Not sure what your classification of decent would be
And I know my classification of decent for myself would be pretty high lol. Seriously though the best thing you can do is take as many opportunities to practice as you can. If you sit at a desk then it is a great place to practice you toe bouncing and annoy the people next to you.
Just realize that it takes time to build up speed, stamina, and consistency. There are many things that impact bass drum performance; head selection, beaters, spring tension, bass drum pedal construction, muffling, head tension, bass drum creep, impact badges... to name a few. Any beat that is applied to hands can be done with feet. Just remember to have FUN with it. Not having fun will kill any momentum you have.
It took a few months for me to get nice consistent speed with 16th note double bashing. I wasn't blazing fast but I could keep a good tempo. My current frustrations are with the bass drum. I am using a single 20” bass drum (I think the depth is 18” maybe 20”), Evans
EMAD heads, and Pacific
DP602C double pedals. I am getting into faster drumming with the band I am in and have been using the same-ole-same-ole for years. I modified my dual beater cause the felt was trashed… so I cut it off to make the beater lighter with more front end weight to the beater… then went to the hardware store for a tighter spring.. I think the one I have on it now is roughly rated at 19lbs and the tension on it is maxed. I have adjusted the cams and every possible feature I could play with has been tinkered with in some way. Over the years I have played on many different head choices and with/without a hole in the resonate head. This is my second time with a 20” bass drum as well since I don’t like the feel/sound of 22” bass drums. I feel like I have hit a plateau in my playing, not for my potential, but for some other reason I haven’t figured out yet. I think it may be the pedal, or maybe the hole in the front is sucking too much rebound out of the drum, or maybe my muffling is out of hand, maybe I just suck… who knows… point is that I am going through a process of elimination. I know this problem exists, there is a perfectly good reason why, and a perfectly good way to resolve it too… the fun is trying to figure it out.
Tips and tricks:
Go to a local drum shop that lets you actually play on some demo kits and take note of the pedals, heads, drum sizes, type of beater… then play around with them a little. I guarantee that if you spend some time looking at the stuff you will look like a target for conversations. This can spark conversations with other drummers and their own tips. d
Internet research, videos, the more info the better. There are a lot of concepts and unfortunately many touting the benefit of their style only. But think of them as tools for your toolbox... the more tools you have the better off you are for different situations.
Everyone seems to agree that ankle weights help with practice. Or at least so I have seen. I have never applied this to my drumming but it does seem logical enough.
I have never played a double bass drums… only double pedals. The idea of lugging around two bass drums doesn’t seem appealing to me… Plus having a double pedal allows me to keep everything in reach.
Use some method to keep time… either play with music, metronome, whatever. If you have a way to record yourself (video would be better) you can learn by watching yourself or hearing how you play.
Take time to think about it!!!! If you try something and it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t make sense there is probably a good reason. You may not like heel down technique, or you may find that you prefer your batter head real tight to get enough bounce. Key is that there isn’t really a wrong approach to learning double bass. Just remember that if it is the only thing you practice you will only have one tool in your toolbox.
Hardware stores are your friend. You may have to guide them a little with what you are doing, but once they understand it is for unconventional means you see a little spark of interest in their eye and their day is less boring. I had been testing out metal impact badges that I constructed. Danmar makes a single and double Buy Danmar Metal Kick Bass Drum Impact Pad online at Musician's Friend
. I found that my tests sucked way too much rebound out and killed the drum sound I was looking for. I also found that after playing I would have similar pain to a shin splint only in my foot. I have since decided to nix the idea of metal badges. For me thay cause more damage than good.