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Double Bass Drum Playing: Learning To Go Boom, Boom, Boom, The Right Way
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Double Bass Drum Playing: Learning to Go Boom, Boom, Boom, The Right WayWhether you are a rock fan or a rock drummer, you know the importance of a good bass drum. That thumping rhythm can take even a blah song into something of a head banger, especially when you learn to play well. But, double bass drum playing takes some hard work, a lot of practice and of course, coordination. Make sure that you know what to expect from playing the double bass and how to prepare for it or you might find yourself another casualty of percussion syndrome. (The belief that the percussion section of any musical group does not have to do any real work.)

Double bass drum playing can set the entire tone for a song. You hear boom, boom, boom and you know you are in for a heart-shaking, body-quaking type of song. You expect it. After all, there is no double bass drum lead in to anything called a “concerto” now is there? But, don’t get the idea that just because it is mainly rockers that use the double bass that you get to slack or play lazy- you have to work, and work hard to be good at it. And to master double bass drum playing? Get ready to exercise to be fit for the task, to practice your licks for hours a day and to listen to all the hard rock and metal songs your ears can handle. Okay, maybe it is not all hard work, after all.

Read up on the tips given by the pros and the amateur players so you get an idea of what to expect. Talk to drummers that you admire, especially if they play the double bass drum well. Know that type of strain playing the double bass can put on your body and how to condition yourself for that. Don’t wait until you have a strained or sore muscle to consider this factor, approach it like you would anything else: with knowledge and a solid plan.

Make sure you understand the level of concentration and coordination you will need to play the double bass drum well. Know that you will have to develop leg strength and stamina or face cramps and painful leg strains that could keep you from behind your drum kit for days or even weeks. Be mindful of the fact that not everyone will be able to work a double bass drum as well as Lars Ulrich, who is something of a Metal God. Watch videos of him, emulate him if you would like, but understand the work ethic and level of dedication that it takes to play that well.

Double bass drum playing takes practice, perseverance and skill. It also takes some strength and flexibility. So, if you are not willing to put the time and effort in both behind the drum kit and away from it, then perhaps this is not the right instrument for you. I heard they might need someone to shake a tambourine at the airport. Get to work little drummer boy! (Or girl)


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