Double Bass Drum Tutorial for Beginners – Lesson 1

Double bass drum tutorial for beginners. Double bass pedal.

If you are brand new to drumming and like the idea of dominating the double bass drums, this double bass drum tutorial series will be the perfect starting point to get you to your goals.

With that being said, this series is not meant for more advanced players. It is specifically designed for beginner drummers who have an interest in learning to play music that utilizes techniques requiring double bass drums.

I realize there are an endless number of exercises you can practice on single and double bass, which can make it daunting to know where to begin, so my goal is to plot out a simple and logical series of exercises that will take you from struggling with playing double bass to feeling comfortable and confident in your playing.

Double bass drum tutorial for beginners - lesson 1. Double bass pedal.

Most drummers don’t have the luxury of owning two bass drums, so the majority of drummers use a double bass pedal. If you don’t have one yet, check out zZounds, they have a great selection of double bass drum pedals to choose from.

I use a double bass pedal from Drum Workshop and it works great for me. You might have a different double bass pedal or you may decide to purchase a different brand. Either way, make sure it’s adjusted according to how you play.

As a side note, I would include information about adjusting your double bass pedal in this post, but that’s honestly a different beast to tackle and definitely a topic for a different post.

So instead, I’ll link to a YouTube video if you want more information about adjusting your double bass pedal. Perhaps in the future, I’ll create a post about how to do that, but for now, I’ll stick to sharing double bass pedal practice routines for new drummers.

This exercise is going to be the first of many that will continue to build in complexity and difficulty as time goes on.

The challenging part of this exercise is that it is played at a slow 60 BPM. I’ve found that the slow tempo does wonders for increasing one’s inner clock as well as gaining more control of both feet when playing double bass.

We’ll start by setting the metronome to 60 BPM, and begin playing eighth notes on the bass drum with our right foot. In this case, it simply means playing two notes per beat. When counted out, each measure sounds like this: one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and.

In total, we will play the bass drum eight times per measure.

Also, feel free to start with your left foot as well, I’m just trying to make it simple by picking a starting point.

If this feels super awkward and begins to make you question whether or not you even possess the coordination to play the drums, congratulations, you’re well on your way to becoming the master drummer you were meant to be!

It might not feel like it at first, but that awkwardness is going to mold you into a rock-solid drummer over time. No pain, no gain right?

The clip below will let you know how it should sound if you’re keeping time correctly.

If it sounds more like the clip below, don’t worry!

Everyone has to start somewhere, there is absolutely nothing wrong. You have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk, and every drummer has to go through the monotony of these basic yet challenging exercises before they can truly say they can play the drums.

I guarantee this little exercise is going to be challenging at first, but stick with it and you’ll be surprised how soon your feet start obeying what you want them to do.

I recommend playing four measures with your right foot and then as smoothly as you can, switch to your left foot and play four more measures. Continue alternating feet every four measures for ten minutes per day and I promise you will see results quickly.

It might not be the flashiest exercise out there but it gets results and that’s what we want.

To wrap things up for this lesson, once you are comfortable and can keep time with the metronome at 60 BPM playing eighth notes on the bass drum, we’re going to add our hands in by playing the hi-hat.

But, the catch is, we are only going to play quarter notes with our hands. That means we’ll be playing two bass notes for every hi-hat note. So the hi-hat only gets played at the beginning of each beat.

Here is what it should sound like:

Once you’ve got that mastered and can play it flawlessly with both feet, you’ll be ready to move on to the next lesson in this series where we start adding not just one, but both hands into the mix.

It will be fun and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the challenge. So until next time, keep being awesome.

What to do next?

If you are brand new to music, music production, or are interested in learning to play the drums, you can check out my article: What is a DAW? – What Does DAW stand for?

You might also want to check out this article: Acoustic Vs. Electronic Drums – Which One is Right for You?

If you are looking at buying your first drum set or any other musical instrument for that matter, take a look at Zzounds. They have a variety of acoustic drum sets and electronic drum sets for purchase.

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Andrew has been a life long lover of music. Although starting his musical journey on the guitar, (we won't talk about his skills on that particular instrument) he found his true passion was for drumming and making music to share with others. He also enjoys writing blog posts about off the wall subjects that are very much real—such as Bigfoot, UFOs, and what's up with European mayonnaise. Why is it sweet???
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