View Full Version : Double Bass

The Wes
05-15-2003, 10:53 PM
What are some tips all you out there could offer as far as improving power, agility and speed of your double bass playing? Pedal/tension?

05-16-2003, 03:07 AM
Go through the Colin Bailey Bass Drum Book!
Virgil and Thomas Lang both studied that one!
Or try to play a simple pattern with your hands, and then imitate it with your feet.

05-16-2003, 07:43 AM
Click tracks help immensely.

If your set is near your computer and you lack the money for a decent metronome, then go to download.com and search for the Muse Metronome. you can choose your favorite click sound, time sigs are able to be created, and and the temp goes up to 250BPM. I'm so happy I broke 200BPM with 16ths (800BPM).

05-16-2003, 04:06 PM
Here is an exercise from the man himself!


05-16-2003, 05:17 PM
Ooh thanks! I've been looking for some exercises for that "filling in the gaps" stuff. Especially after hearing "Got 2 Be". Crazy crazy shit.

The Wes
05-16-2003, 07:09 PM
Thanks a lot guys! One thing I am looking for is a Metronome that I will be able to hear while im playing. I used to own Metrophones but even then I couldnt hear the click too well... does anyone know of any particularly loud metronome or maybe one that hooks up to a PA?

05-17-2003, 03:13 AM
Isn't the Tama RhythmWatch a stereo metronome? It's severely programmable! Portnoy uses it (not the best endorsement). Im not sure if that resolves click volume issues but its a specifically drum made metronome so it should?!
It should be listed at www.tama.com

05-17-2003, 03:46 AM
The best solution is just big headphones. I use Sony DJ stereo headphones, they're awesome. The way they can bend allows you to have one headphone on so you can hear the click in one ear and what you're playing out the right. They block out a good amount of sound and the quality of sound they produce is effective so it's a good balance.

05-17-2003, 06:12 AM
That a good idea, because i have only a mono click metronome. Don't a good pair of those cost though?

05-17-2003, 07:09 AM
What I do, is if you put the plug in about 2/3s of the way in, and you get it in both channels. You just need to get it in there just right.

Fat Mike
05-22-2003, 12:02 AM
Ok...was just wondering what the drumming term for what Virgil does on the double bass on the Planet X song "Dog Boots"
I've seen him do that amazingly incomprehensible double bass pattern in his solos (as he would)...would just like to find out before i master it one day! :P

And also, not wanting to make any enemies...Jimi...i disagree about your Mike Portnoy comment...He may not be as good as Virg technically (he's still a jaw dropper)...but i find his playing more listenable than Virg's (here comes the hate mail!)...he has a lot more sounds than Virg does, like his octobans and various splashes and other tidbits..which make listening to him very cool...ok, so Dream Theater are stuck in the 80's! His drumming makes me forget about the awful singer they have...
It may sound like i'm not a huge Virg fan, but I am. He is totally musical and freakish...seeing him live is the best! But with his amazing ability, having more resources in which to be musical...he would make the listen so much more memorable...just my opinion...let me know what you think...or tell me where to go!

05-22-2003, 01:02 AM
It is just my opinion but banging on alot of percussion items does not make someone musical. And no this is not HATE mail just a reply. Where Virg excels is that he can take a much smaller kit and pull out sounds, employ techniques, and blow chops that a Portnoy could never do on his larger kit. Plus his level of taste and feel(touch) sense of dynamics and command of time are far advanced. I say the same with Bozzio a great drummer and I respect his vision I have seen him many times, BUT Virgil and Vinnie get a much fuller sound and are more innovative on much smaller kits, it is just flat out ability and mental genius, they think like no others along with the freakish ability.Mike's playing is more accessible because it is much more simplistic.

Mike just sounds at times like he is throwing the kitchen down the stairs, it is just busy playing well because he has all this STUFF to bang on. Many times not very tasteful and not done with a sense of dynamics and NO feel at all and extremely repetitive but he is a very good rock drummer really he is just not in the league of the fusion Greats. But again he is a good solid drummer he just does not have Jazz/fusion technique. And he does not push the envelope mentally speaking as many others, like a Virg or Vinnie or Minneman, Weckl etc.

But hey we like who we like and that is COOL! Glad to have you here Man.

Regards Kirk

05-22-2003, 02:42 AM
Hey Fat Mike, On dog boots Virg plays 'Inverted Doubles'. I think thats the right drum term. instead of RR LL he play R LL R, and the whole thing sounds alot smoother. :D

I wasn't commenting on Portnoy overall, this thread is about double pedal/bass and up until 6DOIT came out he was fairly 'dugga dugga' (and still kinda is:o ) minus fatal tragedy and overture1928). Don't get me wrong I like portnoys music and have bought alot of his stuff:) . I just meant if we heard about a metronome helping Virg do what he does now alot of people would start asking alot of questions:eek: . But saying that portnoy used something, you'd mostly get 'okay' from drummers.

BTW you missed a thread on the PX forum where we had to calm a few Virg fans because of the MD polls!! ah no, they just got a bit upset so it was kind of running joke that also didn't relate to this thread or dissin mike's playing at all. Fairly Complex!!

I hope i haven't offended you too much, i didn't mean too make enemies at all :( But have a read off kirks response because he always has a valid point in his posts.

Fat Mike
05-23-2003, 01:14 AM
Guys, your points are well taken...I'm glad you both understood how i felt at the time of writing it. Virg without a doubt is the greatest drummer on the planet...as for all time, this would be arguable (no disagreements from me on that one!). What i cant comprehend is why rock/prog fans keep voting for Portnoy (i love him...but Virgil kills him technically!) in the MD poll? I do get a little bored of Mike's "dugga dugga" bass drum beats at times, but when he lets loose...it is kinda cool. When i listen to/watch Mike, he's the kind of drummer who's techniques i know i could one day reach with a lot of hard work and practice...whereas when i listen to/watch Virgil (not to sound defeatist or anything) i know i've got no fucking chance at all. He was obviously blessed with talent behind the kit...some people that aren't blessed with talent achieve this with pure practice (i believe mike is in this category). The only reason i think Mike is so popular is because of his years of doing clinics/touring in the U.S., whereas Virg is a bit of a newcomer on the U.S. scene (but don't worry...us Melbournians have known about him for around 15 years :)) but it wont be long before Virg is topping those polls!! And here i'll be, extremely proud (i already am now) that a guy from Melbourne became the greatest drummer in the world *happy sigh*

05-23-2003, 01:51 AM
LoL thats true, mike is a short term objective, but for Virg its so long term, are we so crazy to take a 20 year challenge or just severely inspired to yearn a Virg-like power over the drums?

I like Portnoy too and still watch the LDT and 10DOIT and Prog Drum concepts Vids i have. Sometimes i need a break and just want to understand everything thats going on too!
I think Danny Carey is a nice in between-er and if you've heard of Bobby Jarzombek, i think he's an 'eccentric' drummer.

Overall, i won't make too many comments anymore, if there's one thing i've learnt, it's not portnoys or anybodys fault they dont, and can't have what Virg does and why slag 'em for it??

Fat Mike
05-23-2003, 09:52 PM
Having made a personal observation on Portnoy, i am still a huge fan. He is an excellent teacher (and so is Virg...Mike is just a little more loose on his videos/DVD...virg always looks/acts a little too nervous...but hey, i know what its like to be in front of an audience trying to teach them...bloody hard work!). Mike just has a natural feel for the camera (and all the other funny bits he puts into his stuff) and it makes it a lot more easier to watch. But having a Virgil video on...you just wanna see the guy awesomely abuse the double bass :). I have a video of virg from (off the top of my head) '88 or '89...double bass technique and independence, was a limited pressing i think...let me tell you its amazing...he plays a hell of a lot faster and technical now...but to see him then going nuts behind a kit...was very sweet! The quality is not that great on the video (probably because its been watched thousands of times...lol) but i still drool at what he does!
And i agree, i will try not to compare Virg to others, its not fair, coz everyone has their own abilities and talents....having said that, no one can beat "The Thunder from Down Under!! hehe :)

05-30-2003, 06:43 AM
Originally posted by Fat Mike

And i agree, i will try not to compare Virg to others, its not fair, coz everyone has their own abilities and talents....having said that, no one can beat "The Thunder from Down Under!! hehe :)

That's right, it'd be like comparing Virg to Gadd.....you just can't.

06-10-2003, 12:19 PM
I think that Mike Portnoy sucks. He has such a limited vocabulary.He still don't knows his rudiments (which is very important!) ... the only rudiment he knows is single stroke roll and he begins it always with the right hand ! We can't compare master like Virgil with a limited drummer like Portnoy.
Portnoy has a huge kit to have a lot a sounds ... Virgil doesn't need it to show us what drumming is all about !

06-11-2003, 03:28 AM
I think itīs wrong to say that MP sucks...I donīt like his playing at all either, but he doesnīt sucks...he just got another way of playing and if that suits him, thatīs great. And from hearing the things he does, he knows more rudiments than just singles strokes I believe. Like I said,I donīt like his playing at all...itīs nothing compared to Virgil....but I can guarentee that if MP and Dream Theater never would have exist, the progressive fusion/rock genre wouldnīt be what it is today! They have done a lot of good things. MP doesnīt sucks...most drummers donīt actually sucks, they just do THEIR thing and that canīt suit everybody.

06-12-2003, 07:44 AM
Like Virgil said... Dream Theater has done quite a lot for Progressive Rockmusic!
....Though I am not a big fan...

06-13-2003, 06:11 AM
MP sucks? Mike_psykoprog r u crazy? You wish you could drum like that!! MP is a very good drummer!! Excellent!! So he does the same thing most of the time... SO!? He is good at what he does!!! Just because Virgil is such a great drummer makes him a bad drummer!!

You're a fool...

06-13-2003, 11:05 AM
Frank you would be surprised by the guys on some of these boards who can REALLY play some of them no doubt beyond Portnoy, some of the guys on the HOD board(I do know) and I imagine on this board are very good fusion/progressive drummers. They have an overall command of the instrument that many well known guys do not have. Steve Holmes from the HOD site is a VERY good drummer I would take his drumming any day over alot of well known guys, this is not saying these other guys do not play well they do. It would be shocking for many to find out how many completely unknown guys that are out there that CAN REALLY PLAY. Some amazing cats for sure. Portnoy is GOOD and I will leave it at that.

Regards Kirk

06-13-2003, 12:02 PM
I totally agree with kirk.

06-13-2003, 12:36 PM
You are undoubtly right. I just wanted to defend Portnoy. Saying MP sucks is just plain dumb.

06-13-2003, 12:36 PM
Let me just point out that when I say better than some well known drummers I am obviously not referring to the guys who are THE!! BAD ASSES most obviously Virgil,Vinnie,Weckl,Phillips,
Lang,Minneman,Smith,Watts,Mangini and more of course. But some of these rock/prog guys are good players but nothing spectacular. Of course there are some very good players in the rock/metal vein who are great(in their genre) indeed like Dean C. , Carey, Jazrombek, Malcuso, Terrana and a few others they do not touch the above mentioned guys but they excel in their style and I believe they are better than many better known rock/prog guys.

Regards Kirk

06-13-2003, 06:23 PM
hmmm... yeah sure, there are drummers of MP's level who are maybe better than MP... so what's ur point? I just think that bashing MP is WRONG and NOT RIGHT!! did you actually hear all the MP stuff? he does some pretty sick and fast crap sometimes. and not everything he does is great or as hard as it seames, but nonetheless... jeeezz!! and YES there might be drummers around these boards and around the prog/metal scene that are better.. so what?? MP IS STILL GREAT!!! no matter HOW many people may be BETTER than MP, he is STILL a magnificent drummer!!
but you obviously don't agree since you keep saying that there are ppl better than mike...!

..?? :|

06-13-2003, 06:50 PM
No Frank I did not say Portnoy sucked I think someone else said that, my point is that when you hear enough guys play you might realize that what is called amazing by some is not really amazing when you put it up to what others are doing. We use these words like great and amazing and terrific to loosely, that is MY POINT!!! You say he is magnificient then Virgil and Lang and Colaiuta must be defined by some word not known to man yet. And YOU made the statement a few times that I bet guys on these boards would like to be that good(as Mike) there are guys THAT GOOD and better.

Remember I did not say anything derogatory, only stating in reply to your statement that guess what there are guys who are VERY good players better than Portnoy who frequent some of these boards, just an answer to your statement that came by the way because SOMEONE ELSE said Portnoy sucked and you replied back And said what you said. I honestly think only a few guys are truly amazing and a few more are great and a few more than that are very good and so on, but hey that is just my opinion and the way I look at things given that I have been playing and listening to drummers for about 25 years. Anyways take care Frank and it is o.k. to have our opinions and share our feelings and remember again I did not bash anyone, maybe I pointed out differences in drummers but that is it.

Regards Kirk

06-16-2003, 10:34 AM
Okey maybe I'm thinking of MP too highly. It's true that there are quite a lot of good and unknown drummers out there.
I never ment to offend you in any way, I just had the idea that you were defending that guy who thinks MP sucks.

06-16-2003, 11:07 AM
let's stop the discussion about comparing portnoy to virgil ... that is waste of time and energy in my opinion.

06-16-2003, 11:18 AM
You did not offend me Frank, not in the least, just stating the facts that is all. And I think we are all able to discuss differences in drummers and drumming styles without becoming personal, were going to have to be able to discuss these issues if we are going to learn about what makes drummers and drumming in general GO!! And yes let us move on from Portnoy and Virgil as far as pitting them up to eachother (it was not fair from the beginning.)

Regards Kirk

07-03-2003, 05:46 AM
Try the exercise showed in the Virgil Donati's video Power Drumming...:D

07-25-2003, 04:11 PM
mi dobble drum is terribold i need help.

Mi name is lulo

07-25-2003, 11:05 PM
The best way to improve your technique in any area is to sit and practice it. And then practice it and practice it some more after that. You can get all the help you could ever need, but its up to you to actually put that help to use. I find that making up my own exercises has helped my feet drastically, but there is still tons of room for improvment. Books and a good metronome will help too as long as you know how to utilize them. Remeber, Virgil didn't just get up and play blazing double's on the bd, he practiced daily for hours and thats what it takes. Just my 2 cents

Peace :)