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  • 8 Best Bass Drum Pedals for 2020

    A drum set is one of the most intimidating instruments with a multitude of pieces and the variables associated with each. Once each piece is in place, there is the task of tuning and adjusting tension to produce the best sound, and that is before considering drum shells, cymbals, and all the other features.

    Choosing the right gear can be overwhelming, but certainly not impossible. The experts at Drum Center of Portsmouth have created guides for everything, including ones for beginners. Each piece of a kit needs a buying guide, but we are focusing on the best bass drum pedals here. The right bass drum pedal is crucial because it needs to operate as an extension of your leg and foot. With dozens of models to choose from, finding the best one might seem difficult.

    That is where the Drum Center of Portsmouth comes in! We have compiled all the best pedals for 2020 and need-to-know information right here.

    Our Best-Rated Product

    The best equipment will lead to the best kit for an individual drummer and the music you are looking to create. Drum kits are personal and built around preference – so of course, bass drum pedals are included in that. Over the years, this particular piece of hardware has evolved with new models combining the best of the old and new.

    The Drum Center of Portsmouth stocks these top models and has compiled the top eight. Whether you are looking for something at a beginner’s level or the more advanced Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal, there is something for everyone. For professionals in a rush, the best-rated product will be the Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal. These models are all available online and in stores, with most featuring our special financing option. Check them out today!

     

    1 Best Bass Pedal with a Classic Look: Yamaha FP-9 Chain Drive Bass Pedal with Case

    Best Bass Pedal with a Classic Look: Yamaha FP-9 Chain Drive Bass Pedal with Case
    Pros

    • Adjustable cams
    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Anti-skid heel spikes
    • Weight adjustable beater

    Cons

    • Extra thick heavy chain doesn’t flex as easily as it could
    • Cam location in comparison to batter heads

    This Yamaha model combines a classic look with a few striking twists. It is a light-weight design that produces a great sound against steel, black, and blue elements. Some new elements also include adjustable cams and linkages to create preferred pedal action. This allows users to adjust drum key bolt toggles as needed through the 3-position cam.

    With a double-chain model, drummers can move through smooth concentric action with nice tension or create an eccentric action with a heavy finish. It has an auto-lock spring adjustment with swivel spring mounting. Overall, this is a true Yamaha model with power and speed accompanied by gold and blue accents for a classic Yamaha look.

    Features:

    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Cam and direct drive adjustment
    • Secondary pedal anchor
    • Heavy-duty casing with subframe
    • Quick side-access hoop clamp
    • Single chain

    The FP-9 has slick, low playability that is easy to manipulate without limiting opportunities for sound. The design is stylish, smooth, and easy to adjust. Overall, we highly recommend this model that is available online and in stores. Check it out today!

     

    2 Best Bass Pedal to Avoid Fishtailing: Yamaha FP-9 Direct Drive Bass Pedal with Case

    Best Bass Pedal to Avoid Fishtailing: Yamaha FP-9 Direct Drive Bass Pedal with Case
    Pros

    • Direct drive for tighter control
    • Anti-skid designed to prevent fishtailing
    • Auto-lock adjustment

    Cons

    • Not a good price for beginners

    The Yamaha FP-9 Direct Drive Bass Pedal is distinct from other Yamaha models on this list due to the direct drive. The 3-position drive grants power, speed, and fluidity. It also has features like auto-lock spring adjustment, ball bearing drive connection, swivel spring mounting, and more. The anti-skid heel spikes ensure the pedal won’t slip around while playing and has a unique placement near the heel to prevent fishtailing.

    Features:

    • Stabilising and anti-skid heel spikes
    • Cam and direct drive adjustments
    • Swivel spring mounting for even tension
    • Ball-bearing drive connection

    If you are willing to make an investment and seek tight control with a direct drive, this Yamaha model might be just what you are looking for. Connect with the Drum Center of Portsmouth in-store or online to check out this model for yourself.

     

    3 Best Bass Pedals for Beginners: Tama Speed Cobra 910 Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedals for Beginners: Tama Speed Cobra 910 Single Pedal
    Pros

    • Super Stabiliser Design
    • Hard-shell carrying case
    • Hinge guard block
    • Affordable price

    Cons

    • Best suited for beginners

    The Speed Cobra is a single kick drum pedal perfect for the avid player with the smooth, extra-long footboard. It gives extra leverage to minimise effort and allows for foot-slide techniques. The Super Stabiliser design created by the wide baseplate allows for complete stability.

    The Speed Cobra is also durable at the hinge point with a 3-piece Hinge Guard Block that also brings speed and control. The recessed setting feature is on top of the footboard and away from the cam, bringing natural motion not found on other designs. The Quick-Hook spring attachment prevents wobbling, so you will have maximum power transmission and control.

    Features:

    • Long footboard
    • Cobra coil return spring
    • Swivel Spring Tight tension lock
    • Para Clamp II prevents scratching

    The number of features unique to the Tama Speed Cobra 910 makes it one of the best options for avid drummers. If you are looking for durability with natural ease, check this pedal out – available online and in-store!

     

    4 Best Bass Pedal for Responsiveness: Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedal for Responsiveness: Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal
    Pros

    • Footboard Angle Adjustment

    Cons

    • High price point

    The Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal is one of the most high-performing, reliable models on the market. The name is short for the Dynamic Synchronisation System, which is comprised of three elements. Those elements are the Optimised Transmission Design, Dual Linkage, and the Slidable Cam. The transmission allows for footboard angle adjustments and nuanced beater for speed, feel, and power. Dual Linkage connects cam and pedal at four points for ideal power and stabilisation, and the Slidable Cam allows for response modification.

    Features:

    • Slidable cam
    • Dual linkage
    • Para-Clamp II Pro
    • Hinge Guard Block
    • Swivel Spring Tight

    Tama maintains its reputation for excellence and unique features with the Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal and the Dynamic Synchronisation System. The pedal is available online and in-store, and we recommend checking it out today.

     

    5 Best Bass Pedal for Transport: Sonor Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal by Jojo Mayer

    Best Bass Pedal for Transport: Sonor Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal by Jojo Mayer
    Pros

    • Easy fold for transport
    • Adjustable tension
    • Self-mounting clamp for fast and easy setup

    Cons

    • Initial spring tension is too light but can be adjusted

    This pedal is crafted with the expertise of Jojo Mayer to create a pedal with a fast throw and slow return. Mayer achieves this with the linear cam providing a quick wallop and slow return to the original position. The design is a nice vintage look of completely slick silver metal with black rubber pieces on the strap, button, and cushion.

    Features:

    • Linear cams
    • Ballistic-fiber strap
    • Magnetic spring mount
    • Belt drive
    • Low mass combination round drive

    The Drum Center of Portsmouth recommends the Sonor Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal by Jojo Mayer for anyone looking for a modern pedal with a vintage feel. It grants smooth to play with enough adjustment for multiple playing styles. We recommend checking it out online or in-store to see this pedal for yourself.

     

    6 Best Bass Pedal with Extended Footboard: DW Pedals: DW 900 Single Pedal Extended Footboard

    Best Bass Pedal with Extended Footboard: DW Pedals: DW 900 Single Pedal Extended Footboard
    Pros

    • Non-slip rubber grip base
    • Secure Tri-Pivot Toe Clamp
    • Footboard one inch longer than standard series
    • Ease of cam adjustment

    Cons

    • Can take time to adjust to longboard length if not used to it
    • Little variation in the beater

    The 9000 series from DW Pedals combines input from drum techs and drummers for this pedal. It includes features like base assembly, plastic tube insulators, memory locks on tube joints, large reset handles, and more. It includes patented features like the free-floating rotor-drive system, infinitely adjustment cam, and rotating swivel spring. All of this combines for stroke optimisation, precision, and power.

    One of the most versatile features is the infinite adjustable cam that can be set from Accelerator to Turbo Drive and in between. The Free-Floating Rotor drive can turn independently of the rotor and transmit power from the board straight to the beater. Overall, the 9000 series gives smooth, gravity-defying action.

    Features:

    • Double chain drive
    • Single kick pedal
    • EZ Infinite Adjustable Cam
    • Free-floating rotor-drove system

    The extended longboard design makes the DW 900 Single Pedal great for fast and rapid playing. This fluid pedal provides infinite adjustment options and can be found in-stores and online from the Drum Center of Portsmouth. Check it out today!

     

    7 Best Bass Pedal with Adjustments: DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedal with Adjustments: DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Single Pedal
    Pros

    • Vertical Sliding Spring Adjustment
    • Manufacturer’s Warranty included
    • Carrying case
    • Sprocket-less cam is adjustable

    Cons

    • Higher price range

    The Machined Chain Drive Single Pedal has a few unique characteristics, including the sprocket-less cam that uses a gear shift-style lever. This lever allows for quick shifts between various chain-drive cam settings. It is a cousin to the DW direct drive series.

    It has a unique aesthetic with an all-aluminum body with a perforated footboard and a contoured heel plate. It also has a matching carrying case. It also features a patented Vertical Sliding Spring Adjustment with a customisable control beater. This brings unmatched adjustment for weight/impact and makes it one of the best pedals offered by DW.

    Features:

    • Solid aluminum construction
    • Optimised Fulcrum Geometry linkage
    • Tri-pivot swivel toe clamp
    • Machined chain drive cam

    In terms of chain drive options, this one is hard to beat. It is one of the most popular models from DW and highly recommended by the staff at Drum Center of Portsmouth. You can check this pedal out online and in-store now.

     

    8 Best Bass Pedal Overall: Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedal Overall: Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal
    Pros

    • Extreme durability
    • Direct or chain drive options
    • Low mass design
    • Bearings are extremely smooth

    Cons

    • High price range
    • Not recommended for beginners

    The Pro 1-V is a reinvention of the kick drum pedal from Trick and has the smoothest, most responsive design from Trick. The design starts with billets manufactured to aerospace quality and uses compression spring technology, ball bearings, adjustment scale, and laser-etched logos.

    The hoop mount is spring-loaded for easy mounting and easy adjustment to different hoop depths. There are no tools needed for spring tension adjustment, and a simple turn of a knob is all it takes to adjust. The Big Foot design has maximum flexibility, and the low-mass pedal gives a light feel. All of this means the pedal has a balanced combination of rigidity, quicker response, strength, and expanded adjustment.

    Features:

    • Split cam adjustability
    • Simple Knob Tension Adjustment
    • Compression Spring Design
    • Versatile adjustable clamp system
    • Super-versatile beater

    The Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single pedal is ideal for professionals looking for quality, dependability, and accuracy. It is on the higher end of the pedal price range, so we do not recommend it for beginners. This is certainly an investment and should be selected by avid drummers. Come check it out online or in stores at the Drum Center of Portsmouth.

     

    Buyers Guide for Bass Drum Pedals

    Before committing to a bass drum pedal, there are a few key characteristics and features to keep in mind. You will want to understand the various components and options, so you find the right fit for your kit. While this guide is a great start, the experts at Drum Center of Portsmouth are always on hand for additional questions.

    Drives

    The drive is the piece that connects the footboard to the beater and allows the mallet to strike the drum – which makes it the most important piece. There are three types of drives: direct, chain, and belt. No drive mechanism is better than another, so preference depends on the drummer.
    · Direct drive is a piece of metal directly attached to the foot pedal. This type of drive does not have flex, so there’s no unwanted movement, and the response and control is tighter.
    · Chain drive is the most common type. It is a chain connected to the pedal and provides a smooth feel. There are single-chain and double-chain models with single-chain common on entry-level pedals. Both types have high quality, durable, and sturdy models.
    · Belt (or strap) drive utilises a leather, nylon, or rubber strap to drive the mallet forward. Typically belt drives are less durable than other types, but new belts are formed from durable materials to address this.

    Cams

    Cams control the acceleration of the mallet and come in two types: oblong/oval or round. A rounded cam is consistent, allowing for dynamic control. Oblong cams work similarly to a gas pedal where the more you depress the pedal, the more force is applied to the mallet.

    Pedal Length

    This feature is pretty self-explanatory since it addresses the length of the pedal. Pedal length isn’t as important as cam and drive, but it does affect comfort while playing. This should be decided based on the size of your foot.

     

    FAQ Section

    What to consider when buying bass drum pedals?

    Many of the factors to consider are outlined here in the buyer’s guide. Some of it is personal preference, like pedal length and brand reputation. You should also consider price, skill level, and the type of music you want to play the most.

    How do I know I'm ready to buy bass drum pedals?

    If you are building a drum kit, you will find the bass drum pedals are essential. They serve as the mechanical connection between your foot and the bass drum. These devices tend to be pretty durable, so when you buy the first one, it should last a while. Depending on the drive type, you might need to replace the belt or chain after extended use.

    How much should I expect to spend?

    Most bass drum pedals range from $200 to $600 depending on the model and brand. A good pedal can be quite pricey, so be prepared for an investment if you want good returns. Another option is to finance a pedal through the affirm program available at Drum Center of Portsmouth. Contact our staff today to learn more!

    What is the difference between bass pedals and double bass pedals?

    If you spend some time looking at the inventory on Drum Center of Portsmouth, you will see variations of the models here that are double bass pedals. Double simply means there are two pedals connected. If you have two bass drums on your kit, you might look into the double bass pedal options. If not, this is not a feature you would need. Deciding on a double bass kit is another personal preference for drummers.

     

    Bottom Line

    As you can see, there are plenty of bass drum pedals that can help your drumming and make your kit great. Remember that every pedal is different, not just every model. Experiment with pedal types, so you find the best one for your style. This might mean checking out the different drives, brands, and cams available. The Drum Center of Portsmouth is available both in-store and online, so let us help you find the best bass drum pedal.

  • 6 Best Double Bass Pedals for 2020

    Bass pedals are great to have in your drum kit because they make doubling up bass rhythms much easier. Double bass pedal playing is a technique most commonly used by drummers in the alternative genre. They're perfect for beginners who need help with their swivel or heel-toe and even for experienced drummers who want the high speeds that a double bass pedal provides.

    With all of the options on the market, it can be challenging to decide on a model that is well-suited for you. This review will take the guesswork out of your hunt for the perfect double bass pedal, so you can get started on creating well-arranged breakdowns and quick odd time signature grooves.

    In this comprehensive buyer's guide, we're going to take a close look at 2020's best double bass pedals.

    Our Top Rated Product

    For those in a hurry, our top-rated pick for double bass pedals is the Yamaha DFP-9C Chain Drive Double Bass Pedal. This model, which is "engineered for your sole," is loved for its swiftness and easy adjustments.

    With this model, you get even tension, a wide range of pedal movement, and a heavy-duty build. Keep reading to have a look at the complete Yamaha DFP-9C review, or jump ahead to our review table here.

     

    1 DW 9000 Double Pedal Extended Footboard: Best Option for Beginners

    DW 9000 Double Pedal Extended Footboard: Best Option for Beginners
    Pros

    • Longer footboard than standard 9000 series boards
    • Option to switch between chain drive and nylon strap
    • Easy adjustability

    Cons

    • N/A

    Like the original model, the DW 9000 Double Pedal Extended Footboard brings great features and easy adjustability. One key difference is the 1" extension of the footboard. This model has a Tri-Pivot toe clamp system, an EZ Adjust cam, and a non-slip rubber grip base plate.

    The EZ adjust cam makes it super easy to switch between turbo drive and accelerator. You also have the option to swap out the chain drive with a nylon strap, which comes with the product.

    Other features like the free-floating rotor-drive system and rotating swivel spring make it easy to customize this model to your exact preferences, so you can have the most seamless drumming experience. The 9000 series uses world-class hardware like memory looks on the tube joints and the base assembly, large reset handles, secondary tilter locks, cymbal space adjusters, and more.

    This model is perfect for hobbyists who want to improve their drumming and for experts who want a piece of equipment that can keep up with them. Thanks to the friction-reducing bearings, players get a smooth and comfortable playing experience. This model by DW is made to be powerful, customizable, and well-fitted.

    Features:

    • Double kick pedal
    • Aircraft-grade aluminum
    • EZ Infinite adjustable cam
    • Switch from accelerator to turbo drive
    • Chain drive or included nylon strap
    • Tri-pivot toe clamp
    • Free-floating rotor-drive system
    • Non-Sleep rubber grip base plate

    The DW 9000 Extended Footboard double bass drum pedal is an excellent upgrade from the original DW 9000 because of the longer footboard. Because of features like the tri-pivot toe clamp system and the Ez Adjust cam, this model gives users a desirable amount of adjustability. If you're into customizability and comfort above all else, give this model a try.

     

    2 DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Double Pedal: Best for Experienced Drummers

    DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Double Pedal: Best for Experienced Drummers
    Pros

    • Stability
    • Perfect stroke
    • Durability

    Cons

    • High price

    DW has over 30 years of experience making some of the most sought after drums, stands, pedals, and other types of drum equipment. Their double bass pedals are no different.

    Few pedals are as aesthetically pleasing and well-engineered at the DW Machine Chain Drive Double Pedal. This model is made with boutique-style features and the same build-quality as its direct drive cousin. Although the price is high, you get an incredible response and silent speed with this product.

    Some drummers prefer the response and feel of a chain drive pedal. This model boasts durability, adjustability, and speed. Few models are a better choice for your drum set.

    Features:

    • Made from solid aluminum
    • Sprocket-less drive cam with shift lever for switching between cam settings
    • Perforated footboard with contoured heel plate
    • Interlocking Delta hinge
    • Tri-Pivot Swivel Toe Clamp
    • V.E.R.T Vertical Spring Adjustment
    • Control beater
    • Floating Rotor Drive System
    • Includes carrying case.

    While this model's price point is high, you get a lot of desirable features if you decide to purchase it. Thanks to the solid aluminum boat, you get a classic look and a smooth feel, The sprocket-less drive cam with a shift lever makes it super easy to switch between cam settings, and the V.E.R.T Vertical Spring Adjustment makes it so you can fine-tune any actions.

    Overall, this model is a great choice for drummers who want a high-performance double bass pedal that looks and feels great.

     

    3 Tama Dyna-Sync Double Pedal: Best for Customizable Features

    Tama Dyna-Sync Double Pedal: Best for Customizable Features
    Pros

    • Lower chance of false doubles
    • Customizability
    • High-speed

    Cons

    • Some users say that there aren't enough features for the price point

    The TAMA Dyna-Sync Double Pedal was created in collaboration with different TAMA artists, including swing players and metal drummers. Because of Tama's threefold Dynamic Synchronization System, this pedal brings precision, power, and comfort.

    The angle-aligned Optimized Transmission Design creates a smooth response and makes for extreme power and swiftness. The Dual Linkage design connects the footboards and cam at four different points. This means you won't waste any motion.

    Non-stepped Slidable Cams makes for a customizable drumming experience in each of your feet. Because of the Conical Dyna Beaters, the chances of unwanted double strokes are reduced. This is because the beaters impact the batter head evenly.

    Features:

    • Threefold Dynamic Synchronization system
    • Angled-aligned Optimized Transmission design
    • Dual Linkage cam connections
    • Non-stepped slidable cams
    • Para-Clamp II Pro hoop clamp
    • Cobra-series mainstays
    • Motion-maximizing swivel adjustment spring
    • Oiles bearing hinge
    • Adjustable footboard
    • Conical Dyna-Beaters

    This is another model that offers a lot of customizable features, making it ideal for drummers who want a personalized feel. Opt for this model if you are looking for smooth responses, speed, and less wasted motion.

     

    4 Tama Speed Cobra 910 Twin Pedal: Best for Speed

    Tama Speed Cobra 910 Twin Pedal: Best for Speed
    Pros

    • Many features that help players achieve maximum speed
    • Smoother motion thanks to footboard positions
    • No wobbling
    • Fair price

    Cons

    • Durability issues

    There aren't many pedals that rose to popularity as quickly as the Tama Speed Cobra 910 Twin Pedal. It used to be that you couldn't get both speed and power in a pedal, but Tama changed everything with this product.

    Made for serious drumming enthusiasts, this model has a footboard with an extra-long surface for maximum output with minimal effort. The stability of this model is due to the Super Stabilizer design that uses a wider baseplate and frame. There is a 3-piece Hinge Guard Block at each pedal's heel to make for a more durable hinge point and improved control and speed.

    One of the most notable features of this model is the recessed setting feature that positions the top of each footboard away from the cams. It's this that gives the pedals their smooth motion. The LiteSprocket Rolling Glide symmetrical cam uses a double-chain. Coupled with the longer footboard, players get improved power and speed.

    Wobbling isn't a problem with this product because of the Quick-Hook spring attachment. Thanks to the Swivel Spring Tight Tension locking mechanism, players can enjoy free spring movement and a smooth feel while playing.

    Features:

    • Wide baseplate
    • Para Clamp II Pro
    • 3-piece hinge construction & hinge guard block
    • Fast Foot pedalboard
    • Recessed setting
    • Fastball Bearing
    • Round LiteSprocket
    • Super Spring
    • Cobra Coil
    • Vari-Pitch

    For the low price, these pedals are a dream. They can elevate any drummer's game because of the features that maximize speed and precision. If you're looking for an affordable double bass pedal that is easy-to-use and powerful, this model is for you.

     

    5 Yamaha DFP-9D Direct Drive Double With Case: Best for those on a Budget

    Yamaha DFP-9D Direct Drive Double With Case: Best for those on a Budget
    Pros

    • No secondary pedal lag
    • Stabilizing features
    • Comes with case
    • Simple drum key adjustments
    • Trustworthy brand

    Cons

    • N/A

    Yamaha is a brand that doesn't need any introduction. This pedal is designed with the spirit of Yamaha racing, creating fast motions and allowing for easy adjustability. The easy-access auto-lock spring adjustment makes for instant player feedback. The swivel spring mounting allows even tension through the entire range of pedal movements.

    Customizability is not in short supply with this model thanks to the calm and direct drive adjustments. To maximize energy output, this pedal uses a ball bearing drive connection. To reduce bass drum and pedal movement, this product comes with stabilizing and anti-skid heel spikes.

    The Yamaha DFP-9D is a straightforward and powerful bass pedal with easy adjustability and many powerful features.

    Features:

    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Swivel spring mounting
    • Ball-bearing drive connection
    • All-bearing universal joints
    • Secondary pedal anchor
    • Stabilizing and anti-skid heel spikes
    • Axle-stabilizing bearing chamber with focused beater momentum
    • Heavy-duty casing with subframe
    • Weight-adjustable beater
    • Side-access hoop clamp
    • Racing-inspired semi-hard case

    If you're the type that only wants tried and true equipment, this is the model for you. Yamaha is a reliable and well-known brand that creates incredible equipment. This double bass pedal is no different. Aside from adjustability features, this model reduces lost energy which makes for a superior feel.

     

    6 Yamaha DFP-9C Chain Drive: Best Overall Option

    Yamaha DFP-9C Chain Drive: Best Overall Option
    Pros

    • Durability
    • Reduced pedal and bass drum movement
    • Minimal lag

    Cons

    • Requires regular maintenance

    The DFP-9C Chain Drive Double Bass Pedal is another product by Yamaha that delivers when it comes to power and feel. This product has many of the same features as the 9D model, but it is a chain drive pedal instead of a direct drive.

    Chain drives are very durable, but they do not compromise on adjustability. Because they operate using a chain, they are less likely to stretch or snap. Overall, they offer a nice balance of features, but they do require regular maintenance.

    The DFP-9C uses a heavy-duty frame and ball bearing placement to maximize focused stroke energy and produce the best sound output. Its innovative design makes for fluid pedal movements, reduced drag/resistance, and high performance.

    Features:

    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Swivel spring mounting
    • Direct drive adjustments
    • Ball bearing drive connection
    • All-bearing universal joints
    • Secondary pedal anchor
    • Stabilizing and anti-skid heel spikes
    • Axle-stabilizing bearing chamber
    • Heavy-duty casing
    • Weight-adjustable beater
    • Side-access hoop clamp
    • Semi-hard case

    Like the DFP-9D, this model comes with Yamaha's promise of high-quality products with desirable features. Choose this model if you want a double bass pedal that is more durable than its direct drive counterpart, but doesn't compromise on power or feel.

     

    Buyers Guide

    Before purchasing a pair of double bass pedals, you'll want to understand the features of double bass pedals and consider what you want out of it. There are many company's that create excellent products, so it can be challenging to decide what you want.

    Each type of pedal has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some features to look for as you begin your search for the perfect double bass pedal:

    Drive Type

    You have the option to choose between a chain drive, belt drive, and direct drive. Each type has some unique characteristics that are worth distinguishing between.

    Chain drive: Chain drive pedals do have a slower response time, but not by much. This type of pedal is durable, adjustable, and usually has a good range of features. However, they are a bit noisy and do have to be cleaned regularly.
    Belt drive: Belt drive pedals are sought after because of their speed. They are also easy to transport because of how lightweight they are. However, they aren't as durable as other types and they have a bit more lag.
    Direct drive: Direct drive pedals are great because they don't have any lag. Not only are they ultra-durable, but they require little to no maintenance. Unfortunately, direct drive pedals aren't as durable.

    Balance and Adjustability

    Balance is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a pedal. You have to make sure that the left and right pedals are even on the model you choose.

    In some cases, you may notice that one of the pedals is looser than the other. If this is the case, one of your feet will be working harder than the other. Some models allow you to adjust the spring tension for each foot.

    Adjustability is another important factor to consider. Good pedals should allow you to adjust them as much as possible. Make sure you have the ability to adjust the spring tension, the beater height, and the distance between the pedals.

    Overall, the pedals have to feel right for you. Your comfort is the most important thing, so give every product that you try a test drive before you commit to the purchase. For example, if you purchase a pedal with heavy beaters, you'll have to exert more energy.

     

    FAQ

    What to consider when buying double pedals?

    When on the hunt for double pedals you want to keep a few things in mind. First, consider the adjustability of the pedals. A quality option will allow you to adjust any part of the bass drum that feels uncomfortable for you.

    You also want to consider accessories and add-ons that are included. These can include drum keys, heel raisers, toe stops, interchangeable drive systems, and carrying cases. Lastly, set a price limit for how much you're willing to spend. You can spend anywhere from $150 to $1000.

    How do I know I'm ready to buy double pedals?

    It's never too early to invest in double pedals. When you feel like you're playing quickly with one foot, look into some double pedals.

    How much should I expect to spend?

    Double pedals range in price. You can expect to pay as little as $150 and as much as $1000.

    Do I need a double bass pedal?

    You don't need a double bass pedal, but they are great to have because they give you an increase in power and allow you to play complex kick drum patterns. In a standard 5-piece arrangement, one foot is used to open and close the hi-hat. If you free up this foot and use it to play another kick part, you can play much more swiftly.

    Who uses double bass pedals?

    Double bass pedals are used by drummers at all experience levels. Players of the rock genre make up the biggest chunk of double bass pedal users. Certain styles of metal use extreme drumming, which is why the double bass pedal comes in handy.

    What are the drawbacks of double bass pedals?

    With double kick pedals, low frequencies of air take a bit more time to move. This can lead to a muddled sound. Drummers who use this type of pedal tune kick drums to high pitches and use skins to enhance their drum's attack.

     

    Bottom Line

    Choosing a bass drum pedal can be difficult since there are so many available options. Your first step is to decide whether you want a direct drive, belt drive, or chain drive. All three have similarities and differences, and it's up to you to decide whether you want to prioritize durability or feel.

    All of the models we reviewed are customizable, powerful, and comfortable to use. Consider factors like your price range and desired feel before you make a final decision.

    Ultimately, the double bass pedal that you choose has to feel right for you. Few things are as personal as a drum pedal, so make sure you try various options before you pick. The one that you choose should have adjustability features that allow you to make it your own.

    Whatever you choose, our team at Drum Center of Portsmouth is committed to ensuring you have an excellent customer service experience. We carry the finest products at the best prices.

    If you'd like to contact us to learn more about any of the products mentioned in this guide, click here.

  • 7 Best Hi-Hats for 2020

    At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we understand the significance hi-hat cymbals have for drummers. Hi-hats can either make or break your drum set, which is why it's so important to choose wisely. Low-quality cymbals will give you a mismatched sound preventing you from reaching your fullest potential as a drummer.

    Start the new year off right by investing in a pair of hi-hat cymbals that best suits your needs according to your music genre and your techniques. With the many options on the market, it can be difficult to find the right cymbals for you. At Drum Center of Portsmouth, our drum experts will walk you through the top hi-hats for 2020 followed by a thorough buyers guide.

    Our Best Rated Product

    The Paiste Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat Cymbals 14" is our best-rated product at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. We recommend this pair because these cymbals are versatile for any situation. Whether you perform live, record, or practice at home, you'll love the expressive sound these cymbals produce. Their responsiveness and dark tones make them the perfect hi hats for a drummer at any skill level.

    Here are 2020's top 7 hi-hat options for you:
     

    1 Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi Hat Cymbals 15": Best Hi-Hats for Versatility

    Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi Hat Cymbals 15: Best Hi-Hats for Versatility
    Pros

    • Appropriate for every skill level
    • Fits into any genre of music
    • Consistent, responsive feeling
    • Medium top with a medium-heavy bottom for easy control

    Cons

    • Not very loud, not ideal for metal drummers

    These Paiste Cymbals are truly modern, creating a versatile, well-controlled sound. Its 15" diameter is just right for fitting into a wide variety of genres. The pair is pretty standard in terms of its design, making it accessible for any skill level.

    What makes it so versatile today is its return to 602 alloy formulation that's used in traditional cymbals. Its material makes it easy to play and to mix in a studio setting. Depending on the way you mic them, you won't need to adjust your compression or EQ at all.

    Features:

    • Size: 15"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: B20 Bronze

    If you're the type of drummer who plays many different styles, these are the hi hats for you. At DCP, we love and recommend this pair because of their bright, warm sound.

    You can buy this part of the Paiste Formula 602 series from our website. Contact us today with any questions you may have about these or any of our wide stock of drums and accessories.

     

    2 Paiste Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat Cymbals 14": Best Hi Hats for Recording

    Paiste Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat Cymbals 14: Best Hi Hats for Recording
    Pros

    • Ideal for recording
    • Have a loud, clear "chick" sound upon closing
    • Articulate, responsive, and versatile
    • The ability for fine-tuning for high tech microphone and speaker equipment

    Cons

    • Inexperienced drummers may not know how to use them to their full potential.

    The Paiste brand has another stand out pair we would like to feature. These Signature Dark Crisp Hi Hats are ideal for musicians who often record or perform live with high-quality equipment because of their crisp, smooth sound.

    These cymbals are versatile among genres. They're responsive enough for soft bristles and sturdy enough for heavy metal thrashing. If you're experimenting in the studio, these hi-hats act as the perfect control.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: Proprietary Signature Bronze

    Paiste Signature Dark Crisp 14" Hi Hats truly live up to their name. Open or closed, you can expect a crisp, smooth sound perfect for recording or performing live. This all-rounder sits high on our list of favourites due to its professional sound.

    You can purchase them online through the Drum Center of Portsmouth website. Contact us today for more information on more of the best cymbals from Paiste and other professional-grade brands.

     

    3 Zildjian A Avedis Hi Hat Cymbals 14": Best Vintage Hi Hats

    Zildjian A Avedis Hi Hat Cymbals 14: Best Vintage Hi Hats
    Pros

    • They have an immensely musical sound
    • Prominent "chick" sound due to bottom is heavier than the top cymbal
    • Controlled response
    • Easily labelling on each cymbal to tell you their weight

    Cons

    • This specific style can turn off a section of players- vintage style is a preference.

    We give the Zildjian A Avedis Hi Hat Cymbals the title of "best vintage hi hats" because they look and sound like they came from the 1950s. It's a sound that reminds us of rockabilly and big band drumming, all in one.

    We would be remiss not to include this classic style pair on our list for the new year. The "old" is back in style these days, and this trend is said to continue for some time. We love the nostalgic feel these cymbals give us when we play!

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Vintage Patina
    • Alloy: B20 Cast Bronze

    These Zildjian cymbals are a stunning recreation of the percussion of the 1950s. No matter what style you play, you can count on these to give you a bright, vintage feeling.

    If you're looking for that unique vintage vibe to your drum set, you can buy these today from our online store. Call us today to learn more about these cymbals or ask about any of the rest of our extensive stock!

     

    4 Zildjian K Sweet Hi Hat Pair 14": Best Hi Hats for Value

    Zildjian K Sweet Hi Hat Pair 14: Best Hi Hats for Value
    Pros

    • Best value on the Drum Center of Portsmouth website
    • 14" variety is easier to handle than its larger counterparts
    • Mismatched cymbal weights for complex tonality
    • Higher pitched top stands out against the rest of your set

    Cons

    • The only con is that you may not like the tone of these hi hats according to your preferences. However, they are a highly likeable brand and sound

    These hi hats are the cheapest we have featured here, just in time for an affordable holiday treat. This pair is characterized by a dark, sweet tone with a heavy "chick" sound. The 14" variety of this design was developed this year and is sure to carry on for many years to come.

    Each bell on the K Sweet Hi Hats are unlathed, and each bottom cymbal is heavier than the top. This gives the top one a high pitched tone, and the bottom a lower-pitched tone to add to the sound's complexity.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: B20 Bronze

    Not only do these cymbals sound amazing, but they also allow you to get the best bang for your buck. If your a drummer who prefers dark, sweet tones in a hi hat, look no further than this pair. We love the cymbals' distinguished design, which creates its impeccable sound.

    You can buy the Zildjian K Sweet 14" Pair through our online shop at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We aim to give you the best deals on each cymbal our expert drummers recommend. Contact us today with any questions about our huge online store!

     

    5 Sabian HHX Complex Medium Hi Hat Cymbals 15": Best Fat High Hats

    Sabian HHX Complex Medium Hi Hat Cymbals 15: Best Fat High Hats
    Pros

    • Versatile in genre
    • Able to play at any volume
    • Rich, dark tone
    • Extra weight makes the material sturdier

    Cons

    • A true "dark" sounding pair- not ideal for those who want a bright, high-pitched sound

    The Sabian HHX Complex Medium Hi Hats are the cymbals with the fattest tone on our list. This pair features a medium weight top and a heavy bottom, to create that "fat," dark sound. Its hand-hammered cymbal gives it that quality as well.

    If you prefer a big, meaty sound, you'll love these cymbals. The raw bell gives it an edge, unlike any other on this list. These are hi hats that will give you a solid, responsive experience all around.

    Features:

    • Size: 15"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: Bronze

    These are the heaviest hi hats on our list, and they're the best of the best of our stock at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. A heavy bottom and a medium top is the perfect combination for a powerful addition to your set. Trying out a darker tone may help you consider sounds you hadn't considered before!

    We believe these cymbals will be an excellent addition to any drum set. Order these hi hats online through the Drum Center of Portsmouth's website. You may also contact us about any other item in our vast stock.

     

    6 Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hat Cymbals 14": Best Hi Hats for Individuality

    Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hat Cymbals 14: Best Hi Hats for Individuality
    Pros

    • Unique, vintage design and sound
    • Can play both soft and medium-loud notes
    • Medium length decay
    • Dry tone with a prominent wash

    Cons

    • Expensive to manufacture
    • Not for heavy-hitting drummers

    Each pair of these Meinl Byzance cymbals are sandblasted and employ various hammering techniques. The most noticeable detail about these hi hats is that the top cymbal is much smaller and lighter than the bottom one.

    That quality is what gives them the quality they are best known for- their dry sound. They have a gritty quality to their wash that makes it stand out from other hi hats. Though they are unique, they fit in just about every music genre.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Sandblasted
    • Material: B20 Bronze

    These hi hats are perfect for any drummer who loves a unique sound. You can't seem to go wrong with these unless you happen to break hi hats while you drum regularly. Otherwise, you can use a pair of these for just about anything.

    You can buy the Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hat Cymbals today through the Drum Center of Portsmouth website. Call us with any questions, concerns, or to learn more about a product.

     

    7 Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Hi Hat Cymbals 14": Best Hi Hats for Jazz Music

    videoimage
    Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Hi Hat Cymbals 14: Best Hi Hats for Jazz Music
    Pros

    • Manufactured from the experienced Istanbul Agop company
    • Responsiveness makes them perfect for a studio setting
    • Unique sound lends itself to jazz music
    • Good for beginner and professional drummers

    Cons

    • Not ideal for rock drummers, or those who require a louder sound
    • Only limited amounts were made!

    These cymbals were released for Istanbul Agop's 30th anniversary. As such, they are modelled after vintage cymbals made in old Zildjian factories. The company founder, Agop Tomurcuk, worked at this factory, and the design inspired him.

    These hi-hats are incredibly thin, making their sound crisp, clear, and bright. The vintage style makes them appealing to both experienced and inexperienced drummers. Closed notes have a deep tone. Opening the hi-hats creates a distinct and beautiful wash of sound. However you play them, they are responsive with a quick decay.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: B20 Bronze

    The Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Hi Hats are perfect for anyone who loves vintage sounds as we do. Adding some brightness to your set with a pair of these will give you that perfect, crystal clear sound.

    You can purchase these cymbals online at the Drum Center of Portsmouth today. We are one of the top Istanbul Agop dealers in the country. We're here to give you professional advice and service with your satisfaction guaranteed!

     

    What to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Hi-Hats

    Choosing to spend money on your next set of hi hats can seem like an impossible task. With all the brands, styles, and sounds out there, how can you tell which cymbals are the best ones?

    Luckily, the Drum Center of Portsmouth has got you covered. We have the best reviews and guides to choosing the best hi hats to complete your drum set. Here are frequently asked questions about hi hat cymbals.

    How do I know I'm ready for new hi-hats?

    Buying new cymbals of any kind is an important decision for any drummer to make. Investing in a pair of new hi hats can help you accumulate a professional drum set with high-quality instruments.

    The longer you play the drums, the more your ears become refined. You may prefer the louder, darker "chick" of large hi hats, or you may find you prefer certain ones from a specific brand. The decision to buy is entirely up to you, but if you need a new sound, new hi hats are just the thing to reinvigorate it.

    How much can I expect to spend?

    On this list, we tried to keep each pair of hi hats in the $450-600 range. We currently have sales on each item on our product reviews as well. You can find any of these cymbals used online, but you can't guarantee they're from as trustworthy a seller as the Drum Center of Portsmouth. We want to give you professional-grade items for a great price.

    Drum Center of Portsmouth allows you to buy your hi hats outright, or sign up for a payment plan. You will be able to pay off your full balance in 3, 6, or 12 months. Checking for your eligibility does not affect your credit score, and it is free to see whether or not you qualify for a payment plan.

    What size cymbals should I buy?

    The size of any of your cymbals in your set will affect the tone and pitch of your instrument. Smaller hi hats, from 12" to 14" have a bright sound with a high pitch. Bigger than 14", and you're stepping into a darker tone territory.

    It is possible to mix and match the top and bottom cymbals for your pair. However, this technique is recommended for experts and people with multiple sets of hi hats. If you're looking for your first professional set, mixing sizes is not necessary.

    What type of metal should I look for?

    Cymbals are most often crafted from three different metal alloys: brass, B8 bronze, and B20 bronze. Brass is the least expensive metal alloy on the list, but it produces the worst sound. B8 cymbals are mid-priced, and mid-quality, as they are better than brass but worse than B20.

    B20 is the type of metal alloy you should look out for when selecting new hi hats or any kind of cymbal. It's the most popular alloy despite its price because these produce the best sound. You may also buy a B8 and B20 metal alloy blend depending on your preferences and budget.

    Which brands should I consider?

    Considering the top brands like Meinl, Paiste, Zildjian, and Sabian is the best bet for getting the most professional-grade hi hats. Going with an off-brand cymbal can lead to bad sounds and easy breakage. Always research the brand and materials they use before you buy!

    At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we only sell the top name brand cymbals. You'll be sure to recognise these names while browsing our online store. We have deals throughout the year so you won't have to pay full price.

    In Conclusion

    With some research from credible sources like the Drum Center of Portsmouth, you can make the right call on new cymbals. Always look for the highest quality brands that have the sound you're looking for. If you're a rock musician, trashier cymbals may be the best choice. If you love jazz, a unique sounding, vintage cymbal may be the best bet. Always consider your own unique needs!

    We want to help you find your new favourite cymbals through our website at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. Order new hi hats for 2020 at our website, or contact us today to ask about any of our products. Our experts are dedicated to helping you become the best percussionist you can be!

  • The Versions of Neil Peart

    Neil Peart was many things to many people. Here's what he means to me.
  • Noble & Cooley CD Maple vs. Horizon Series Drum Set Shootout

    In our latest shootout video, we compared two very attractive Noble and Cooley Kits head to head - CD Maples vs. Horizon Series.
  • Sheet Music & Drumming - Everything to Know

    Learning to understand sheet music is an integral part of your transformation into a real musician. It’s not always the easiest thing to pick up, but with careful practice and taking the time to learn the basics, you’ll be a pro in no time.

    If you’re a novice drummer, you should be proud of yourself for even taking the time to understand why reading sheet music is so important. Not all drummers desire or work to understand these technical aspects.

    It’s entirely possible to become a top-notch drummer without ever setting your eyes on a piece of sheet music. However, learning a few tricks and understanding sheet music will help you expand your world as a drummer and embrace music as power.

     

    Why do you need sheet music?

    If you’re new to the music scene, you might not even be sure what sheet music is.

    Sheet music is a written notation that represents things such as melodies, lyrics, rhythms, and pitches. It’s how classical music is recorded and distributed so that it can be learned and performed by anyone.

    Modern musicians often learn music “by ear” without sheet music. However, sheet music still serves as the universally-accepted form of notating music on paper.

    Think drummers don’t need sheet music? Think again. Understanding musical notation and sheet music will help you get quicker in your understanding of drum concepts and help you to stand out from the crowd of other drummers who can only play by ear.

    Becoming proficient at reading drum sheet music also comes with several additional advantages. You'll be more likely to:

    • Ace any audition
    • Secure that spot in a band
    • Book a gig
    • Sharpen your own musical genius

     

    There are so many drummers that haven’t taken the time to understand sheet music. What this means is that if you do indeed understand sheet music, you immediately stand out. It’s an impressive skill and will serve you well if you plan to continue involvement in music.

    Here are four reasons understanding sheet music is still important in an age of “learning by ear”.

     

    Benefits of learning drumming sheet music:

    1 - Learn Music Faster. Learning by ear is a great skill, but it doesn’t always click. Difficult songs can require a lot more time spent practicing to get right. On the other hand, if you have the sheet music, you can learn just about anything without the mystery. You might even be able to sight-read music eventually.

     

    2 - Play Accurately. Even if you have an exceptionally good ear, it’s smart to double check the sheet music to confirm your accuracy. You don't have to keep it in front of you at all times while playing. You can simply refer to it as an “answer key” for perfect rhythm.

     

    3 - Work as a team. While you might be comfortable learning and playing by ear, not all musicians work that way. If you’re hoping to work with a band or within an orchestra, you’ll need to be able to learn music their way. Don’t be the only one who can’t understand the sheet music.

     

    1. - Write your own music. If you want to unleash your creative musician and make your own music, you’ll need a way to record it. Making audio recordings will allow others to hear your creations. However, writing the sheet music will make it widely distributable. Creating music in this universally-understood notation will help spread your music far and wide.

     

    What's the difference between typical sheet music and drum sheet music?

    Many people get thrown off when they look at drum notation sheet music. That’s because at first glance, it can look quite intimidating. In fact, it’s quite simple to grasp since there are only two things you need to understand:

    • Which drum is played
    • When it should be played

     

    Drum sheet music notation uses all of the same symbols and set up as regular sheet music, so learning the basics is enough to help you comprehend both.

     

    The main difference between drum notation sheet music is that the notes don’t relate to pitch. Of course not, because that is irrelevant for drummers. Instead, the notation of each line or space on drum sheet music corresponds to a particular drum that should be played.

     

     

    Things you need to know about your sheet music:

    Before you dive in and try to make sense of a full piece of drum sheet music, let’s break down the basics. Let’s get started with a quick vocabulary review.

     

    Drum terminology to know:

    • Beat - A measurement of music. Located within a bar, but can be subdivided further into notes.
    • Backbeat - Typically beats 2 and 4 of each bar. Featured in most rock and pop music to give momentum.
    • Downbeat - Notes played on the pulse.
    • Upbeat - Notes played against the pulse.
    • Time signature - Tells how many beats are within a measure and what kind of beats they are.
    • Bars - How music is measured. Allows musicians to break down the music more easily.
    • Crochet - A quarter note.
    • Quaver - An eighth note.
    • Semiquaver - A sixteenth note.
    • Minim - A half note.
    • Whole note - There is no term for a whole note. It has the value of 4 quarter note beats.

     

    Not familiar with these terms at all? Don’t worry. That was just a primer before we dive into most of these terms more deeply.

     

    First thing’s first: The staff and bars

    This is also called the stave. These terms are often used interchangeably.

    The staff is what holds all of the notations. It’s made up of five lines and four spaces. Typical sheet music would use the placement of notes on the lines and spaces as a designation for pitch. Drum sheet music, on the other hand, uses placement of the notes to designate which drum or cymbal should be used.

    You’ll also notice vertical bars on the staff. These divide up the measures so that it’s easier to count out and stay on beat. The measure, then, is the distance between the two bar lines. If you see a double bar line, that signals the end of a section of music.

     

    Next up: the notes

    You’ll notice in the image above that some notes have proper circle notes, while some have small Xs or other symbols. A proper note signifies a drum, while the Xs refer to cymbals and the other symbols have special meanings.

     

     

    This might sound like a lot to remember. Don’t get overwhelmed. Luckily, there’s an easy way to use the drum kit you have: know it like the back of your hand to make sense of drum notation.

    Use this diagram to help. The height of where the note for a particular drum or cymbal will be on the staff corresponds to the where you physically play it.

    For example, both the hi-hat cymbals and the bass drum are played with the foot. That’s why they are located so far down on the stave. On the other hand, cymbals that you play with your hands high above the drums are at the highest points of the staff.

    The staff positioning was created logically so that it makes sense to drummers. Use your intuitive knowledge of your drum kit to help.

     

    Moving on: time signatures

    A time signature is the notation at the beginning of each piece of drum music that identifies what the meter of the music will be. It communicates the number of beats per measure. They are formatted as two numbers, one on top of the other. Most time signatures have a 4 as the bottom number, meaning the meter is based on quarter notes. Sometimes they might have another number, like an 8, at the bottom. This means it is comprised of a number of eighth notes.

     

     Here’s how to tell them apart:

    • The most common time is a 4/4 meter. It’s actually called “common time.” This means each time you tap a beat, it is equivalent to one quarter note. Now, this doesn’t mean the music will only be comprised of quarter notes. It can be made of half notes, eighth notes, rests, etc. As long as it equals four quarter notes, it works.
    • Waltz time is another common time signature that is in 3/4 meter. This means each measure is comprised of three quarter note beats. The first beat of the three is a downbeat while the next two are upbeats. It creates the classic “waltz” style of music.
    • March time is 2/4 meter. It is equivalent to chopping a 4/4 meter in half. With this time signature, you start and stop on the downbeat.
    • Another common time signature without a 4 on the bottom is 6/8 time. This means the beat is not based on quarter notes, as it was in the other examples given. It’s a grouping of six eighth notes in each measure. In counting out the beat to eight, the downbeats are on one and four.

     

    Quick guide to notes:

    Now that you understand the foundation of drumming sheet music ( staff, time signature, and measures), let's get into the actual playing of notes. While you won’t need to understand what pitch the notes have (because drum notes don’t have pitch), you do need to understand how different notes affect the rhythm.

     

    (Image Source: Drumming Review: https://drummingreview.com/drum-sheet-music/)

    There are a bunch of different notes that each represent how long the beat should be held. The graphic above should make it easier to understand what they look like and how they differ. The longest notes are whole notes, and the shortest are sixteenth notes.

    To understand how these notes all relate, think of it this way:

    • A whole note is represented by a note head. Notice there is no stem. A whole note equals a duration of one measure.
    • A half note is half of the whole note, as its name so cleverly implies. If you’re working in Common time, two half notes would equal the duration of one measure.
    • A quarter note, just as above, is ½ of a half note and a quarter of a whole note. In Common time, there can be four quarter notes in one measure.
    • An eighth note splits even further. Eight of these would equal one whole note. In one bar, there would be eight of them in Common time.
    • Finally, sixteenth notes are the smallest note. You can fit sixteen of them in one measure in 4/4 time.

    See the pattern here? It all breaks down evenly.

    Keep in mind that for every value of note, there is a rest of equal value. For example, there are eighth rests and quarter rests and even sixteenth rests. Rests are crucial. In a lot of music, drums aren’t the most important part. Often, it’s the breaks in between the drums that are paramount. That’s why understanding how long to hold your rests will be crucial to your playing.

    When you combine notes and rests with different durations, you make a rhythm.

     

    How do I understand notes and when to play?

    Notes are a big help to answer the question “when do I play?” The timing is everything in drumming. A drum keeps the beat alive in music. It also helps to keep the whole band together if playing with other musicians. A drummer must be able to follow the beat precisely. Here’s how notes can help you understand when your moment is:

    1. First, look at the time signature. We covered this above. This will let you know how fast the music’s “pulse” is. By understanding the meter, you’ll understand when beats should be played and when you should hold off. If you’re playing on a different tempo than everyone else, it can throw off the music entirely.
    2. Next, find the line or space in which the note is. Remember the drum key graphic above and how the set up of your actual drum kit helps to indicate which position represents which drum or cymbal.
    3. Finally, the note length itself comes in. Now that you know the tempo and what drum should be hit, you just need the note length within the tempo. If you’re confused about what a note’s length should be, add up all the notes with the lengths you guess and confirm that it equals the time signature. For example, if you think there are three quarter notes and one half note in a measure of 4/4 time, that wouldn’t make sense.

     

    A Common Beat - What you’ll start to recognize when you can read sheet music:

    Once you’ve studied the above concepts closely, you’ll begin to get more familiar with sheet music. Once you can read sheet music, entirely new worlds will be opened up to you in the music industry.

    Whether you want to break into the big leagues or just make the cut into a local band, a background in reading sheet music is a big advantage. Here’s how you’ll notice this advantage coming into play in your drumming life:

    • Are you a part of a band? If so, ensuring you’re using sheet music just like the other members will help everyone match up. Instead of relying on your ear to tell you the right rhythms and drums to hit, you’ll have it written down in front of you to reference. While this might seem like a small difference, it can really pay off for your group’s overall sound. Your band members will be impressed with your technical know-how. Your audience will notice a higher quality to your sound. And you’ll be proud of yourself for striving towards and reaching this goal.
    • When you understand sheet music, you can grow your repertoire easily. There are many common beats that are used interchangeably in popular songs. This makes them catchy and consistent. For example, ever heard of the “money beat?” While the term might not be familiar to you, you’ve definitely heard it in action. One of the most common beats in music is this “money beat.” It even got its name from the number of songs on the radio that commonly borrow it. Some of the most popular songs that feature a “money beat” are Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, John Mayer’s Heartbreak Warfare, and AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. Even if you’re a beginner, you can still pick up on these fundamental beats. You can impress your friends and family by “jumping in” to common songs and playing along.
    • Having the confidence of a sheet music reader, you’ll be able to unleash your creativity on the drums. When you have to sit and wait carefully to hear your cue to play, you limit yourself. When you know exactly when you come in and how long of a break you have, you can get into a gnarly drum solo and show everyone the skills you’ve got.

     

    Conclusion

    In this article, we’ve shown you the difference between a novice drummer and a knowledgeable sheet music reader. By following and studying the concepts and skills outlined above, you’ll be able to grow your drumming knowledge, and expand your opportunities.

    Not all drummers have the motivation or dedication to learn the technical aspects. By putting in the effort, you’ll distinguish yourself as someone who is serious about the art.

    So take your drumming to the next level by mastering drumming sheet music today. Ready to take it a step even further? Check out the high-quality drums and accessories we offer at Drum Center of Portsmouth.

     

    References:

    https://www.musicnotes.com/now/tips/5-reasons-why-playing-by-ear-why-reading-sheet-music-is-still-important/

  • 10 Easy Songs to Play on the Drums

    Learning how to play the drums takes practice, hard work, and dedication. Beginners should start playing the easiest songs they can. Not only will this help them to better understand how drumming should sound, but it will also boost their confidence levels as they grow within this craft.

    If you're new to the drumming community, it can seem like a great big world of difficult "rock-star level" songs to play. Sometimes a challenge is good, but a lot of times this can cause intermediate drummers to lose their nerve and not want to keep playing at all.

    To prevent this from happening, as drumming is an art-form that allows many individuals to express themselves creatively, here are 10 easy songs to play on the drums to get you started.

    1. We Will Rock You - Queen

    One of the simplest, and most popular to learn first, is "We Will Rock You" by Queen.

    This is the classic rock song played on bleachers and lunch tables, so how hard could it be on the drums?

    The answer is not very difficult. In fact, the ever-popular band Queen created this song the way that they did simply so that their fans could play along with them, and you'll be doing just that by drumming along to this simple beat.

    Keep in mind, however, the original tempo of this song was played in a higher tempo known as double-time, so you are welcome to try to play it more in tune to the original creation or the slower version used by many drummers.

    Fun fact: The logo for Queen actually has all of the band's star signs incorporated in it: 2 Leos, 1 Virgo, and 1 Cancer. Additionally, it was designed by Freddie Mercury himself!

    2. Paradise City - Guns N Roses

    Next on the list of great tunes to play with a beginner's skill level is "Paradise City" by Guns N Roses.

    This rock song by Guns N Roses is great practice for those looking to fine-tune their ability to play with riffs. It makes this skill easier to learn with its simple rhythms.

    Starting with this song is a great way to learn simple rhythms that repeat throughout the song. The tactics used in this tune are easy for a novice drummer to pick up given some time.

    Fun fact: Guns N Roses drummer Steven Adler nearly joined AC/DC in the early '90s after a brief leave from Guns N Roses, but the manager of AC/DC found out about Adler's drug addiction and retracted his offer to have him join the band.

    3. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

    Smells like an easy song to play on the drums - and it is! "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana is such a classic hit and one you should practice as a novice drummer.

    This classic rock song gives beginning drummers the perfect opportunity to learn the basic technical skills involved in the art of drumming. Challenge yourself to keep up with the expert drummer in Nirvana, Dave Grohl, who just happens to be one of the finest drummers of his time. You will learn how to hit the cymbals and the rim clicks in time with the other instruments that you're playing with.

    Fun fact: Nirvana had a bit of trouble finding a permanent drummer before David Grohl cam along. They went through at least five different drummers before landing on Grohl, and it's a good thing they did. Otherwise, the hits that we know and love may not have been the same.

    4. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden

    Drumming is a very physical activity. In fact, many people begin drumming simply as a creative way to stay in shape. If you are just starting out, you're going to have to build your endurance for this activity somewhere, and many people agree that "Hallowed Be Thy Name" by Iron Maiden offers amazing practice.

    With nearly 8 minutes of playing time, you're bound to build your abilities in regard to how long you're able to play without rest, and you'll even have fun with this great song while doing it.

    This song is great for beginners to start to learn how to hit fills on accents with guitar riffs and will help you to practice using both your right and your left hand to hit the high hat, as opposed to the general habit of only using your right hand for this skill.

    Fun fact: Eddie the Head, Iron Maiden's faithful mascot, started out as just a mask that sat at the back of the stage. They fed blood capsules through the mouth that would often unexpectedly (and metal-y) drip down and soak the drummer with fake blood. The first drawing of Eddie, created by artist Derek Riggs, was based on an image that he saw of a decapitated head on top of a Vietnamese tank, and it was featured on Iron Maiden's debut album.

    5. Sad But True - Metallica

    Lars Ulrich, drummer for Metallica, both created and played his own songs, making him a very impressive drummer to look up to. This is why "Sad But True" is a great song to start out with because you're already learning from one of the best drummers of the time period.

    "Sad But True" isn't inherently difficult, but it has important elements that will help you get ready for some of the harder stuff that you will play, or even take after Lars Ulrich and create your own music that you can compose and play.

    Its dragging groove, offbeat fills, and mixture of straight roles with triplets all make for great trial runs for the more advanced songs in your future of drumming.

    Fun fact: Metallica has sold an estimated 100 million records all around the world.

    6. Beverly Hills - Weezer

    Don't worry, there is more to drumming than the rock and metal songs we have covered so far. This option is for those of you who want a more alternative rock style in your practice.

    A more alternative take on drumming, Weezer's "Beverly Hills" features simple patterns and slow-paced drumming that makes it easy to keep up with, no matter what the skill level of the drummer is.

    With its release in 2005, it was one of the first popular songs to feature the "double stroke roll," which gives us the great sound that we know and love in this early 2000s hit.

    Make sure you're working on your technique while doing the double stroke roll to ensure that it is crisp and at the speed that it needs to be.

    Fun fact: the fan favorite song "Buddy Holly" by Weezer was almost titled "Ginger Rogers" and would have made a completely different song with the lyrics "You look just like Ginger Rogers (oh, oh), I move just like Fred Astaire". Let's all say a special thanks to rewrites (and rewrites of those rewrites).

    7. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry

    Taking things into a more pop setting, Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" is a great practice song for learning the flam on the snare drum.

    This tactic is achieved by placing one drumstick a few inches above the drum with the other stick eight to ten inches higher, but these two strokes should be nearly simultaneous. This process will thicken the notes by adding a grace note, and Teenage Dream is a great song to practice this tactic on.

    The beat in this song is impossible to shake, and also almost impossible to screw up, even as a beginner.

    Fun Fact: Both of Katy Perry's parents are pastors, and Perry was introduced to singing for her church at a young age. And to answer your next question, yes, they did have an issue with her single "I Kissed a Girl".

    8. Cantaloupe Island - Herbie Hancock

    Moving into the jazz portion, this song by Herbie Hancock has drumming that makes everything easier for those looking to pursue drumming in jazz.

    This jazz song maintains a slow and groovy tempo for a majority of the song, which makes it ideal for the beginner looking to gain expertise on the jazz front of drumming.

    Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock's trusted drummer, is a well-known drummer in the jazz world, so if you're looking to become a successful jazz drummer, there is no better song to start out with than Cantaloupe Island.

    With this song, you'll be introduced to the common jazz technique called the buzz roll, which is great for crescendos and can be carried over into many other styles of music if necessary.

    The buzz roll is seen in many different songs in this genre, so it is definitely one skill that you'll need to know to succeed.

    Fun Fact: In 1986, Herbie Hancock was voted one of Rolling Stone's Sexiest Musicians of the Year, and he was displayed proudly on the cover that year.

    9. When a Man Loves a Woman - Michael Bolton

    This slow, love anthem is the perfect way to start out your drumming experience if you are looking to start out slow.

    For many, this was the very first song that they learned to drum, so it is without a doubt one of the easiest to learn to play and Michael Bolton will hold a special place in your heart for this reason alone.

    With its simple cross-sticking skills, cymbals, and a bass drum backing, this song is almost as simple as it gets, making it the ideal song to start your drumming career with.

    Fun fact: Michael Bolton, born Michael Bolotin, originally had more interest in hard rock and was even the frontman in the band Blackjack before settling down into his soothing voice-driven career.

    10. Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top

    While this next song may feel like cheating, hear us out...

    For the casual listener of ZZ Top, you would think that the drums in the song Sharp Dressed Man were real live drums.

    However, this song was released in a time when ZZ Top was experimenting with different styles and tools, including synthesizer and other manipulation tools, so the drums on this song are actually digitally created, meaning that the drum machine heard in the song is not created by a live drummer.

    While this may spark debate over whether or not a machine can play the same way that a real drummer can (spoiler: it cannot), it does not take away that it is a great tempo and rhythm to learn how to play.

    The song has since been replicated and played in garage bands more times than you can count due to its easy tempo and simple rhythm. It is interesting to go back and listen to the differences between the drum machine and Frank Beard's style, though.

    Bonus Tip - Practice Your Exercises

    While playing songs that you hear on the radio is likely more fun than the exercises listed in your common books on drumming, it is important to remember to continue practicing those as well.

    This includes the exercises that you involve in your warm-up, which allows you to get loose and ready for the songs that you will be playing that session and the exercises that allow you to practice certain techniques that you haven't quite mastered yet.

    For example, many common drumming books have exercises to be done on a drum pad as practice for the real thing. These drum pads will allow you to practice your technique quietly (the people living with you will thank us for this one) and from nearly anywhere.

    It's no surprise that drum-sets can vary in size, but one thing that they all have in common is that you don't want to lug any of them around. With drum pads, you can practice your exercises and better your skills from anywhere, drum-set or not.

    Once you have an understanding of the basic methods and tactics of these easier songs, you will be ready to trek out into more advanced songs, or even make your own songs with all of the skills that you learned through these beginner songs.

    Good luck and drum on!

  • Sabian SR2 Cymbals - ALL The Value

    When it comes to getting the most cymbal for your money, it’s hard to beat Sabian SR2 cymbals. What are Sabian SR2 cymbals? Glad you asked.
  • How to Mic a Snare Drum

    Many factors affect the sound produced from a snare. The positioning of the mic, the distance of the mic from the drum shell, the proximity of the mic to the head, and even the angle of incidence can all affect the sound. 

    Snare Sound 

    There are many ways to mic a snare, so getting a great live sound from your snares can be a daunting task. How you choose to do it, the mics you select, and how you place them can be determined by several factors. 

    The type of snare is a significant factor to consider because different sounds can be produced from each class. For instance, a 14” aluminum drum delivers different sounds from a 12” maple snare. Some produce deep sound while others produce sharp sound.  

    Your mic set up will either mitigate or highlight the sound depending on the genre of music. Jazz, for instance, requires a smooth, laid-back sound. On the other hand, most mainstream music requires powerful beats. 

    Lastly, the sound produced will depend on the drummer. Some will have controlled hits of the snare. Others will attempt to crack the snare with every hit. 

    Here are a few tips you can follow to get the desired sound. 

    1. Type of Mic 

    The snare is a pretty loud instrument. As such, the best mic to use is dynamic. The reason for this is that dynamic mics have better SPL handling capacity. The mics can handle the sound without distortion. 

    Some engineers might argue that mics not sold as snare mics may produce exquisite sounds. However, matching the mic to the snare produces a cleaner sound. Again, fixing mics with EQ or plug-ins may shift the phase.  

    Remember, the snare is an instrument of time, and the phase affects time. Once you add plug-ins to the chain, the phase will change. This will mess with the sound. Additionally, it will make it much trickier to sync the snare to the rest of the drum kit. 

    2. Mic Placement 

    The position of the microphone can be limited by the amount of space available between the drums. Therefore, it is crucial to get the mic in the right place. You can choose to either have only one microphone at the top or have two mics, one for the top and one for the bottom. 

    With the mic placed above the snare and close to the center of the head, it produces a sound that is low, dark, and less snare-like. As you move away from the rim, the sound becomes balanced between the snares and the head. 

    For the right balance, place the dynamic mic 1.5 inches above the head, 2 inches inside the rim of the snare, and at a 25 degrees inclination directed to the center of the head. If you desire a low-end sound, move the mic from the center of the head. 

    3. Use Two Mics 

    Most engineers might be reluctant to have two mics, one over and one under. However, this arrangement produces a brilliant sound. A little of the rattling sound of the wires at the bottom, which gives the drums its name, can add taste to the dominant sound from the top. A frequency of 80/20 for over/under works as a perfect balance. 

    The mic used under can either be balanced or bright. To get better sound, the polarity of the under mic should be reserved relative to the one at the top. The effect of this is that the sound will cause the diaphragms to move in opposite directions. This results in uniform polarity when hitting the snare. Otherwise, the signals will cancel out when combined. 

    4. Mounting the Mic 

    There are different set-ups when it comes to mounting your mics. You can either use a mic-clip or a stand. The set-up you choose depends on the position in which you want to put your microphone. A mic stand allows you to have a little bit of distance because of its separate set of equipment. If you want the microphone closer, you can use a clip and attach it right into the rim of the snare. 

    5. Experiment 

    Experimentation is the key to getting the sound you want. Remember, the sound will vary depending on the type of mic and type of drum. Therefore, there isn't a magic placement.  

    If you’re not happy with the sound produced from the initial position, change the angle and the installation of the mic relative to the head. If different musicians or different genres of music are playing at the same concert, you may have to re-position the mic for different sets. 

    6. Test It Out 

    Due to the pressure levels produced at the snares, you can have your ear in place of the mic and listen to the sound. The best thing to do is to adjust the mic position and listen to the result. This will show you that moving the microphone by the slightest margins will change the result of the sound. 

    If you are recording, get your entire set up ready first, as it is unlikely that you are only using the snares. Set up the instruments first, and then have your mic equipment. Tune the snare and make some sample recordings. Listen to the recordings and make any adjustments that you think are necessary. 

    Bottom Line 

    As earlier stated, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to micing a snare drum. Some people will have a microphone across the top of the snare. Others will have it pointing towards the rim. Still others will have it at the center. Each position and angle will bring out specific frequencies while de-emphasizing others. The placement should depend on what you want to bring out as well as factors such as the style of music and the type of drums. However, mic placement should be at a place where it isn’t likely to receive hits from the drumsticks.

  • Different Ways to Stack Your Cymbals

    The way you stack your cymbals has a great effect on the quality of sound you get. This process requires knowledge of the diameter, thickness, and quality of cymbals when doing the adjustments. Below is a summary of how you can achieve quality sound from your cymbal set. 

    Cymbal Sets 

    The sound from the cymbals is very exciting; perhaps the most impressive from an entire set of drums. Hearing the crash of the cymbals catches the attention of everyone listening. This is why drummers are keen on the quality of sound coming from the cymbals. 

    The crash of the cymbals is often used to mark the transition into a new part of a song. They can also be used to mark a musical passage or a dance number. The crash also accentuates the climax of a song. 

    Stacking up cymbals can open up endless possibilities with the sound that is produced. For instance, adding a smaller cymbal to the top of a bigger one, while keeping the wingnut loose, produces a loud and trashy noise. Having hi hat cymbals produces a washy and lower-pitched sound.

    • High Hat Cymbals 

    High hat cymbals usually sit on your left side. The two cymbals face each other and are attached to the stand that you play with a foot pedal. 

    There are several factors you need to consider when you are stacking up high hats. 

    • The Diameter 

    There are four sizes that are mainly available. This includes the 12, 13, 14, and 15 inches. The difference in sizes requires different playing techniques. The smaller sizes are brighter and generally more responsive to faster hits and are used for trickier rhythms. They need fancy footwork. The larger cymbals produce louder sounds that are washy. They work best when played in the semi-open and especially for rock music. 

    • Thickness 

    More thickness results in a higher pitch, greater volume, and more vibrations. However, thicker cymbals have a slower build-up of overtones. Thinner top hats are convenient for semi-open locations. They produce a subtle “sizzle” sound compared to the unpleasant “clangy” sound produced by the thicker ones. In closed places, however, the thicker high hats produce an articulate sound. 

    With the information above, you can stack up hi hats with a thicker bottom to a thinner top. This is the most common category. Another popular design is when high hats have ripped edges. The edges prevent airlock caused by opening and closing the cymbals with the foot pedal. 

    Main Crash Cymbals 

    When arranging your drum sets, the main crash cymbals should be arranged after the toms. This order will help you see where your sticks will be swinging when you are playing your toms. Once you find this position, try to position the first crash close enough, where it is easy to reach. The main crash should be slightly angled, at a height that you can easily reach. Proximity will make it easier to crash when you are playing a groove. 

    The second crash can be quite tricky to set up. For this reason, it is advisable to invest in a boom cymbal stand, which will allow you to fine-tune your second crash according to your needs. Having the cymbal at the correct height will give your ease of motion, easy accessibility, and will reduce stress as you play. 

    It’s advisable to mount the cymbals slightly inclined downwards to give you an excellent striking technique and promote resonance. Be careful not to put the cymbals too tight on the stand because it can choke the sound that is produced. Additionally, it can break the cymbals. The main crash should be allowed to have a full range of motion. 

    Ride 

    Rides are meant to play steady rhythmic patterns. They are most convenient for playing swing notes for jazz and blue or the 8th notes for rock and pop. Rides are mostly 20-22 inches in diameter. Their thickness is consistent between the taper and the bow. This design results in a “pingy” sound with a delicate wash and a strong attack. 

    The ride should be mounted loosely to encourage full range motion, bringing out more resonance and character from the sound of the rides. A free ride also has an extended life span. Be careful not to tilt the cymbal too much as it will result in an extreme impact with the sticks. 

    Splash and China 

    While the splash and china are not a necessary part of your drum kit, you can use them to add a distinct signature sound to your playing.

    Splash cymbals are quite small, 8- 12 inches, and their size result in a faster build-up and a quicker decay. Often, splash cymbals have no taper, which gives them strength. This also results in a high-frequency sound with little complexity. 

    China cymbals, like the splash cymbals, have no taper. However, they produce an incredibly complex sound because they have upturned edges. They are available in a wide range of sizes, mostly about 18 inches. 

    Stacking Up Several Cymbals 

    To add flavor to your playing, you can take a China and add a small diameter with an inverted crash on top of it. Another arrangement would be to use crash cymbals as high hats. For this, you can use a bigger crash cymbal, about 18 inches. This will produce a sound that is different from your regular high hats. The sound will be great, high-pitched, and washy. These combinations can give a great identity to your play.  

    Bottom Line 

    In the end, all that matters is producing good music and enjoying yourself. You should, however, take caution to avoid injuries. Your drum set is going to change as you add or take away new gear. You should not worry about one specific arrangement. Experiment and try out various arrangements until you get the sound you are seeking. The arrangements above are just suggestions to help you improve your drumming through ergonomics. Have fun and continue playing well.

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