Improve Your Double Bass Pedal Control by Playing Through Different Note Values

Improve your double bass pedal control. Snare drum.

Let me begin by saying that this exercise is designed for intermediate drummers. If you only have a single bass pedal, are new to the drums, or don’t feel the need to improve your double bass pedal control, then you might want to skip this post.

That’s cool though because there’s plenty of other content for you to check out on this site. Here are a few suggestions I can offer:

6 Tips to Maximize Your Playing if you are an Absolute Beginner Drummer

How to Improve Double Stroke Rolls on the Drums

Or one of my personal favorites: Guest Interview – Brutus the Belligerent Beaver

Not only is the following exercise going to help you improve your double bass pedal control, but it will also indirectly increase your double bass pedal speed. Now with that being said, I’m going to ask you not to focus on speed, but on accuracy throughout the exercise.

Focusing on accuracy while practicing this will help you improve your double bass pedal game. I know because I practice it every day, and it’s just a great way of learning to tighten up your double bass skills.

Remember, speed will come naturally over time. The goal is to be as locked into the rhythm with your feet as best you can.

Also, feel free to change up the pattern or even add your own patterns as you get used to the groove.

I like to say the beauty is in the simplicity of this exercise. It’s not complicated, but the gain that comes with it is amazing.

Improve your double bass pedal control by playing through different note values. Metronome.

Now the super important thing with this exercise is that it’s specifically designed to be played with a metronome. This will let you know how smoothly you are changing note values with your feet.

Being able to lock into the groove smoothly as you change note values is what’s going to take your double bass pedal ability to a higher level.

I have a post describing a similar exercise here: How to Improve Drumming Technique: Double Bass Pedal for Beginners, but I like to think of this as a variation that takes it a step up.

To start this exercise, we’ll play some nice crispy sixteenth notes on the double bass pedals. Don’t make it too fast. Find a tempo you are comfortable with and just do a simple drum groove playing quarter notes on the hi-hat for each beat, and hitting the snare drum on beats two and four.

Every two measures we’ll change to a different note value. Keep in mind our hands are doing the same thing, it’s just our feet that are changing.

Improve your double bass pedal control, Snare drum.

The pattern will go from sixteenth notes to eighth note triplets, and then end with eighth notes on the bass pedals. It’s important to alternate feet to build up our coordination. Smoothly landing the transitions is the goal of this exercise.

Now, once we are done playing two measures of eighth notes, we’ll move back up to eighth note triplets for two measures, and then finally sixteenth notes again for two final measures. Make this as smooth as possible.

The parts of this exercise that are going to help you with your bass drum playing are transitions to and away from the triplets.

Below, I will add a track so you know what it sounds like. It’s set at 90 BPM but feel free to slow that down if you find yourself struggling at any point. On the other hand, if you find this exercise too easy, feel free to speed it up.

The big takeaway here is consistency. Be as smooth and consistent as you can while cycling through the different note values.

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: How to Use a Metronome for Drums

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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