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Old 05-31-2003, 05:18 AM   #1
frank
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Double bass drum speed

Hey guys.
I was just wondering, at what speed can you play your double bass drums? Dog Boots is at about 200 (x4=800 bassdrums in a minute! sick..) I guess..

My limit is at about 170, just single strokes,.. I'll probably never understand how to play double strokes I guess.. any tips on how to practice that?

What is your speed limit on the bassdrum? And is it possible to play Dog Boots with just single strokes? I've seen death metal/speed metal bands play at insane speeds with single strokes..

And has anyone ever heard of Nichlas Barker from Dimmu Borgir? I don't know if he plays single or double strokes but his speed is just rediculous! I'm not even sure if he plays all the stuff or if a computer is playing along or something. I've seen a Dimmu Borgir DVD once, just to see his feet, but they never focus on it.. kind of strange.. And watching that DVD was terrible, their music is just plain ugly!
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Old 05-31-2003, 10:52 AM   #2
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Once you get into it there are tons of metal drummers capable of doing single strokes at ridiculous speed. The most insane I know of are:

1. Derek Roddy. Newest and fastest release is "King of all Kings" with the band "Hate Eternal". 16th notes at up to 250 bpm and he is almost 100% tight all the way. Also played with Divine Empire.

2. Reno Killerich (Dane! ). Going around 230 Bpm most places on the album "Berzerker Legions" from danish band "Exmortem". He IS 100% tight all the way, and he can clear start and stop this whenever he wants.

3. Hmmm...so many to choose from. Pete Sandoval from "Morbid Angel" of course...

4. Gene Hoglan of Death, Strapping Young Lad and more. Very good drummer - not doing anywhere near as much burst/blast-beat as the previously mentioned.

Too many to mention..... Sean Reinert, Richard Christy, Marco Minneman, many many many more....and then ofcourse Virgil, who I must admit speedwise is not on par with at least the likes of Derek Roddy and Reno Killerich but when it comes to finesse he's no.1....and he's not slow either....

Then there is this "Drum can man" aka. Tim Waterson. He's been measured to play 1407 strokes in one minute, using doubles. That's 16th notes at about 350 BPM! But this guy is just weird - can't play drums at all - only speed records.

I don't really know of many others using doubles besides Virgil. Thomas Lang uses them and some have said that Joey Jordison of Slipknot does too, though I don't think it sounds like it....

I've been playing double bassdrum for about 8 years now, and it's been going up and down. I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that what it takes is one hell of a lot of practice and maintenance! This really bugs me - why can't it just stay there once you've learned it?!?! Just like everything else drumming. I mean - sure you can get a bit rusty if you don't play for I while, but if you don't play bassdrums almost everyday you'll quickly lose it almost completely, I'm afraid....

I'm hoping that using doubles will be more maintenance free once learned, so I'm practicing that for now..... (I'll let you know when I break the 100BPM barrier LOL). It's not because I'm lazy and don't want to practice, it's just that I have this thing about owning and borrowing. I rather own stuff myself than borrow or rent it...

Oh well...what choice do I have. I also find that warming up helps immensely. When I'm not warmed up my top speed using singles is anywhere between 150 and 200, but if I spend 5-10 grizzly minutes of trying to do 210 (in these minutes it sounds AWFUL), I'll eventually get it and be able to do 200-220 in singles quite tight. Problem is if I rest for just 1-2 minutes I'll have to warm up again (more grizzly minutes) and this is where I feel that the singles strokes were only borrowed. If I were to do a song in which there would be fast single strokes about 2-3 minutes into the song - how the heck would I do that? Stop the song for a 5 minute warm up? Shoot!

I'm practicing my doubles with some of the excersizes Virgil shows on the Modern Drummer Festival 1997 video. I'm getting better, but I'm not playing Dog Boots tomorrow....By the way, there is this sickening, annoying 6-second clip in the beginning of the video with a 10-year old boy doing singles at like 190-200 BPM. Hmm...

Good luck!

/Frederik
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Old 05-31-2003, 11:41 AM   #3
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Joey Jordison.. I saw him on MTV once, at a live performance or something.. I actually SAW his feet go at about 200 or maybe even 210.. he is one of the reasons I started wondering about single strokes at rediculous and insane speeds. A 10 year old doing singles at 190bpm? OMG is that possible?? Are you sure it wasn't a 40year old midget?

I've heard about that Berzerker-guy.. a friend of mine really likes his speed.. But I guess I should let him hear that 350bpm (?!?!? AARGH!!!! REDICULOUS!!!) Tim Waterson stuff. How on earth is it possible that someone who can play double strokes, which is a pretty difficult technique to learn, is not a good drummer? I mean, if you have enough time to practice that speed, why not practice everything else? About warming up.. I think it can help a lot, but on stage you usually don't have the time and ability to warm up. What would the crowd think? Anywayz, it could really help on recordings, but that would be a bit fake..
Oh well, I'm gonna practice some more..
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Old 05-31-2003, 08:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by frank

How on earth is it possible that someone who can play double strokes, which is a pretty difficult technique to learn, is not a good drummer? I mean, if you have enough time to practice that speed, why not practice everything else?


Because it's ALL he practices, pure and simple.
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Old 06-01-2003, 02:34 AM   #5
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Tim Waterson has a strange technique I think ... he uses this strange AXIS-Longboard which has bigger pedals. So he can use his heels to kick the drum or sth like that (I cannot remember at the moment) ... but there is a webpage, where Tim describes the technique of doubles he taught himself because he had an accident (with the car?!) and so playing singles hurt him too much. The webpage is easy to find via google I think.

By the way. I play drums for 12 years now. But I started using the double pedal 1,5 years ago. I always played with heels down. When I met Virgil in Italy I was so impressed by his power in the feet that I decided to totally change my foot-technique. So I started learning Virgil's technique (about 8 months ago).

The result now (after practising hard) is the following: 200bpm singles (very loud) and about 170bmp doubles (not as loud as singles - of course). About 140bmp I can do doubles rather loud.

It was strange: I practiced Virgil's Double-Stroke-Techn. and thought to give up, but suddenly I had a "click" in my head and I was able to play doubles 150-170bpm. Now I know that it works but I have to work hard to push the limit and to get louder.

You cannot believe how loud Virgil plays doubles. I heard him warming up in italy (before the soundcheck - without mics!!!). He played the doubles so ****ing-loud that I thought he was playing singles. But he played doubles. And that is the thing I am fascinated most when thinking about Virgil's feet.

Regards
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Old 06-01-2003, 12:58 PM   #6
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I do not know if anyone last year caught the live chat on Aural Moon, a prog music station with Virgil and Derek. It was hilarious the interviewer was a HUGE fan of Virgil and he kept on pressing Virg on how fast he could play doubles and singles outright. Virgil did everything to not let that become the focus of the chat, he was real gracious but finally after alot of prodding Virgil said basically I can go much faster than you hear most of the time. When he practices he goes for a minute or 2 and pushes it to see where he comes out, and this only matters if he does it with fluidity and consistency, as he said speed alone is not enough you got to make music with it. If I remember correctly he has no problem hitting close to 1100 strokes in a minute with consistency, pretty amazing.

Terry Bozzio said obviously Virgil has the best feet in the business,and that is not just speed of course, it is his overall command regarding all aspects, high praise.

Regards Kirk
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Old 06-01-2003, 01:21 PM   #7
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Thumbs up NICK BARKER

He does play singal strokes just the same as most metal drummers. There are a couple of techniques I've been working with the past year. Nick Barker's is just straight arch foot all in the ankle. Pete "The Commando" Sandival uses a technique that some old man developed on the hands. They call him that because he plays in combat boots. I can't remember what it's called but you do 4 strokes for everyone coming back up. Easier shown than said. You should check out some Morbid Angel. Really good concepts for the style. Also the drummer from Hate Eternal. His name is Derek Rodey. He as this swivle ankle techique that I use all the time now.
When you doing just normal 16ths move your ankle's from side to side like there's two button on each side of the pedal just slightly. It helps keep your legs relaxed and loose and increases stamina by atleast about %25 I've noticed. It's kind of the same as Pete Sandival but less thought involved. If you ever want to chit chat drums on an IM I'm on MSN messanger. Hotmail address siwd@hotmail.com and my contact is SIWD. I've seen Dimu Borgir live with Nick Barker and once with another band called Borknigar. He's excellent. Definetly one of my original influences.
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Old 06-01-2003, 01:26 PM   #8
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HEY what about the guy from Angle Corpse, he's now with Nile. That guy has to be the sickest of all. He's twice as insane live.
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:07 PM   #9
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No offense intended, but I couldnīt care less about who plays faster doubles/singles on the bass drum. I mean, good for you if you can get up to 250bpm playing doubles. That shouldnīt make you a better drummer, nor a worse one. Iīm afraid this speed nonsense is taking the focus away from the really important, artistic drumming issues, like musicality, dynamics, time etc. etc., and by dynamics i donīt mean playing 200bpm doubles evenly. Quite the opposite actually - think of "smooth dynamic transitions". Thatīs one of the many things I like in Virgilīs playing, along with his fluidity and uncanny creativity.
Iīve never been a heavy/death metal fan, but I donīt have anything against those musical styles. What i canīt stand, even knowing that it may be the appropriate thing to do in those musical situations, is a guy pounding the drums as hard as possible all the way through. You know iīve really grown to like simpler, yet well executed stuff - iīm just watching Vinnie Colaiutaīs performance in the Modern Drummer Fest 2000 DVD and he just plays a MEAN crescendo single stroke roll in "Iīm Tweeked". To my ears, it really works in that musical context. He could have played the most bizarre polyrhythmic stuff instead of that single stroke roll, and it wouldnīt sound half as amazing as it does.
Please do not to miss the amazing drumming Virgil does while looking at how fast his feet can go. Thatīs just one (little IMHO) side of his unbeliavable ability. Thereīs so much going on in his playing that I almost find this speed discussion to be insulting to Virgilīs talent.
Fell free to post your hate-filled follow-ups towards me and my humble contribution to this thread. Actually Iīm kind of drunk as I write this, so donīt take it personally or too seriously.
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:13 PM   #10
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I'm with Mauricio on this one...

While Virgil IS fast, there is no doubt that he also works on what it takes to craft a song. Otherwise, he would just be fast and his talent would not be of any pratical benefit to the music world in general.

Drumming is like riding a motorcycle... keep looking in one direction for too long and you're gonna hit the pavement.

I'll mess with speed when I'm doing my rudiments and practicing on my own time. But when I'm with the band, it's all about playing what's right for the song.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:02 PM   #11
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The title of the thread is "double bass drum speed" and frank wanted to discuss how fast we can play and what technique we use. So I discussed my endurance and technique. But I would never say that I am a better drummer because of this fact. Playing singles or doubles without breaks are boring if they last too long. polyrythmic double bass drum rythms are much more interesting, but the discussion started about our ability to play just singles and doubles. So I didn't want to discuss other techniques and rythms. This we can do I think in another thread.

I often realize that threads start at one point and always end in the same discussion that drumming is much more than "....". That I think we already know ... for me that is a thing that should be clear ... but I think threads concerning special techniques shouldn't always end in a "general" discussion about drumming. A special thread should help the topic-starter and of course us to learn sth new about the "special topic". In this case it is "speed" of the feet.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:46 PM   #12
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Good points on all accounts, on the one hand I TOTALLY agree with Mauricio on the fact that the amazing feet Virgil has "by the way his feet are very musical as well as fast",often become too much of the focus while what he is doing with his hands is as impressive if at times not more. And this reafirms the fact that the guy has so much going on that is amazing, that it is often very hard to take it all in. I know I have to listen and watch over and over to grasp all he is laying down, and that is testimony to his greatness.

But speed is an important aspect of drumming used in the right context which Virgil does. He can combine the speed with amazing creativity and dynamics because of the control he has over his instrument and this makes HIS speed appealing to me, it is not just BLATANT speed for the sake of speed and of course discussing it is cool, hopefully it will rub off on us that speed used in the right context and used innovatively and creatively is an enhancement to ones overall playing but speed by itself is pretty pointless.

regards Kirk
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:24 AM   #13
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thats right kirk, in other words, he uses speed to create new sonorities on the drumkit, this is why he has a unique sound.

I was also amazed from reading this thread how hard it is to maintain even half the speed that Virg has with the feet! How come it isn't the same for the hands?
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Old 06-02-2003, 07:12 AM   #14
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Note:
Joey Jordison actually praised Virgil (and Planet X) in modern drummer some time ago, in the "reflections" section.
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:18 AM   #15
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Hey I didnīt mean to bash anyone or to say that this thread is useless. I myself thought, at the time that I wrote my previous post, that it would perhaps be a non-appropriated post, since the name of the thread is "double bass speed" under the "tips and techniques" section. So my apologies to Jagdkommando - youīre totally right, and YES, threads often start out as something and end up being about something else. In this case Iīm guilty of it myself.

That being said, I know that ALL of you agree with what I said in the previous (even though unappropriated) post. If you didnīt know that, you wouldnīt be interested in Virgilīs playing.

Also, as long as this thread focuses on the TECHNICAL REASONS why some people are faster/smoother than others, I would be very much interested. What I canīt comprehend is this competition-like stuff: A is faster than B, C is faster than B etc etc

I hope I have clarified some of the points I was trying to make.
Again, my sincere apologies for posting in the wrong section - although posting in this somewhat popular thread gave my humble post a few more readers than it would have gathered posted as a new topic.
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