One of the main reasons that people can't play the bass drum as fast as they would like is that they unintentionally stop the natural movement of the beater. That's like trying to drive a race car at top speed while continually slamming on the brakes. When I studied with Jim Chapin and other drumming masters, they always emphasized the importance of allowing the drumsticks to move and rebound freely. Only by doing this could a drummer expect to maneuver the sticks as quickly as possible. It seems obvious that the same principle should be applied to the bass drum beater as well. Unfortunately, the exact way to do this is NOT so obvious since our feet have the disadvantage of resting on pedals instead of holding sticks. Our feet also have the added responsibility of helping us to balance even while we ask them to execute rhythms. Fortunately, there ARE techniques for using our feet at maximum speed, and right here is where you can learn these techniques.
Today's music requires a drummer to generate a significant amount of power with the bass drum. It's no longer acceptable for the bass drum to be "more felt than heard." Contemporary musicians and music fans want to feel the bass drum AND hear it...loud and clear! In trying to meet this demand, most drummers make the task much harder than necessary by using muscles that are too small for the job and/or by unintentionally choking the sound vibrations of the drumhead. Both of these actions are completely self-defeating if a mighty bass drum sound is the goal. In my teaching studio, I have shown students of all levels and backgrounds the power potential of the bass drum techniques demonstrated in my DVD. They are often taken aback when they hear the room-shaking power of these techniques when compared with other bass drum methods. It's one thing to read about this kind of power, but experiencing it live is quite another. If you want to feel what I mean, click here and learn these techniques.
One of the things that I love about watching a great drummer is the beauty and control exhibited in their playing. In other words...the finesse! Too often, drummers muscle their way through complex rhythms. The results are always less than artful, even if the person does manage to eek out the desired pattern. I saw this sort of thing on YouTube by a couple of people trying to teach some of my bass drum concepts. They had watched my DVD (very briefly, it seems), and they had decided they were qualified to TEACH this material before they had grasped all of the details! Their beaters bounced around making buzzes and extra hits against the drum, and they didn't even realize it! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it's sad to see some of my concepts presented so inaccurately (and looking so ugly). That type of "instruction" does more harm than good. My techniques were designed for playing clear, strong bass drum notes with finesse. Click here to learn these techniques CORRECTLY!
Time to improve your bass drum skills? You’re in good company!
Shortly after Modern Drummer magazine published my bass drum technique article, "Unburying The Beater," I discovered that I was not the only person who had suffered through years of foot frustration. This fact became undeniably clear when I received an email from one of the biggest names in drumming! In his email, he gave me his phone number and asked me to call him. During our conversation, he confided in me that he had been drumming for 50 years without ever feeling satisfied with his foot technique. I agreed to meet with him for a couple of lessons, and I taught him the very techniques that are now presented in my DVD. Since then, there have been numerous other professional drummers and drum stars who have asked for my assistance or have touched base to thank me for the help that they got from my DVD. And of course, this type of positive feedback has also come from beginners and hobbyists as well. If you'd like to read a tiny sampling of the drum world's reaction to Bass Drum Techniques For Today's Drummer: Unburying The Beater with Matt Ritter, be sure to look at the Review page of this website. You will see that the first several reviews are like a Who's Who of contemporary drumming. So...if you've ever felt that your bass drum approach was holding you back, you are definitely NOT alone. As you just found out, there are drummers of the very highest level who felt the exact same way before they learned the techniques in my DVD. Now you can learn these techniques for yourself and finally move forward with your drumming...and you can do so with the knowledge that you're in extremely good company!
FUN FACT: Matt has a whole second website for people who want as many details as possible about his bass drum techniques.
FUN FACT: So far, the record for the most in-depth review of Matt's DVD goes to TheParadiddler.com, which is one of the world's best drumming blogs.
FUN FACT: Although the bass drum pedal used in the video is a DW 9000, Matt's current favorite is the Pearl double Powershifter Eliminator.
FUN FACT: When teaching in "real life," Matt often demonstrates his techniques on a simple pedal that came stock with a drumset he bought in 1991.
FUN FACT: Matt has been one of NY's top drum teachers since 2001. Private lessons can be arranged through his Matt Ritter Drum Lessons website.
FUN FACT: The Gretsch drumset seen in the video was sold and replaced with a vintage Sonor Phonic drumset that Matt spent over a year restoring.
FUN FACT: The now-common drumming phrase "unburying the beater" was coined by Matt in his December 2004 article in Modern Drummer magazine.
FUN FACT: For many years, Matt has officially endorsed Vic Firth drumsticks.
FUN FACT: Matt first learned about making drum videos in the mid 1990's while working for DCI Music Video, now known as Hudson Music.