9 Easy Double Bass Songs
Great for Beginners
Double bass drumming is something untouched by many but utilized frequently by many others. Whether you play double bass or not, you have to admit that it sounds pretty cool when the frequent thudding of the kick drum drives a song.
Many people argue that double bass drumming has a high barrier-to-entry, meaning it’s hard to learn and play well. However, with dedicated practice and commitment, you could be playing fast double bass patterns in no time.
In fact, there are some easy songs to get you started. We’re going to go through some of them.
What Makes a Great Double Bass Song?
A great double bass song utilizes the double pedal to benefit the music. There are many songs where playing double bass would just kill it and make it sound like you’re playing too much. Great double bass songs require that sound and thrive with it.
A great double bass song will sound like something is missing if the drummer were to only use a single pedal. There are so many fantastic double bass tunes out there and most of them come from metal bands.
Table of Contents
9 Easy Double Bass Songs
1. Overkill – Motorhead
Motorhead was a classic thrash band in the 70s. All their tunes had heavy and fast vibes to them that made them iconic in the early metal scene. If you want to work on some double pedal playing, there are many Motorhead songs to check out.
One of the easiest ones to play is Overkill. It has a double pedal groove that drives most of the song. The repetitiveness of it makes it great for building up your endurance. Thankfully, the tempo isn’t too fast either.
The groove has 16th notes playing on the feet while the hands play a standard 8th note driving pattern with snares on all the offbeats.
2. Shepherd of Fire – Avenged Sevenfold
Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan was one of the most iconic metal drummers of the early 2000s. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2009. However, his grooves live on and every drummer who has played with Avenged Sevenfold since has done their best to compliment the band as well as The Rev did.
The drummer on this track was Arin Ilejay. He created this drum part for the song and thankfully it’s fairly easy to play for someone who is a beginner on the double bass. The drum part has bursts of 16th notes, a great exercise for developing those quick bass patterns.
3. Ben Threw – Of Mice & Men
This tune is undoubtedly going to be one of the heaviest on this list. The distorted guitar part along with the screaming vocals make it a hardcore track to play along with. If you’re a fan of screamo music, Of Mice & Men is a great band to get into.
The drum part in this song varies throughout the tune. You’ll need to work on the different sections to get the hang of them. The trickiest part is the intro as the double pedal bass pattern matches the guitar.
After that part, the drums jump into a driving 16th note groove.
4. My Life for Hire – A Day To Remember
My Life for Hire by A Day To Remember is one of the easiest songs on this list to play. The double bass pattern is present to keep the song driving. However, it’s quite mellow on your feet as the tempo isn’t fast.
It’s a fantastic tune to jam out to and work on that slow double pedal technique.
5. Fuel – Metallica
Love him or hate him, Lars Ulrich has written some fantastic drum parts. Thankfully, they’re not very complex, making them easy to learn. There’s a specific point in this song where Lars plays a double bass pattern with flams on the backbeats.
It’s highly effective as it works perfectly within the song. To play it, you just need to play 16th notes on the bass drum and then flams on the snare on beats 2 and 4.
6. The Four Horseman – Metallica
Sticking with Metallica, The Four Horseman is a great song to work on your double pedal triplets. The song is fairly fast and will have you playing triplets in every bar. It’s easy to learn, but hard to master.
Once you get this groove down, you’ll be able to use those triplet playing skills in harder songs from different metal bands. Make sure to practice this really slowly to iron out your pedal technique.
7. Down With The Sickness – Disturbed
This song is popular thanks to the noise the vocalist makes just before the music kicks after the intro. It’s such a classic song that is loved by many. The drum intro is a lot of fun to play while the double pedal part kicks in a bit later in the song.
The interesting thing about this drum part is the offbeat snare near the end of the bar. It can take some time to get used to since you’re going to have to focus on the double pedal pattern as well.
8. Domination – Pantera
Getting back to more classic metal tunes, Pantera has some absolute bangers. The song, Domination, has some complex drum parts. However, it’s not impossible for beginners to learn them.
The main part of the song comes in the chorus where you only need to play a group of four 16th notes on the bass drum at the start of every bar. The rest of the space is just filled by quarter notes on the hi-hat and snare drum.
This is another tune that will help you develop those quick bursts on the pedals. It’s loads of fun to play!
9. Go Into The Water – Dethklok
Finishing off the list is a track that will test your patience and technique on the double pedals. It has a low BPM and is heavily triplet focused. Playing those triplets in the intro can be very tough to pull off at the slow speed of the song, making it a great tune for drummers to work on their skills!
The pattern itself is very easy to play. It just takes a bit of work to get it feeling comfortable while playing with the tune. Once you have the intro down, the rest of the song becomes easy to play as well.
Dethklok has many tunes like this to play along with that are great for double pedal drumming.
Things To Consider:
What are the most famous double bass songs?
As said earlier, most famous double bass songs come from metal bands. One of the most popular ones is Bleed by Meshuggah. It’s become a meme in recent times thanks to the complexity of the drum part played by Tomas Haake. If you haven’t listened, you need to go check it out.
Some other famous double pedal songs are Hot For Teacher by Van Halen, One by Metallica, and Cowboys from Hell by Pantera. All these songs have iconic drum parts that are instantly recognizable.
What are the best double bass jazz songs?
If there were one style of music where you would never see a double bass drum pedal, it would be jazz. Since jazz drummers put more emphasis on cymbals, the drum parts don’t require heavy bottom-end with fast notes.
A double pedal being played in jazz would sound extremely out of place. However, there are some fusion tunes where drummers try to push limits and play fast double bass patterns. You’d have to search deeply to find those songs, though.
Who are the best Double Bass Drummers?
You’re mostly going to find metal drummers on this list. Drummers such as Tomas Haake, Mike Mangini, Mike Portnoy, and Matt Gartska. There are hundreds more where they came from.
As a metal drummer, getting good at the double pedal is absolutely vital in being able to serve the music as best you can. So, the best metal drummers are often considered as the best double pedal players as well.
Double bass playing is something that not every drummer will dabble in. If you don’t want to go down that road, you don’t have to. Most music doesn’t need it. However, it can be a lot of fun and it will unlock a new horizon of creative opportunity.
You can also check my list on basic drum beats for beginners.
If you’re a beginner and want to learn to play a double pedal, just remember not to rely on it too much to play fast patterns. You don’t want it to become a crutch when you’re drumming.