Single vs. Double

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Today’s post expresses my own personal feelings on the subject of the single vs. double bass. This debate has raged on since Louie Bellson pioneered the double bass kit and it continues to this very day. I am a proponent of the former and take a great deal of pride in my bass drum foot. I practiced the heel toe and slide methods over and over until I was able to play doubles with no strain. I must admit that I used a double bass pedal in my youth but nowadays I don’t really play the kind of music that would necessitate one. Unfortunately many drummers have become dependent on double bass and often overuse it. I had the honor of being a judge for three rounds at the local Guitar Center Drumoff. Although there were some great players, almost all of them brought their own double bass pedals and used them extensively. As a result, their feet distracted from their chops. What I find interesting is how many double bass players from back in the day have switched back to single bass drums. For example, Tommy Lee and Frankie Banali have stripped down their entire kits from the monstrosities that they played back in the 1980’s. I actually believe that it has improved their playing. Now I understand that not everybody has a bass drum foot like John Bonham, in fact very few people do. That said, one should not become so dependent on double bass that they are unable to play without them.

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