Get Your Kicks: Bass Drum Pedals

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • February 2019
  • Survey
• Created: February 18, 2019

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A bass drum pedal is basically just a footboard and a beater – how complex can things get? As any drummer (or MI retailer with knowledge of this market segment) will tell you, the answer is: “actually, it can get kind of complex!”

You’ve got your choice of pedal drives (chain-drive, double- chain drive, direct-drive, belt-drive), cams (linear, offset), footboards (standard, longboard), beater (single or double bass), and then of course there are aesthetic and construction differences between the many brands out there.

So what are customers buying in 2019?

Not surprisingly, single bass drum pedals outperform double- kick pedals (56.3% of participants in this survey reported that 25% or less of total bass drum pedal sales were double bass pedals) and – also not surprising – as with nearly every retailer survey, “price” was frequently cited as a determining factor behind purchases.

However, many noted that more and more players are taking advantage of improved design and manufacturing methods and choosing pricier options. “As most bass drum pedals increased in quality and durability over the past 12 to 15 years, it makes for drummers needing to replace them less often,” observes Ed Intagliata of Cassell’s Music in San Fernando, California. We may be somewhat victims of the industry’s success – today’s pedals are just too darn good!

However, one dealer (who preferred anonymity) sees the upside to this trend: “I feel a lot of our customers would rather have a higher quality single pedal these days. We do sell both, but the lower end, commodity level double pedal days are gone. Not necessarily a bad thing.”

“We’re seeing customers coming back [to the store], looking to upgrade a good quality double to a high-end single kick.”

Dan Patterson

Roger’s Music

Fort Payne, Alabama

 

“The people who buy double bass drum pedals are usually more advanced players, and

they tend to maintain them regularly… henceforth they keep them for years.”

Tim Bascom

Morgan Music

Lebanon, Missouri

 

What about bass drum pedals is appealing to end-users? Have you been noticing any significant trends when it comes to this particular market segment, either on the vendor or consumer side?

“We make sure that our demo pedals are all equally tensioned, with plenty of stools nearby to encourage their trial. Likewise, we remain cognizant of the pedals that yield the greatest margins, and vigilant of units that may need to turn, and encourage their audition in our sales approach.”

John Nasshan

Vessely Music

Parowan, Utah

 

“Built sturdy, with smooth cams on chain drive pedals, with beater angle and board angle adjustment for a good price – not $300+. Natal seems to be the best value.”

Dub Wade

Gigs Music Company LLC

Boise, Idaho

 

“What’s hot on YouTube and direct-drive types are what sells the most.”

Anthony Mantova

Mantova’s Two Street Music

Eureka, California

 

“Belt-driven and chain-driven tend be evenly split. Price is definitely a factor in our area.”

Carl E. Johnson

Mississippi Music

Petal, Mississippi

 

“As most bass drum pedals increased in quality and durability over the past 12 to 15 years, it makes for drummers needing to replace them less often.”

Ed Intagliata

Cassell’s Music

San Fernando, California

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