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Survey of double bass drumming: history, technique, and performance practice

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Double bass drumming is a genre of drum set performance that utilizes a bass drum pedal for both the right and left feet. This allows the feet to function much

Double bass drumming is a genre of drum set performance that utilizes a bass drum pedal for both the right and left feet. This allows the feet to function much like the hands, and provides the ability to play faster rhythmic passages on the bass drum that would otherwise be impossible in the classic single-pedal arrangement. The feet are then elevated to new levels of importance, which creates new challenges in four-limb coordination.

This double bass drumming tradition has been in use since the mid-20th century, and it has become extremely popular since that time. Today, virtually every drum set retailer offers the double bass pedal as part of their inventory. Many large drum solo competitions, such as the Guitar Center Drum-Off, also include a double bass pedal as part of the provided drum set.

However, even with this recent growth in popularity of double bass drumming, there remains a significant lack of scholarly research on the topic. This could be due to the popularity of double bass drumming remaining fairly new, and that the primary implementation of this drumming style remains outside of the art music tradition. This document will help further bring this complex drumming tradition to light by providing an in-depth analysis of the double-bass drumming style through historical overview, explanation of various technical approaches and considerations, and an analysis of common double bass drumming performance practice.

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  • 2019