This post gives you a set of 9 exercises that you can use to practice working on two notes in a row with your single bass drum pedal. I’ve written about bass drum double strokes before. For reference, here are two articles, each with additional exercises:
“9 Exercises to Build Bass Drum Double Strokes”
“9 More Exercises to Build Bass Drum Double Strokes”
In the video for this lesson, I explain my technique for playing two notes in a row with my bass drum foot and then I play all 9 exercises on the worksheet at two different tempos: 75 and 100 beats per minute. The camera angles provide a view of my bass drum foot as I play the exercises so you can see what I’m doing and what it looks like.
Being able to see what the foot movement looks like in addition to hearing an explanation of the technique is important because the movement looks very subtle on its own. The movements I make look very small, but they do actually consist of a “two-for-one” movement that I explain in the video. As I drop my leg downward, pushing through the front of the ball of my foot, I rotate my foot backward slightly, pushing through the back of the ball of my foot to get the second of the two notes. That second note happens as I make that same downward motion of my leg. Check out the video for more explanation and to watch what my bass drum foot looks like when I play these exercises. Some drummers have explained this movement as “the slide,” and when I play these doubles very fast (faster than in this video), it does look like a slide. However, I think that the front/back movement I explain is the actually the essence of the movement. “The slide” is more of a result of that movement at fast tempos.
One quirky thing about my technique that I should mention: my foot sits on the bass drum pedal at an angle. My foot points outward and to the right slightly from my ankle about 30 degrees so that the heel of my foot doesn’t touch the back of the pedal, it actually sits on the floor. This is not something that you have to do; it is just something that I personally like. You can try it you like–it works for me but I don’t think it is essential to the technique.
Here’s the PDF of the exercises I play in the video for you to download and print out: 9 bass drum double stroke grooves
Here’s the video:
I hope you find this helpful. Please leave comments to ask questions.