While technique definitely matters, it’s also important to get the best bass drum pedal your budget can handle. No other piece of drumming equipment sees as much action; this component is in almost constant motion, and unless it works well, you’ll experience problems ranging from physical discomfort and fatigue to poor sound quality.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
At first glance, a bass drum pedal looks like a pretty basic piece of equipment. Pump your foot up and down on the pedal, and you’ll be keeping the beat. But hold on! It’s not quite so simple. Here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing a bass drum pedal to add to your kit.
- Drive type –There are a few different drive types to consider:
- Direct drive –While direct drive bass pedals tend to be more expensive than other types, this style offers zero sideways flex, and comes with almost no chance of breakage. The feel is firmer and some players find it more responsive. On the flip side, there are some players who dislike the feel, even though durability and longevity are top-notch.
- Single chain – Single chains are less expensive than other drives, but they have a reputation for wobbling side to side.
- Double chain – Double chain drives are more durable and offer better stability than the single chain variety. These pedals tend to cost a little bit more, but they offer far greater longevity and reliability. Even so, some players prefer the feel of a single chain.
- Belt drive bass pedals – Belt drives are a touch smoother and lighter than chain drives, however they tend to be a touch less durable. Manufacturers are now incorporating space-age materials that lend greater durability, so those who prefer belt drive pedals can enjoy them with less concern over breakage.
- Footboard style – There are a few different footboard styles to choose from. Longboard pedals feature a hingeless design that allows players to rock their feet back and forth. “Short” boards have a hinge at the heel, so all sounds are produced by the toe. Players with very large feet often prefer longboard designs.
- Single vs. double –Many beginning and intermediate players opt for a single bass pedal, as do many experienced players. This is largely a matter of personal preference; for example, heavy metal drummers who need a lot more power often go for doubles, though there are certainly some who prefer singles. Many find that it’s challenging to work in the left foot, and many others dislike having an extra pedal sitting between the snare and the high hat pedal – they mention that it’s just too much equipment. These are just a couple of pros and cons to be aware of. Try a double bass drum pedal if you think you might like it!
With these considerations and a few others in mind, here are our top picks for best bass drum pedal.
Tips for Choosing a Bass Drum Pedal
Despite the seeming simplicity of a bass drum pedal’s function, there’s far more to the picture than meets the eye. Every component plays a crucial role in ensuring that your pedal stays in motion with minimal effort on your part; the less you have to focus on this element, the more you can put into the rest of your performance. With quality as our top concern, here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing the best bass drum pedal for your kit.
- Compatibility:When choosing a bass drum pedal, double-check to ensure that it’s compatible with your drum’s counter hoop. A poorly fitted pedal will slip, leading to problems during your performance.
- Planned Use: If you’re just now starting out with drumming, it’s perfectly fine to go for something simple, straightforward, and inexpensive. If, on the other hand, you’re drumming for a demanding audience, your kit plays a part in forming your reputation and you’ll want to get the best bass drum pedal you can afford.
- Longevity: If you go for a pricier pedal, take a look at its reputation. See whether the manufacturer offers replacement parts for cams, springs, and other components that tend to show wear long before other parts. Just like engines and other mechanisms, lifespan tends to have a direct link to quality.
Your drum pedal has a direct effect on the way your kit sounds. Luckily, smooth operation, quality components, and great feel, are available at a variety of price points. Whether you’re planning to spend under $100 or more than $300, it’s easy to find a bass drum pedal that’s perfect for your playing style and your budget.