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playing drums
personal comfort
rsquo
laying the foundation
drummers
natural ability
drummer
heck
muscles
Double Kick Drumming
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Playing drums with a double kick pedal or two bass drums can add another dimension to your playing. Most drummers that play metal, hardcore and rock generally use a double kick pedal as it is pretty much a necessity for these styles of music. Double kick drumming can be just as frustrating as it is rewarding. A lot of drummers will jump in the deep end and try to blaze away at 200 clicks or try extremely difficult patterns, and then get frustrated that they can't do it. I am going to discuss some tips when it comes to playing the double kick pedal.

Natural ability This is a big factor that determines skill when it comes to double kick drumming. A lot of the time, you are either naturally good at using the pedal or you are not. It has nothing to do with coordination, sometimes beginners can get a decent amount of speed and control straight away, even if they are not a drummer. Some drummers can be extremely gifted with coordination and timing, but cannot control their feet to save themselves. If you are naturally good at it, great, if not then you have some more work to do to begin with. This may actually serve as a blessing in the long run as many drummers who take the time to practice and perfect their technique with the double kick pedal will often overtake the drummers who don’t work on it because they are naturally good at it.

Practicing your technique There is no textbook technique for playing the double kick pedal, heck any drumming technique comes down to personal comfort and results. All of our bodies are different, which means that different techniques will work differently for different people.

With that in mind, here are a couple of tips for laying the foundation of your technique: 1. Play with your heel up – A lot of drummers will naturally sit down and play the double kick pedal with their heel down, using only the muscles in the lower legs. I will tell you know that playing with your heel up off the pedal, using the ball of your foot as the main contact point will make playing simpler almost immediately.

2. Use your whole leg – Ok this comes down to the personal preference thing again but it will work for most of you. Sit down on your drum kit and kick the bass drum pedal, using the heel up technique. But make a conscious effort to hit your heel on the ground as well, almost as if you are stomping on the pedal. This will bring your whole leg into the action, and personally is what helped me to develop my technique on the double kick pedal.

The next thing you want to do is practice this technique. I will say this now, there is no way to build up speed for the double kick pedal overnight, it will take some time, patience and work. A very effective way I have found to build speed is to play for extended periods of time at around 80% of your maximum speed. So if your maximum speed is 140 BPM (playing sixteenth notes) then you will want to play along to a metronome, playing straight sixteenth notes between both feet, at around 110 – 115 BPM for around 30 minutes or more each day. This may sound boring, but a way to make it more interesting is to solo with your hands over top, as long as you keep the feet going consistently. If you do this at least 5 – 6 times a week, then you will start seeing some results within a couple of weeks, and then you will continually increase speed over the next few months. The reason this technique is so effective is because it builds muscle memory. Which means your muscles will know what to do when you try to play faster. This is why trying to play fast straight away doesn’t work. Your muscles don’t know what to do.

The pedal A common excuse drummer’s give for not having speed or control on the double kick pedal is their pedal. Yes, the pedal can make some difference but it is by no means the most important factor. Just find a pedal that doesn’t slow you down. Personally I prefer the Pearl Eliminator pedal. But there are a lot of other double kick pedals out there on the market.

Playing the double kick pedal can be very rewarding, and give you another dimension to your playing, not to mention it can be very fun. Invest some time to build up your technique, and soon enough you will start to feel the improvements.


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