In the Double Bass Drum Workshop series by STICKS, the drum and percussion magazine, Bodo Stricker shows you how to learn double bass drumming step by step. The professional drummer will give you useful tips and practice examples, which will bring you and your double bass drum playing forward and make your technique more efficient, cleaner and more enduring. When all these components are in place, you can let off steam musically and give your songs the “double kick” they need.
Double Bass Drum – from the right sitting position to the triplets
Successful and efficient double bass drumming starts with the right sitting position. Even though the correct sitting position is very individual and also depends on body size and playing style, there are a few basic points you should keep in mind. In the first episode of the Double Bass Drum series Bodo Stricker shows you how to find the perfect sitting position for you. The motto “put the pedal to the metal” makes your cart faster, your feet or your bass drum playing rather not. That’s why the drummer in the 2nd part will discuss the correct pedal settings for Double Bass Drumming.
Then we’ll take the first step on the Double Bass Drum: Beater and Patches in Part 3, Singles, Doubles and Paradiddle in Part 4, Singles and Doubles with Accents in Part 5, and Triplets with Accents, Combinations and Ostanati in Parts 6 and 7 in Part 5. When you’ve got your feet in shape with the first series of workshops – after a long training session – the last two Double Bass Drum episodes will be followed by hands. In part 8 Bodo Stricker shows you some groove variations with sixteenths of a double bass drum and in the final part the triplets.
Double Bass Drum with Bodo the Drumbeast
Why Bodo Stricker is the ultimate drum bass teacher? Because he got to the bottom of the Double Bass Drumming myth! The fire for his power metal drumming sparked the primus record “Suck On This”. Drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander became one of his greatest influences – for Bodo “the metal version of Vinnie Colaiuta”. Then came Meshuggah. Drummer Tomas Haake shot like lightning into the center of inspiration. For Bodo Stricker this was the initial spark and suddenly there was only one thing to do: to administer the supposedly unplayable of his pedal technique – with success! The foundation for his spectacular bass drum skills was laid. In this portrait, written by STICKS author Tom Schäfer, you can learn more about Bodo Stricker.
Simple Double Bass Grooves – Basic Exercises
Sheet number one contains eight simple double bass grooves with eighth notes beaten on the hi-hat.
The 16th notes are played alternately as already mentioned in the practice notes.
In contrast, I decide to play the quarter and eighth bass strokes with my strong (= right) foot.
What I particularly like about this consistent playing style is that I can keep it even with more demanding pieces.
So I enjoy a reliably beautiful playing flow and don’t have to think about which foot to play when.
The same playing with crash cymbals applies to sheet number two. These light drum grooves sound especially good in heavy parts of songs.
Also transitions and of course feeling changes succeed with them – try it out!)
At this point my Playalongtipps (links to YouTube) should not be missing:
- 80 ́s Rock / Metal Backing Track – 120 BPM
- No Drums Metal Song – 120 BPM (Breaking Free)
Although, let’s add this one:
- No Drums Metal – 80 bpm backing track Drumless
They are so-called drumless tracks, pieces of music without drums (and in their case also vocals). The two sheets you have gotten to know so far should serve as groove basis for them.
Slightly advanced double bass grooves
Like now. 😉
The drum notes of the following two sheets will give you new creative input if you want to move away from the basics.
Now at the latest I would definitely clarify how you design your footwork.
If you decide for my alternating variant, a short reminder will follow (skip it if you don’t need it):
RLRL RLRL RLRL RLRL RLRL
(LRLR etc. for left footers*inside)
I always keep this grid.
If you look at bar one, we have two sixteenths + one eighth note. Since I alternate my foot-part, the next double bass beat begins again on the right foot.
In contrast, I start the bass drum figure in bar 4 with the left foot. (see above sheet 3)
Drums double bass playing sheet music
The last sheet of music differs from the already introduced trio in that it contains only small variations of a drum groove.
And by small I mean that I only replaced the quarters on the hi-hat with eighth notes. 😉
But don’t underestimate this:
The hi-hat and cymbals in general are very effective seasonings in music. To this topic I have linked a suitable contribution at the end of the article.
Finally, I would like to give you two recommendations to take with you on your way.
The first is a book on the subject that I use in my drum lessons:
Progressive Double Bass Drumming – Volume 1* by Bob Burgett
It’s almost as old as I am, but anything but dusty. 😉
Besides increasing the difficulty level of grooves in eighth and sixteenth notes, it contains enough practice material for half a drummer’s inner life, e.g. on triplets, sextols, hi-hat/ride variations and drum solos.
32ths don’t appear in them yet, but that’s no problem – I just double 16ths if necessary. 🙂
If you don’t want to miss them, take a look at the 16 Week Speed & Control Workout by George Kollias.
The entry speed of 80 BPM in the first week, however, I find quite gross for double bass beginners, which is why I would start in favor of a clean playing style at 60 – 65 BPM.
What you write should be a support for you if you don’t know where to start. Or if you are looking for new inspiration on a certain topic.
Just like listening to music, of course.
Never become a drummer who only feels ready to play with a music stand in front of her eyes. So you take the chance to express yourself through your music.