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Double and Single Bass Drumming
Posted On 04/28/2008 00:58:13 by Carthage


I would like to contribute a little to the double-bass technique topic. Ken Sanders has written an excellent blog on double-bass chops, and that should be very helpful for someone wanting to learn or improve their chops.

I would like to start by saying the obvious, and that is, if you want to get better, you have to practice. That brings us to the topic of "what to practice"

To be a well rounded drummer as far as chops go, you need to start developing your hands and feet together if you aren't already doing that.

For your hands, I would recommend "Stick Control" by Gorge Lawrence Stone and "Syncopation for the Modern Drummer" by Ted Reed. These books will develope your hands.

You can also use these books for your feet.  For example, in Stick Control you can substitute the right hand with your right foot and play all the right hand notes with the right foot and play all the left hand notes with the left hand.  Your right hand can then play on the cymbal using whatever pattern you want.

For example:  If the hand pattern were RLRRLRLL, then you would play all the Rs with your right foot and all the Ls with your left hand.  The right hand would be playing what ever you want on the cymbal.  This would be for single bass drumming.

You can also play any strokes that are two or more with the double-bass playing the multiple strokes and your left hand continuing to play the left hand part. 

So,  if the pattern were RLRRRLRR, you would play the Rs with both feet and the Ls with your left hand.  So, that would be played like this: Right foot-Left hand-Right foot-Left foot-Right foot-Left hand-Right foot-Left foot and then you could just repeat that or go on to something new.

There are other ways to play the exercises with you feet.  For example, in Syncopation, you can play the "hand parts" with your feet while playing on "two and four" with your left hand while riding with your right hand on the cymbal.

As you start getting better, you can change the left hand from the "2 and 4 beat"  to more syncopated rhythms while playing all the "hand parts" on the bass drums. The ideas become unlimited.

Also, there is Joe Franco's book, "Double Bass Drumming". If you use this book diligently and keep at it, you can master the double bass drums. It has enough in there to keep anyone busy for a long time.  I recommend this book for anyone seriously wanting to master the double-bass drums.

His book has exercises in sixteenth note patterns and triplet patterns.  There are also broken fill patterns, overlapping patterns, soloing over the double bass rolls, accented rolls, accent patterns, and sixteenth and eigth note triplets fills.  There is enough in Joe Franco's book to enable you to become a very proficient player.

Finally, assuming you know how to hold the sticks and whatnot, you should make sure you have a metronome to practice with. Practice slowly at first and make sure you master each exercise before you play it faster. Make sure you are playing it correctly.

Once you "own it" and it's part of you, then you can pick up the speed. Speed will come naturally as a by-product of mastering what ever you are learning. Use the metronome to help you by gradually increasing the tempo once you are able to play something correctly, with feeling, and while being relaxed. Always remember to stay relaxed.

And don't quit if something seems to hard. Just go slower and try again. Keep doing it until you can play whatever it is that you want to play.


Tags: Double Bass Drumming


Viewing 1 - 1 out of 1 Comments

From: KenSanders
04/30/2008 21:48:54
Great tips Don.

I placed the link to this blog on the Double Bass Group Site.


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