My Introduction To The Double Bass Drum Pedal

Old school double bass pedal. Photo courtesy of

Old school double bass pedal. Photo courtesy of

When I was in Jr. High, I was introduced to drum competitions. At the high school in town (which I attended), the big one was called the California Drum Fest.

The way I saw it, a drum competition was basically 3 judges sitting about 15 feet in front my kit, critiquing my drum solo. This was usually done in a school football stadium or a theater so typically there was a hefty crowd behind the judges filled with fellow drummers, competitors, and fans watching me do my thing.

When I did my first two in 7th and 8th grade, there were no trophies. It was a learning experience and a great way to take the judges notes and learn what I could work on to become a better player. However, when I got to the high school level, there were 1st through 3rd placements, plus sizable trophies and prizes to match… so the competition AND incentive were a whole lot better…

My first competition in high school was the California Drum Fest. I did a pretty good job playing various styles, time signatures and displaying stunning licks sure to set the world on fire…

After I finished, a kid from another school sat down at the throne and he seemed, at least to me, to play pretty basic stuff… until the last 30 seconds of his solo… he let out a total barrage of double pedal notes which quickly got the crowd’s attention…

When it came time to hand out the trophies and awards, that kid won and I received 2nd place by a total of 5 points. My dad looked at me and said, “Son, I’m not going to let that happen to you again!” It never did.

We went that very next Monday and ordered a new double bass pedal. That first competition was the only time I would receive second place in my entire high school drumming career. For the rest of that season, and the following 3 seasons, I won 1st place at every single competition I entered.

Thanks dad!

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