Top tips for buying a bass drum pedal

The bass drum pedal is a critical part of any drummer's arsenal. Whereas sticks are an extension of the hands and wrists, a pedal provides a mechanical link between your foot and kick drum. It is therefore essential to be completely comfortable with your pedal.

There is still plenty of choice for subtler players though. Almost all manufacturers produce strap-driven variants of pedals and direct-drive has also come back into vogue in recent years, echoing some of the classic pedals of yesteryear such as Ludwig's Speed King or Premier 250 models. One quality shared by all modern pedals is their quietness of operation - annoying squeaks are a thing of the past.

When musing on the choice of incredible pedals, remember that it's just as important to develop good technique as it is to have a state-of-the-art weapon beneath your foot. Many classic recordings feature inspired bass drum performances from drummers playing pedals which are laughably flimsy by today's standards.

The breadth of choice in bass drum pedals is astonishing, with companies falling over one another to produce lighter, quicker and more durable pedals. Prevailing musical trends mean that most pedals are being designed to be played harder and faster than ever before, with many models bearing names that would be just as appropriate for military hardware.

We would always recommend making sure you of your homework. Take a look online by all means for the best prices and spec infos. Check out the latest reviews in Rhythm and, of course, compare the competition by consulting out Top 10 Bass Pedals in the World buyer's guide.

Setting yourself a budget is a good shout as well. Write down exactly what you want from your pedal. Some pedals are built for speed, others are more suited to raw power, is it a single or a double that you're looking for, all of this needs consideration.

Also, how much money are you looking to spend. If you're at the budget end you can pick up a decent brand new double pedal, believe it or not, for less than £100. Dashing right to the other end of the spectrum you can shell out the best part of £1,000 of a top of the line model. It goes without saying that there is a mind-boggling amount of choice between these two polar opposites.

All of that research should leave you fully clued up but, as ever, when buying new gear you should make sure you try it out before handing over your cash. This is even more true of a bass drum pedal. As we said, this isn't any old hunk of metal, it is an extension of your foot and finding a pedal that works for your style and technique is absolutely key.

Ready to take the plunge and splash some cash on a new pedal? Then you'll want to check out the Top 10 Bass Pedals in the World.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).