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A bass drum pedal is a crucial piece of drumming hardware that acts as an extension of a drummer’s body and helps to produce a powerful punch from the kick drum.
Finding the right bass drum pedal is no easy feat, as there is a wide range of excellent options available, and each different model provides a unique playing response.
The best bass drum pedals offer a solid build quality, feel smooth underfoot, and are enjoyable to play. They should seamlessly translate your musical ideas and encourage creativity while playing.
To help you decide which one is best for your needs, I’ve tested some of the top models on the market today. I’ve compared their performance, build quality, design, and value to give you the best options.
- What are the Best Bass Drum Pedals?
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Bass Drum Pedals
- Single Bass Drum Pedal Reviews
- Bass Drum Pedal Buyer's Guide
- Benefits of a Good Bass Drum Pedal
- Features to Look For in Bass Drum Pedals
- Different Types of Bass Drum Pedal Drives
- Bass Drum Pedal FAQs
What are the Best Bass Drum Pedals?
How I Tested and Selected the Best Bass Drum Pedals
When testing each bass drum pedal, I took all the features into account. I selected a range of different options to demo that had various designs, including chain drive, belt drive, and direct drive mechanisms.
I first played the pedal in a standard way to see how responsive the footboard was. I then checked out the customization options to see how I could change that responsiveness to feel more comfortable. This showed me how versatile the pedal was.
After that, I inspected the build quality by seeing if there was a base plate, feeling how rigid the cam was, and identifying the type of beater that was included.
Through all my testing, I was able to find seven single bass drum pedals that I can highly recommend.
Single Bass Drum Pedal Reviews
The DW 5000 Series Bass Drum Pedal is an institution within the drumming world. This legendary bass drum pedal offers the perfect balance of weight, feel, durability, performance, and value.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best single bass drum pedals I’ve ever played, and I know dozens of drummers who have been using it for years.
There is such a tremendous array of high-quality bass drum pedals on the market right now, but the DW 5000 earns the top spot as the best bass drum pedal for the money.
The build quality of this DW bass drum pedal is fantastic, and the unit itself feels very weighty and substantial.
This bass drum pedal represents the industry standard and is the preferred choice of countless professional drummers around the world.
The DW 5000 series bass drum pedal feels rock-solid to play, and it feels powerful to play underfoot. I’ve always found it to be perfectly versatile and is suitable for every style of music imaginable.
This pedal is constructed with high-quality components throughout and features a host of innovative features that allow this pedal to feel incredibly responsive, powerful, and consistent in operation.
The tri-pivot toe clamp, accelerator drive system, and dual-bearing spring system all contribute to this bass drum pedal’s remarkable performance.
I found all the features to help this pedal to feel dynamic, responsive, and sensitive whilst being virtually indestructible.
The DW 5000 series pedal has earned its spot as the best bass drum pedal on the market since its release nearly four decades ago. It has an unmistakable quality and offers excellent value for working professionals and aspiring drummers alike.
- Dynamic, responsive and sensitive
- Exceptional build quality
- Powerful and fluid in operation
- Tri-Pivot toe clamp system is very easy to use
- No carry case included
The DW 9000 Series Bass Drum Pedal is an outstanding piece of drumming hardware. If you’re serious about your drumming and want the ultimate in quality, then this is the best bass drum pedal for you.
I found it to be a lot more engineered than the 5000 Series option, giving your foot more aid when playing patterns.
Some drummers love the improvement, while others like the more natural feel of the 5000. Both are great, so I suggest trying them both out to see what you like.
The DW 9000 bass drum pedal is a remarkable feat of engineering. The build quality of the unit is sublime. It’s constructed to perfection from the best materials and the pedal offers enormous stability.
This pedal offers everything you want from a high-performance bass drum pedal. No aspect of this pedal has been overlooked, and it delivers effortless bass drum strokes that are executed with power and precision.
The DW 9000 pedal features an ‘infinite adjustable cam’ that allows you to change the pedal action underfoot, and the unit is constructed with ball-bearing mounted components throughout for an unrivaled playing response.
This pedal is DW’s flagship model that is played by many of the world’s most esteemed drummers, from jazz players right the way through to rock legends, this pedal is on every top drummer’s radar.
Many drummers would attest the DW 9000 is the best bass drum pedal that has truly elevated the drumming world.
- Enormous stability and strength
- Weapon of choice for countless professionals
- Incredibly high level of performance
- Infinite adjustable cam to change the pedal action
- Ultra-premium price tag
- Footboard is a little short for large feet
The Tama Speed Cobra Bass Drum Pedal is a ferociously powerful kick pedal that is ultra-smooth and lightning-quick.
It is designed to produce a clear, powerful punch with each bass drum stroke thanks to the extra leverage of the extended footboard on this pedal.
I owned this pedal for a while, and I loved how the extra length of the footboard allowed me to utilize a flatter playing technique to achieve high pattern speeds.
If you are looking for a chain-driven pedal that has the optimal balance of power, speed, responsiveness, and value, then you’ll struggle to find a better kick pedal than this.
Innovative features such as the Cobra Coil, Speedo Ring, and Lite Sprocket all enhance the performance of this kick drum pedal.
The Tama Speed Cobra kick drum pedal is expertly crafted with excellent attention to detail. The base plate is extremely robust and all of the components are substantial and durable.
The Accu-Strike beater found on the Tama Speed Cobra is my favorite bass drum beater hands down. It has a great balance and rebound, and the material will not wear down.
If you are looking for the best bass drum pedal that can achieve enormous amounts of power and speed then this is one of the best chain-driven kick drum pedals on the market for you.
It’s also one of the most affordable professional-level bass drum pedals on the market, and for that reason, it’s one of the best bass pedals for the money.
- Extremely robust and durable metal unit
- Cobra coil produces excellent rebound
- Fast, precise and powerful bass drum strokes
- Includes protective hard-shell case
- I have broken over-tightened springs
The Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive Bass Drum Pedal is one of the most responsive bass drum pedals. It is packed with ground-breaking features that will enhance your playing to the next level.
I just love how smooth and fluid this pedal feels. It’s one of those options that felt like an extension of my leg when I played it.
The Pearl Demon Drive is an iconic world leader in direct-drive technology, allowing the pedal to be a pure extension of your body, and enabling you to execute your musical ideas without any lag whatsoever.
The pedal takes advantage of the world’s smoothest ball bearings- ‘Ninja Bearings’ for amazing speed and silent operation, and the unit features an advanced Duo-Deck Longboard footboard that makes this the best bass drum pedal in terms of adjustment and customization.
The Duo-Deck Longboard quickly converts this pedal between a regular footboard and a longboard footboard, depending on the player’s preference.
The Pearl Demon Drive is the best bass drum pedal for you if you are looking for a pedal with an instant, lightning-fast playing response and an ultra-smooth feel.
Pearl’s flagship kick pedal is the weapon of choice for today’s discerning professional drummers, who use two of these on double bass drum sets.
- Incredibly fast and smooth response
- 2 in 1 ultimate footboard adjustment
- Ninja bearings for speed and silent operation
- Includes protective carry case
- Arguably too many customisation options
- Direct drive provides a different feel, but try it!
The Pearl P930 Demonator Bass Drum Pedal is a fantastic budget bass drum pedal that offers smooth and responsive action.
I found this bass drum pedal to be surprisingly fluid and responsive despite its highly affordable price tag.
The cam included with this pedal offers a great accelerator action that produces a good rebound after the beater strikes the bass drum skin.
It would almost be unfair to compare this Pearl Demonator pedal to the ultra-premium models previously reviewed, as this model is aimed at the beginner market. But it really does tick lots of boxes!
What I like most about this pedal is what is included in this price range. It has a sturdy and durable metal base plate to keep the pedal secure, and a Demon Drive-style longboard that accelerates the power and speed of the beater stroke.
Pearl has drawn influence from the best-selling Demon Drive pedals with this particular model, incorporating many characteristics with this pedal.
And this pedal is a clear winner for the best kick drum pedal to buy on a budget! It is smooth, durable, reliable, and offers fantastic value for money.
If you are a beginner looking for your first quality bass drum pedal, or even an experienced drummer, the Pearl Demonator is certainly a worthy candidate to consider.
- Best bass drum pedal on a budget!
- Smooth and responsive action
- Great rebound 'whip'
- Sturdy and durable metal base plate
- Lacks premium build quality somewhat
- Lacks customisation and adjustment options
- Single chain means pedal board can wobble
The DW 3000 Series Bass Drum Pedal is an affordable yet well-built bass drum pedal that really delivers in terms of quality and value for money.
The DW 3000 series pedal offers road-worthy reliability and rock-solid durability thanks to its hefty all-metal construction with a sturdy steel base plate.
I have owned one of these kick drum pedals for many years and I can confidently say this is a quality pedal. It comes in at an intermediate price point and it’s a smart, versatile pedal for any drummer.
This pedal will stand up to frequent shows and touring, and it has a strong build quality reminiscent of the legendary DW 5000 series pedal, with its solid metal construction, dual-chain drive, and spring-rocker assembly.
The build quality is the main reason I’d get this pedal over other options in its price range. It’s incredibly reliable.
Overall I really can’t think of any real drawbacks of this pedal considering its price. It is not quite as smooth or quiet as the DW 5000 series pedal in operation, but the difference is almost negligible.
Given that the DW 3000 series comes in significantly cheaper than the DW 5000 series, this might just be the best single bass drum pedal that won’t break the bank.
It’s perfect for intermediate-level drummers looking to upgrade their stock bass drum pedal that was included with a cheaper entry-level drum set.
- Road-worthy reliability and performance
- Excellent value single bass drum pedal
- Hefty all-metal construction with sturdy base plate
- Legendary DW quality at a fraction of the price
- Not quite as smooth or quiet as the DW 5000 pedal
- Not much ability to adjust settings
Lastly up for review is the Gibraltar GTC6DD Bass Drum Pedal which boasts an excellent range of features at a highly affordable price point.
The main highlight of this single kick pedal is that it utilizes a direct drive mechanism for an instant playing response.
This pedal operates very smoothly and I’m pleasantly surprised by how responsive it feels. I also love how easy it is to adjust this pedal to find the perfect settings.
It is very rare to find a quality direct-drive single pedal for this price, and this pedal exceeds its single-chain drive competitors in terms of performance and value.
Although it is very easy to adjust the settings on this pedal, you will find that straight out of the box it has a smooth action and a responsive feel.
If you have never played a direct drive bass drum pedal this might take a little while to get used to, as opposed to typical chain drive kick pedals, but the chances are you will really like how it feels and I’m confident you won’t find better for the price.
This is a bargain bass drum pedal that offers everything you want from a quality single bass drum pedal, and it holds its own against some of the other premium kick drum pedals on the market.
- Best budget direct drive kick pedal around
- Stability, style, power and performance
- Highly responsive action
- Sturdy base plate offers good stability
- Construction isn't as solid as premium competitors
- Direct drive isn't to everyone's tastes
Bass Drum Pedal Buyer's Guide
Investing in a high-quality bass drum pedal is crucial for improving your sound and playing experience behind the drum set.
Whether you’re an experienced drummer or new to the instrument, there’s a range of excellent options available suited to your needs.
In this buyer’s guide, I’ve outlined some key factors to consider when shopping for a bass drum pedal, as well as some additional tips you should consider when making a buying decision.
All of the bass drum pedals featured in this guide deliver rock-solid performance, smoothness, and reliability for a wide range of budgets.
So if you’re ready to upgrade your pedal and take your playing to the next level, continue reading to learn more about different bass drum pedals.
Benefits of a Good Bass Drum Pedal
There are a number of benefits to owning a good bass drum pedal, including:
- Improved playability: A responsive and smooth-operating pedal will make it easier for you to play your bass drum with precision and control.
- Enhanced sound: A good bass drum pedal will help you achieve a more powerful and consistent kick drum sound, and will better translate all the nuances of your bass drum playing dynamics.
- Better reliability: A well-made pedal will feel robust and durable- designed for years of playing. A good bass drum pedal can be relied upon for regular shows and rehearsals and will last for years, even with regular use.
- Greater enjoyment: Finally, owning a high-quality bass drum pedal can help boost your confidence and performance, leaving you feeling more engaged and inspired each time you play.
Features to Look For in Bass Drum Pedals
Modern pedals feature different types of drive systems. The most common type of drive system used in bass drum pedals is a chain drive. These pedals offer an optimal balance of power, responsiveness, speed, and value. But there are other types like direct drive and belt drive which I’ll cover below.
When shopping for a bass drum pedal, be sure to consider the length of the pedal. Longboard pedals are bigger and provide a more powerful sound as they offer extra leverage. They are typically found in higher-end pedals and are more suited to experienced drummers and those with large feet.
It’s important to find a bass drum pedal that can be easily adjusted to fit your individual playing style and needs. Look for pedals that offer a variety of adjustment options, such as a range of cam angles, beater angles, and spring tension adjustments.
Bass Drum Beater:
There are many types of bass drum beaters, and they are all made of different materials, weights, and designs. Most have multiple sides with different materials– that offer unique sounds and playing responses.
You want to find a bass drum pedal that’s responsive and feels smooth. Whether you’re playing fast fills or holding a deep groove, your pedal shouldn’t get in the way and should make it easy to translate your musical ideas into sound.
Do you want a pedal that’s built purely for speed? Some bass drum pedals are designed specifically for fast, aggressive playing styles like metal. You may want to consider a direct-drive bass drum pedal like the Pearl Demon Drive.
It’s important to find a bass drum pedal that’s built to last and will survive rehearsals and tours. Be sure to look for models that feature solid construction, high-quality materials, and a sturdy footboard and base plate.
Finally, think about your budget when shopping for a bass drum pedal. There is a wide range of pedals available on the market today that offer excellent performance at a variety of price points. Choose the one that best fits your needs and budget, and you’ll be able to find a high-quality pedal that will last for years to come.
Different Types of Bass Drum Pedal Drives
If you’re shopping for a bass pedal, take the time to learn about the different types of pedal drives available on the market.
Different pedal drives, along with the length of the footboard, and cam angles, all provide a different type of feel and response.
Chain Drive pedals
The most common type of drive used in bass drum pedals is a chain drive. Modern chain drive pedals will accommodate a double chain, which adds extra durability.
Chain drive pedals are a good all-around performer, offering smooth performance and an optimal amount of resistance underfoot.
Chain drive pedals are suitable for all styles of music and offer great value for money. They are the best bass drum pedals for versatile and reliable use.
Direct Drive Pedals
Direct drive pedals are an advanced type of pedal, and they are particularly popular with metal drummers demanding serious speed using a double bass drum pedal.
If you’re looking for an ultra-responsive pedal with excellent customization options, you may want to consider a direct-drive bass drum pedal. They feature fewer moving parts, making them lightweight and incredibly responsive.
The pedal drive between the beater and the footboard is a solid metal linkage that is unable to flex. This allows for the fastest response possible and allows the footboard to return to its original position incredibly quickly.
Direct-drive pedals are generally expensive and are favored in double-pedal formats. A direct drive pedal is the best bass drum pedal choice for metal music.
Belt Drive Pedals
Belt drive pedals are the most traditional variety of bass drum pedals. The belt linkage of the past was comprised of a fabric strap, but modern belts are made from more robust materials like rubber or nylon.
Belt drive pedals offer an organic and light feeling whilst being played. Belt drive pedals are typically the best kick drum pedal choice for blues, jazz or funk.
Modern pedals are available in either standard or longboard footboard lengths. Longboard pedals feature a longer footboard, which increases the leverage from the foot whilst playing and therefore provides more power for the bass drum stroke.
Standard footboards are more common and typically found in beginner and intermediate-level bass drum pedals. High-end pedals also feature standard footboards like the DW 9000, but they also offer longboard versions.
Bass Drum Pedal FAQs
Does the Bass Drum Pedal Matter?
Yes, a bass pedal is a key piece of equipment that acts as the link between a drummer and the kick drum. A good kick drum pedal will make it easier for you to play with precision and control, and help you to achieve a more powerful and consistent kick drum sound.
How Tight Should a Bass Drum Pedal be?
The level of spring tension on a bass drum pedal is down to a drummer’s personal preference. I personally set a medium-high spring tension, as it allows the bass drum pedal to react quickly, and it’s better suited for drummers like me that play fast styles of music.