this is true.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:40 PM
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

I've played both, I like the challenge of the double, it lets me be bigger sounding. It makes it easier to play fast and it's something else to play with. My new kit is a single pedal, it's doing me just fine so far. I use my hi hats more with a single kick, don't have the heel/toe thing down.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:37 PM
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Pyrochazm Pyrochazm is offline
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

First off, I love playing double bass, and really love music that more or less requires it. But I'm also going to come right out and say that double kick can end up being a crutch.

See, I am entirely self taught, and I foucused on double kick right from the get-go. This was not wise, as it took me a lot longer to really learn the rest of the kit, limiting creativity. I have since gone back and corrected some of my bad habits and concentrated more on hand speed and limb independence. Unfortunatly i'm nowhere near where I think I would be had I learned properly in the beginning.

I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for drummers who could play doubles, yet choose not to most of the time. (Shannon Larkin would be a good example)

My advice to people starting out is to not bother with double kick right away. Instead, really learn your rudiments, and then work on double kick.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:34 AM
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Re: Reasons why people don't play double bass

I find it helpful to make charts of the songs that I am learning even if I won't be reading them at the audition. Thanks.
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