12 Advanced Double Bass Drum Exercises

If you have some experience playing double bass, then you’re probably familiar with this classic idea:

A Classic Double Bass Drum Idea

Note that the sticking on the above is: right hand on the floor tom, right foot, left foot. It’s a solid piece of drumming vocabulary and one of my favorite double bass ideas, but I wanted to see if I could do something new with it. Twisting a classic idea into something new is one strategy I use a lot, and this one seemed primed for a creative facelift.

I decided to take this pattern and see if I could play it as 32nd notes between the snare and bass drums (the sticking without the cymbal: left hand, right foot, left foot) while playing eighth notes on the ride cymbal (one could also use a closed hi-hat mounted on the right instead of the ride). Of course, it IS possible to do this, but the coordination and phrasing are a challenge.

My usual approach to dealing with learning a new idea like this is to create some exercises to help me get a handle on it. And, so, “12 Advanced Double Bass Drum Exercises” (aka Nasty Lick #111) was born.

Here is the PDF for you to download: 12 Advanced Double Bass Drum Exercises

The first two exercises show you how the pattern repeats with a quarter note and eighth note framework respectively. In other words, these show you the idea as a “germ,” in its most basic form. The absolute most basic form is shown in exercise #2.

Exercise #9 is the “Pattern Control” version of the idea. In other words, you’ll see how the pattern plays out in 4/4 time continuously until it resolves. This will help you find “chunks” of the pattern that will work in your playing. For more information on the concept of “Pattern Control,” check out: “Pattern Control for Drumset.”

The rest of the exercises on the worksheet will give you some facility to manipulate the pattern. Shedding this page should give you the ability to blast 32nd notes into grooves or soloing ideas that have a constant eighth note cymbal pattern. I’m pretty confident it will be a useful idea for me in my playing. In fact, in my practicing so far, it sounds insane!

Another option for using the material on the PDF is to ignore the cymbal line and just shed the pattern using either hand (or both bands) in place of the snare drum line. The orchestration is up to you. I haven’t worked on this yet, but I’m pretty sure it will sound killer.

OK, that’s it! Go ahead and print out the PDF, have a go at it, and let me know your thoughts!

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