Desperately Seeking Fast Bass Drum Speed!

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I’m at that point ladies and gentlemen…been playing 4-5 years. I’ve played heel up, heel down, heel- toe, and everything in between.
I’ve taken lessons, I’ve watched videos and You Tube, etc. I can’t hit quick triples - I use single pedal and want to stay that way for now.
There’s days when I get it and feel like I’m making progress and other days when I want to quit drumming. I switch my technique but It’s just not working. I think I’m going to spend all my days now on my feet. I can’t advance without getting better in this area! I’m frustrated. I’m sure there are plenty of you who understand where I’m coming from. I really would appreciate your feedback and help! Thank you..
 

Ghede

Well-known member
Just to contextualize a bit better: what is your current comfortable speed, where do you start struggling, and at what speed would you like to be able to play?
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
It’s hard to gauge what speed I’m comfortable playing at because sometimes I’m quicker heel down…Overall, at around 140 I’m not hitting them well. Then, I’ll jump to 175 and start playing them better. It’s wierd…
I wish teachers would focus more on the foot.
Everyone wants to play fast with their hands, but you hit walls and dead ends if your foot is slow- especially in rock. Thanks!
 

Ghede

Well-known member
140-175 8th notes I think it's about the famous range for transition from leg motion to "high speed motion" (ankle, swivel, constant release, hell toe, etc.).
I wish I could be more helpful other than saying to specifically practice this troublesome range. I'm not there yet myself, so I just report what others with more experience have been writing in other threads!
Good luck!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I tap out theme songs on my bass for agility-Lone Ranger, Bonanza, Addams Family, etc. It helps with speed also. You need to make sure your pedal spring is working for you-not against (I like mine with little tension-so I pull back beater and set spring for longest motion of beater springing back and forth like a pendulum) and that the batter head is a good tension for playing rebound and dribbling the beater (if too loose it's flappy with no rebound-or tone).

Timely -I like playing single also so I’ve been working on fast doubles and triplets and just dribbling it as fast as I can and get enough volume. Also working on Tom/kick double bass technique a bit for accents. I think single playing fast is limited by getting beater height/velocity for volume. It’s pretty easy to dribble/ flutter a beater super fast just like a stick but it’s hard to get much volume as you go faster- because time interval between beats. I like dribbling a multistroke into a louder double or triplet finish accent-much like ghost notes on snare- so I’m working getting it clean for fills.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
140-175 8th notes I think it's about the famous range for transition from leg motion to "high speed motion" (ankle, swivel, constant release, hell toe, etc.).
I wish I could be more helpful other than saying to specifically practice this troublesome range. I'm not there yet myself, so I just report what others with more experience have been writing in other threads!
Good luck!
That’s good to know about that range. I would say that even under 135 I have problems. I started playing heel down (only) for awhile. I’m trying to keep it simple. Its really the application that throws me off. Like, how much weight should I be putting on my foot. I try to go light and let it bounce off like basketball- but it’s tough to do. I tend to bury the better at times. I do it because I lose my balance. So, I want to play heel up properly, it’s good for keeping me balanced. I’m sure many people struggle with this …but that’s great information. I wish you luck on your journey! You have your whole life to learn!
 
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DrumNut!

Well-known member
As my high school drumline instructor said....if you want to get better at doubles, practice triples, if you want to get better at triples, practice quads.
That’s actually good advice! I saw Mike Johnston talk about incorporating quads in practice. Your right about that.. Thanks!
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I tap out theme songs on my bass for agility-Lone Ranger, Bonanza, Addams Family, etc. It helps with speed also. You need to make sure your pedal spring is working for you-not against (I like mine with little tension-so I pull back beater and set spring for longest motion of beater springing back and forth like a pendulum) and that the batter head is a good tension for playing rebound and dribbling the beater (if too loose it's flappy with no rebound-or tone).

Timely -I like playing single also so I’ve been working on fast doubles and triplets and just dribbling it as fast as I can and get enough volume. Also working on Tom/kick double bass technique a bit for accents. I think single playing fast is limited by getting beater height/velocity for volume. It’s pretty easy to dribble/ flutter a beater super fast just like a stick but it’s hard to get much volume as you go faster- because time interval between beats. I like dribbling a multistroke into a louder double or triplet finish accent-much like ghost notes on snare- so I’m working getting it clean for fills.
That’s a good idea using those television theme shows, I’m going to look at that. Sounds like you have clear routines and idea as to what your trying to accomplish. I commend you! I definitely have to look at my beater- It’s too loose and easy to hit. I probably need to adjust or switch back to my DW 5000. I’m sticking with a single pedal for now, until I feel more proficient with it!
I like to practice to the Immigrant Song for doubles and tempo. I also like to turn up the volume and play Communication Breakdown which is a lot faster with triples thrown in- it helps me with fast rebounds and tempo. But, Im not consistent and I think my pedal tension is too loose which screws up my rebounds.
You gave me some good ideas. Thank you!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I’m at that point ladies and gentlemen…been playing 4-5 years. I’ve played heel up, heel down, heel- toe, and everything in between.
I’ve taken lessons, I’ve watched videos and You Tube, etc. I can’t hit quick triples - I use single pedal and want to stay that way for now.
There’s days when I get it and feel like I’m making progress and other days when I want to quit drumming. I switch my technique but It’s just not working. I think I’m going to spend all my days now on my feet. I can’t advance without getting better in this area! I’m frustrated. I’m sure there are plenty of you who understand where I’m coming from. I really would appreciate your feedback and help! Thank you..
Try this for quick doubles:
Stroke 1: point the toe down
Stroke 2: drop your foot

Once your foot is dropped, pointing your toe gets you stroke 1 again. There is your third stroke. You can also invert the strokes so its foot then toe then foot again.
 

doggyd69b

Drum Expert
I’m at that point ladies and gentlemen…been playing 4-5 years. I’ve played heel up, heel down, heel- toe, and everything in between.
I’ve taken lessons, I’ve watched videos and You Tube, etc. I can’t hit quick triples - I use single pedal and want to stay that way for now.
There’s days when I get it and feel like I’m making progress and other days when I want to quit drumming. I switch my technique but It’s just not working. I think I’m going to spend all my days now on my feet. I can’t advance without getting better in this area! I’m frustrated. I’m sure there are plenty of you who understand where I’m coming from. I really would appreciate your feedback and help! Thank you..
I guess only you know what your ultimate goal is. That said, I like to practice to songs rather than exercises and sometimes (or a lot of the times) I have to slow down the original song to 80 or 90 percent speed to a speed that I can keep up with for the entire song. As I get more used to the speed, I start to increase it until I can play the entire song at normal speed. Examples of songs that you can use to practice this are:

1 Spheres of madness by Decapitated (it includes triplets)
2 Juular by Devin Townsend (important to notice how the snare is doubled on 1,2,3,and 4 while the hats are single hits)
3 Painkiller by Judas Priest (Iconic drum intro)
4 Under and over it by Five Finger Death Punch (just for endurance)
5 Laser canon deth sentence by Dethklok (Definitely for endurance and if you can play it at full speed you should have no issues playing triplets)
6 The Devil's name is surveillance by Messhuggah Notice the syncopated snare and hats vs the furious double bass speed..
7 Mandatory suicide by Slayer long double bass outro but I particularly like how Lombardo switched patterns in the first part.
8 Desperate cry by Sepultura (Iconic outro CRYYYYYYyyyyyyy!)
9 Road of resistance by Baby Metal (Harder than it sounds if you play it correctly).
10 Most of Unlucky Morpheus songs... (That drummer is just full of energy).
11 God of emptiness by Morbid Angel (slow song but the purpose is to play it super tight).
12 I almost forgot Hot For Teacher by Van Halen not particularly hard beside the intro but a ton of fun to play.

Notice all of the above songs have long continuous double bass parts and some (2, 5, and 6) are a test of stamina.
Bonus song (not as much double bass but this is to practice with your weak leg instead of your normal leading leg.
Lilith Immaculate by Cradle of filth. If you are right handed (and footed) try to play the single bass drum parts with your left foot, it is a workout and you get to be amazed that Marthus (the drummer) was able to keep that speed up for that long even with your leading foot.

There are tons more examples but I guess those should be enough. Now if you feel froggy, you can try doubling the speed (bass drum hits) of slow songs such as Lamb of God's Laid to rest and try to keep that speed through the whole song.
And one thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that you got to get your legs stronger, and double bass practice alone is not fast enough. I personally quadrupled my speed by simply running. I don't like running, I was forced to run because of the military. I got in better shape and I was able to play any of those song with ease, then I slacked and slowed down but I am back to running regularly (and you don't have to run marathons just enough to make it worth your time) 2 miles or 5 km every other day will be more than enough... I don't know what your fitness level is and also don't know if you already do this but if you don't, you should consider doing it. most fast double bass players I know have some form of exercise included in their routine. Khrim (ex Decapitated) bikes everwhere, Rybalchenko from Fleshgod Apocalypse runs too and so do must metal players (if they don't run, they have some exercise routine (besides the double bass practice) also have you check Martin drum academy? https://marthyn.net/ I have not tried his course but I will buy it once I get settled in my new home ( Military moves us every 3 years but this should be my last one). The price is cheap and I don't see him blowing smoke to people to tell them they can do it, he is realistic and he is quite fast himself. hopefully any of this super long response helped in some way.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Exercising your legs can make a HUGE difference in your kick drum playing. After I go for long walks or a bike ride, my playing is noticeably better.

Sometimes I'll go a few weeks without exercise and realize my kick playing isn't as effortless as it should be. Then I take my dogs on a 2-mile walk and my drumming is instantly better again.

Amazing how that works!
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Exercising your legs can make a HUGE difference in your kick drum playing. After I go for long walks or a bike ride, my playing is noticeably better.

Sometimes I'll go a few weeks without exercise and realize my kick playing isn't as effortless as it should be. Then I take my dogs on a 2-mile walk and my drumming is instantly better again.

Amazing how that works!
 

Ghede

Well-known member
Is that the final stage of hammer toe before they just cut it off? :unsure: :ROFLMAO:
No, it's when your kick game sucks, you get frustrated, you scream "hell with that!" (hence the first half of the name) and instinctively you kick the air, while in reality your toe (usually the smallest one, and here is the second half of the name) hits the edge of the door, or the wall, or the foot of the couch, etc.

In reality there is also a third word after that that describes accurately the mother of aforementioned door, wall, couch, etc., but I didn't write it because I like this forum and I don't want to be banned. 🤣
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I guess only you know what your ultimate goal is. That said, I like to practice to songs rather than exercises and sometimes (or a lot of the times) I have to slow down the original song to 80 or 90 percent speed to a speed that I can keep up with for the entire song. As I get more used to the speed, I start to increase it until I can play the entire song at normal speed. Examples of songs that you can use to practice this are:

1 Spheres of madness by Decapitated (it includes triplets)
2 Juular by Devin Townsend (important to notice how the snare is doubled on 1,2,3,and 4 while the hats are single hits)
3 Painkiller by Judas Priest (Iconic drum intro)
4 Under and over it by Five Finger Death Punch (just for endurance)
5 Laser canon deth sentence by Dethklok (Definitely for endurance and if you can play it at full speed you should have no issues playing triplets)
6 The Devil's name is surveillance by Messhuggah Notice the syncopated snare and hats vs the furious double bass speed..
7 Mandatory suicide by Slayer long double bass outro but I particularly like how Lombardo switched patterns in the first part.
8 Desperate cry by Sepultura (Iconic outro CRYYYYYYyyyyyyy!)
9 Road of resistance by Baby Metal (Harder than it sounds if you play it correctly).
10 Most of Unlucky Morpheus songs... (That drummer is just full of energy).
11 God of emptiness by Morbid Angel (slow song but the purpose is to play it super tight).
12 I almost forgot Hot For Teacher by Van Halen not particularly hard beside the intro but a ton of fun to play.

Notice all of the above songs have long continuous double bass parts and some (2, 5, and 6) are a test of stamina.
Bonus song (not as much double bass but this is to practice with your weak leg instead of your normal leading leg.
Lilith Immaculate by Cradle of filth. If you are right handed (and footed) try to play the single bass drum parts with your left foot, it is a workout and you get to be amazed that Marthus (the drummer) was able to keep that speed up for that long even with your leading foot.

There are tons more examples but I guess those should be enough. Now if you feel froggy, you can try doubling the speed (bass drum hits) of slow songs such as Lamb of God's Laid to rest and try to keep that speed through the whole song.
And one thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that you got to get your legs stronger, and double bass practice alone is not fast enough. I personally quadrupled my speed by simply running. I don't like running, I was forced to run because of the military. I got in better shape and I was able to play any of those song with ease, then I slacked and slowed down but I am back to running regularly (and you don't have to run marathons just enough to make it worth your time) 2 miles or 5 km every other day will be more than enough... I don't know what your fitness level is and also don't know if you already do this but if you don't, you should consider doing it. most fast double bass players I know have some form of exercise included in their routine. Khrim (ex Decapitated) bikes everwhere, Rybalchenko from Fleshgod Apocalypse runs too and so do must metal players (if they don't run, they have some exercise routine (besides the double bass practice) also have you check Martin drum academy? https://marthyn.net/ I have not tried his course but I will buy it once I get settled in my new home ( Military moves us every 3 years but this should be my last one). The price is cheap and I don't see him blowing smoke to people to tell them they can do it, he is realistic and he is quite fast himself. hopefully any of this super long response helped in some way.
That’s a wealth of information! I will definitely look over this list and all the information, including the class. I salute you!
I’m not fast enough to play metal and the double bass. I’d love to be able to play that stuff. Right now, I’m just trying to play Zeppelin, etc! Lol.
I play Jazz which helps me with four way coordination. No real problems with my foot there. I’m utilize songs to help me with my foot.
I have to realize that I haven’t been playing a long time and it can be discouraging when you try to bite off more than you can chew! It’s a process. I am out shape. I stopped going to the gym, for a while due to Covid, I’m overweight and not in shape. I don’t drink or smoke. Being heavy screws you up, especially sitting on the throne - hard to stay balanced and play heel up.
And Exercise books tend to be dry and they don’t really address how to use your foot!
I still work from them from time to time…Sometimes I will just play a money beat at 200 then incorporate an extra bass drum hit. After I do that a while Ill play a slower song and gauge myself. I have to admit the utilization of the foot in drumming is mysterious and opaque. Thank you for your information and for your service!
Be safe!
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
No, it's when your kick game sucks, you get frustrated, you scream "hell with that!" (hence the first half of the name) and instinctively you kick the air, while in reality your toe (usually the smallest one, and here is the second half of the name) hits the edge of the door, or the wall, or the foot of the couch, etc.

In reality there is also a third word after that that describes accurately the mother of aforementioned door, wall, couch, etc., but I didn't write it because I like this forum and I don't want to be banned. 🤣
That’s good stuff! I put the gun away! 😀
Exercising your legs can make a HUGE difference in your kick drum playing. After I go for long walks or a bike ride, my playing is noticeably better.

Sometimes I'll go a few weeks without exercise and realize my kick playing isn't as effortless as it should be. Then I take my dogs on a 2-mile walk and my drumming is instantly better again.

Amazing how that works!
Words of wisdom! I stopped working out a long time ago, and need to get that going, I need to walk too! Appreciate your thoughts!
 

doggyd69b

Drum Expert
That’s a wealth of information! I will definitely look over this list and all the information, including the class. I salute you!
I’m not fast enough to play metal and the double bass. I’d love to be able to play that stuff. Right now, I’m just trying to play Zeppelin, etc! Lol.
I play Jazz which helps me with four way coordination. No real problems with my foot there. I’m utilize songs to help me with my foot.
I have to realize that I haven’t been playing a long time and it can be discouraging when you try to bite off more than you can chew! It’s a process. I am out shape. I stopped going to the gym, for a while due to Covid, I’m overweight and not in shape. I don’t drink or smoke. Being heavy screws you up, especially sitting on the throne - hard to stay balanced and play heel up.
And Exercise books tend to be dry and they don’t really address how to use your foot!
I still work from them from time to time…Sometimes I will just play a money beat at 200 then incorporate an extra bass drum hit. After I do that a while Ill play a slower song and gauge myself. I have to admit the utilization of the foot in drumming is mysterious and opaque. Thank you for your information and for your service!
Be safe!
Don't worry about your current speed, what you have to try is to play accurately (even if you have to slow the song down to say..70%) and once that becomes the norm (you playing the song accurately at 70 percent, then start to increase speed maybe in increments of 5% if you need to but keep that speed until you are able to finish the song accurately, then so on and so forth. I am not against using exercises, they are just so boring to me sometimes.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Try this for quick doubles:
Stroke 1: point the toe down
Stroke 2: drop your foot

Once your foot is dropped, pointing your toe gets you stroke 1 again. There is your third stroke. You can also invert the strokes so its foot then toe then foot again.
I think I saw this done on a very short YouTube video. It received tons of positive feedback.
I just looked at that video recently. It doesn’t look too hard to get it going. It has a very slight slide technique on the third stroke! I’m used to heel down and sliding it up, but I haven’t mastered it by no means. It’s all about timing and being able to incorporate it into a beat…Im going to try that technique! I appreciate that tip! Thanks.
 
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