Archive for September, 2012

Single Pedal Bass Drum Techniques

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Articles

Single Pedal Bass Drum Techniques

Heel Down
This technique requires you to lay your foot flat on the whole pedal, and use your heel to pivot your foot and play the bass drum. The heel down technique is great for jazz and light rock, it has less volume and offers more control and precision. The heel down technique will quickly build up your heel strength and speed and will allow you to play longer, since your foot rests on the pedal, it won’t tire out as quickly.

Heel UpĀ Image
This technique requires you to raise your heel up so that your toe is touching the pedal. Use your entire leg to push down with force on the pedal. The heel up technique offers more power for rock and metal drummers, but it tends to tire out the leg more quickly.

Heel Up & Down (Hybrid) Technique
This technique utilizes both heel up and heel down techniques to achieve precision and speed combined with power. To use this method, raise your leg as if to play heel up and power the beater into the bass drum. However, instead of holding your leg up to hit again using heel up technique, lower your heel so that you let the beater rebound and you can immediately hit from the heel down position. As long as the beater can rebound efficiently, you will be using the natural movement of the pedal to obtain optimal speed and power. It requires more practice to master than just one of the techniques, but is what most professional drummers use everyday.

Heel Toe Method – Double Hits on Pedal
Though this method is similar to the hybrid technique, it offers the ability to play two hits in a split second. This technique requires you to start with your heel down on the pedal. Push your heel up with your toes so that your whole foot comes off the pedal. Then push down with your leg so that your heel hits the pedal first, pushing the beater into the drum for the first time. Then, push your toe down quickly so that the beater hits the drum again very quickly. It can be used to play rolls on the bass drum giving incredible speeds.

I encourage you to master all these techniques not just for speed but for variety and unique tones. Throw them over latin grooves, samba grooves, etc. Get creative and enjoy the diversity this technique can give to your drumming!


Brett Frederickson shows how to play a Six Stroke Roll on the drum set. This short video shows you quickly how to learn this technique easily & quickly.

For information on Brett and the lessons he provides, go to or find us on Facebook at