Best Bass Drum Pedal
When selecting a bass drum foot pedal you have three playing styles to choose from. A single bass drum pedal allows one foot to play a single bass drum, a double bass drum pedal allows use of both feet, and finally the option of two single pedals playing two separate bass drums. There are also three bass drum drive types which include the chain, strap, and direct link; take the time to try each and determine which is the most suitable for you. Beginning players should be fine with one bass drum and a single pedal but eventually they’ll want to explore double bass options as today’s drummers utilize double pedals for a variety of musical genres. Check out our buyers guide below for more details on choosing a bass drum pedal best suited for you.
Best Single Bass Drum Pedal:
The Bass Drum pedal is perhaps the most important piece of hardware for any drummer. A strong kick drum is the heartbeat of every groove, and a good pedal will make it easy to maintain consistency of each stoke. There are three main types of pedals including chain driven, strap, and direct drive. A chain driven pedal has a single or double chain, and that chain attaches the pedal board to the cam. The cam rotates to make the beater strike the head. A strap driven pedal will have a leather or plastic strap, and that strap attaches the pedal board to the cam. The third pedal design features a direct linkage between the pedal board and the beater. Most beginners start with chain driven pedals, but direct drives are becoming very popular due to their responsiveness.
We’ve chosen the following single bass drum pedals based on their responsiveness, speed, smoothness, versatility, ease of adjustment, and durability. These selections produce consistent loud strokes without exerting a lot of energy and are also responsive enough for soft playing. Players of all levels should look for a pedal that will allow them to really demonstrate the full gamut of their technique, and not impede advancing it.
Modern drummers can often play advanced patterns at quick tempos with their feet and so all of these picks are very smooth pedals that allow for very fast playing. All of these picks are versatile pedals that can be used to play a variety of musical styles. They will also respond to different styles of players from heavy to light footed. Most high quality pedals are adjustable in just about every way imaginable, but the best pedals allow these adjustments to be made quickly and easily.
Lastly, a pedal's durability is of extreme importance and while most pedals come with a one-year warranty, that won't really help if a pedal breaks in the middle of a gig! All of these picks are construed by reputable manufacturers so you know they’re built to last for the long haul.
The Iron Cobra Power Glide is one of the most reliable and consistent bass drum pedal you can find. It's also cheaper than its competitors, so it makes purchasing one an easy decision! Read Full Review
The Pearl Demon Direct Drive single pedal is one of the fastest pedals that I have ever played. I have always trusted Pearl to make quality products and this is their best pedal. The options of board length and traction level offer features that are unmatched by its competitors. Read Full Review
The DW 9000 is the smoothest pedal on the market. The range of adjustments makes it a logical choices for drummers who prefer a variety of adjustment options. Read Full Review
The Gibraltar G-Class Single pedal offers a lot of features that just aren’t available on other pedals. It is a rock solid pedal that is available at an affordable price. This pedal allows a drummer to have precision in both set-up and performance.
Read Full Review
Mapex has entered into the pedal game with their Falcon pedal, and I am very happy that they did. The interchangeable drives are a great feature that gives the player some options. The Falcon is a nice alternative to the feel of its competitors with a similar price tag. Read Full Review
Best Double Bass Drum Pedal:
The double bass drum pedal is becoming an increasingly necessary part of any drummer’s setup as it allows the drummer to play the bass drum with both feet. Although some drummers prefer two have two separate bass drums, each with its own single pedal, most prefer the double pedal because it is cheaper than buying and extra bass drum. Easier to set up and gigging purposes, double pedals do provide a level of consistency that creates that “machine gun” sound, that many drummers prefer. Just as with single bass drum pedals, there are three main types of double pedals which include chain driven, strap, and direct drive. In my experience, most double bass drum pedals are chain driven, or direct drive since strap driven pedals often cannot create the lighting fast precision required of double bass drumming.
The criteria we used for selecting these best double bass drum pedals came down to their responsiveness, speed, consistency, ease of adjustment, and durability. All of these picks can produce consistent loud strokes without exerting a lot of energy and they’re also responsive enough for executing complex, lightning-fast patterns. Given that double bass drum pedals have a lot of moving parts, all of these picks are adjustable in just about every way imaginable. Lastly, since the double pedal is also the most abused item of hardware in a drummer’s setup, all of these picks are engineered to be extremely durable.
One last thing to note, all of these pedals have separate models for left-footed players, so be sure to check the model number when purchasing left-footed varieties.
Tama's Iron Cobra pedal is the best because it is super responsive and durable to ensure years’ worth of reliable use. It is also very reasonably priced thereby making it our top pick on this list. Read Full Review
The Pearl Demon Direct Drive is the most customizable pedal around. With all of its options, this pedal is like getting several pedals in one because it can be customized to any playing style. Read Full Review
DW makes the highest quality drums and hardware of any drum manufacturer. DW has made a lot of improvements to their 5000 series pedals to make them some of the best double pedals around. A nice bonus is the 5000 series double pedals offer professional quality at a price that won’t break your bank. Read Full Review
The Mapex Falcon double pedal is very responsive and easy to play. It is less bulky than its competitors and that makes it easy to place in my setup. The interchangeable drive gives me a lot of options so I have complete control over the feel of the pedal. Read Full Review
Pearl has finally provided a solution for the drummer looking to buy a high quality double pedal that is quick and responsive at a low price. With the same standard of quality that Pearl is known for, the P-932 is one of the best pedals around for the price. Read Full Review
Bass Drum Pedal Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right bass drum pedal (aka kick drum pedal or kick pedal) is an important decision because of the effect it can have on a drummer’s playing ability. A bad pedal can hinder a drummer’s ability to play the bass drum if it’s not responsive to the motion of a player’s foot.
You should also consider the technical demands of the bass drum in your musical genre. For example, most drummers in Metal or Hard Rock bands will want a double pedal option to compete with the speed and volume these specific genres present.
Fortunately, choosing a pedal is simple once you understand the different driving mechanisms powering each type of pedal. The following buyer’s guide is meant to help the individual drummer choose a pedal that will sound and feel great.
Bass Drum Pedal Type
The main factors in deciding which type of pedal works best are your technical aspirations and preferred musical genre. Most drummers can perform advanced patterns with a single pedal on one drum but individuals wanting to push their coordination and speed to the limit can chose a double pedal.
This is a single pedal with a single footboard which for playing
one Bass drum.
This is a pedal with two separate footboards allowing two feet to play on the same Bass drum.
Note: You can achieve the double bass drum effect by using two separate single pedals on two separate individual bass drums. Most drummers prefer a single or double pedal because they only have one bass drum.
Single and double bass pedals can be driven by one of the
three following mechanisms.
A metal chain connects the beater to the footboard. Chain driven pedals are popular for their strength and ease of use.
This is a leather or plastic strap which connects the beater to the footboard. Strap driven pedals require getting used to and tend to break over time.
A metal bar attaches the beater directly to the footboard. These pedals require getting used to and tend to be very responsive.
Included with most pedals, this is the portion of the pedal which actually strikes the bass drum head. It’s connected to the pedal board by your preferred driving mechanism. Most pedals offer the option of interchangeable beaters.
This is a versatile beater with a playing surface made from felt and is dynamic enough to produce good sound at any volume.
A beater type featuring a very articulate, wooden playing surface.
These are beaters with plastic or metal playing surfaces best used for extreme volume in louder genres such as Metal. Most drummers have the heads playing surface reinforced so it won’t break during play.
These beaters are very soft, often looking like a timpani mallet. They’re rarely used for normal play because of their “boomy” sound and lack of articulation.
Multiple parts make up a bass drum pedal with higher end pedals offering the ability to adjust said parts to your specific preference. Since they affect the overall feel of a pedal, it’s crucial you learn how to properly adjust these parts.
This is a flat piece of metal your foot rests on. When pressure is applied to the footboard, the beater strikes the bass drum head. Some footboards have a removable toe piece stopping the foot from moving around while playing.
This is the portion of the pedal striking the bass drum head. It’s connected to the pedal board by your preferred driving mechanism.
When pressure is applied to the footboard, the cam rotates and causes the beater to strike the head. Remember, the better your cam, the better your pedal performance.
Located on the side of the pedal, the spring pulls the beater back into the starting position after striking the drumhead. The tension of the spring determines how much pressure it takes to strike the head.
The clamp attaches the pedal to the rim of the bass drum and prevents the pedal from moving around.
Some pedals have adjustable spikes which dig into the ground or rug you have under your kit to prevent the pedal from moving around during play.
A pedal’s features often help determine its playability. Listed below are common features available on most quality pedals.
This part allows the angle of the beater to be adjusted with a drum key.
These springs can be adjusted to change the amount of kickback. The best pedals allow easy access to the spring for adjustment.
While some pedals have a smooth surface for easy sliding, others provide have a textured, treaded surface for better foot control.
Some pedals allow for adjustments to the angle and other aspects of the footboard.
This mechanism allows you to easily adjust the length of the beater. It also permits the player to switch out their current beater for a different one.
Clamp tension device
This is a wingnut controlling the tension of the clamp which attaches pedal to the bass drum rim. Higher end pedals have the wingnut placed off to the side for easy adjustment.
The performance of a Bass drum pedal depends largely on the players comfort level. Start by testing each of the three types of driving mechanisms which include chain, strap, and direct link. You’ll also want to choose your type of beaters which are interchangeable and can be purchased separately; it’s not uncommon for drummers to have multiple beaters for different playing situations.
It’s best to begin your search with an Iron Cobra or DW pedal using the chain driven pedal mechanism option. If it feels too tight or too loose, try adjusting the spring tension as well as playing repeated strokes, multiple volumes and then some difficult patterns. If you slide or rock while you play, note the pedals responsiveness to the motion of your foot. Next try “feathering” the Bass and see how soft it can play.
After trying the chain driven option, try the same pedal with a strap followed by a direct drive pedal such as an Axis pedal or Sonar’s “Perfect Balanced” pedal. The pedals and drive mechanisms will feel drastically different from one another so spend some time deciding which you like the best.
Often the feel of a single pedal is the same as a particular model of double pedal. For example, if you like the feel of an Iron Cobra single pedal, you’ll probably enjoy the feel of an Iron Cobra double pedal as well.
Once you have chosen a preferred driving mechanism, you can refer to my list of best drum pedals to help you choose a brand right for you.
Up to a certain price point, you get what you pay for. Pedals priced under $140 are typically poorly made and usually fall apart quickly. However, once you rise above this price point, you’ll find a range of superior pedals based on your preference. The best thing to do is simply to try a lot of pedals and then shop around for the best price.
High end drum companies generally make reliable pedals such as Tama’s Iron Cobra line, and DW’s 5000 and 9000 models. Pearl also produces great pedals while certain companies such as Axis and Sonar specializing in direct drive options.