In this lesson we will discus bass drum techniques for beginners. The bass drum is one of the primary drums you will use on your drum set. You might be surprised that many drummers seem to spend less time on bass drum technique and pay more attention to stick control and practice sticking rudiments more than bass drum patterns and technique.
Learn a couple of tips and tricks below on how you can develop and build on your bass drum technique as a beginner;
Tip #1: Familiarize Yourself with Playing Heel Down.
The two major styles involved in bass drumming are the Heel Up and Heel Down. While majority of drummers are aware of these two styles, they made up their mind to just practice one from the onset. If you want to eventually become successful in drumming, the key lies in learning to play both the heel up and heel down styles.
When the heel down style is involved, the ball of the drummer’s heel is pressed down on the pedal of the bass drum. And, as you engage your whole foot (instead of your legs) to play, what will now become your heel will be the pivot points on your foot. This style is an important one to master since feeling the pedal comes a lot easier compared to heel up.
As you engage increased control in feathering the bass drum, you will start playing a lot lighter. Usually, this is applied to jazz as well as other softer music styles. And, it doesn’t matter whether you play rock, it is still important to practice the heel down style. You will get to enhance your bass drum control in general and even boost your speed as well when you build control and achieve a feel for your bass drum pedal.
Tip #2: Familiarize Yourself with Playing the Heel Up.
In learning drum techniques for beginners, the heel up bass drum technique is also important and is completely different from the previous style (the heel down style). This is because your entire leg is engaged in powering the bass pedal. So, you will not rest your heel on the pedal but will raise it up and get your toe to rest on the bass drum pedal’s tip.
This requires using up more energy as you will need your entire leg to kick in order to hit the bass drum. But, it is should be noted that the heel up style is ideal for power bass drumming. You are able to obtain increased power from the kick drum because your whole leg is involved. And, as you develop sufficient control, your heel up playing can get faster since kicking the drum involves your toes only. The heel up style is increasingly adopted by the majority of the rock and heavy drummers.
Tip #3: Learning to Control Your Strokes!
Also, in this drum techniques for beginners article, with special emphasis on the bass drum technique, learning to control your strokes is highly essential. First, as a beginner, you should know that the bass drum is just like other drums, whether it is the toms or snare drums. In essence, you should also focus on mastering control over your strokes while playing the bass drum just like any other drum. Therefore, nothing stops you from being able to play paradiddles on your bass drum, as well as playing the double strokes.
The ability to play tremendous fast doubles (most drummers at the beginning think this is impossible feat) comes naturally when you learn to develop control over the bass drum. This also is achieved through two major techniques as well; the slide technique and the heel toe technique. Both techniques or styles are typical instances of how pedal control provides you the extra benefit of being able to play fast double strokes on both the double and single bass pedal.
The above three tips are the essentials of drum techniques for beginners (and even the advance players) with special emphasis on bass drum technique. The key to success is ensuring you practice these techniques constantly. Don’t forget to assign more time to practicing on both feet control and stick control. You can also apply the methods in the above tips to practice the hi-hat technique.
Keep advancing in your drum lessons and learning until you become an enviable pro!