Bass Drum Beater Sound: The Ultimate Guide

Bass Drum Beater Sound: The Ultimate Guide
Get the best bass drum beater for your sound.

Bass Drum Pedal Ultimate Guide

Low Boy Natural Wood Bass Drum BeaterLow Boy Natural Wood Bass Drum BeaterWhat’s the quickest way to change your bass drum sound?
Change your bass drum beater!

Bass drum beaters are one of those drum sound tools that are often overlooked… A lot of people simply stick with their stock one. However, when you’re performing or recording, your choice of kick drum beater can have a big impact on your overall sound.


Because your bass drum is central to the sound of your drum kit: It gets more use than just about any other drum on your kit.

It’s therefore a really good idea to understand kick drum beater types, and to have a few different options in your toolkit… Make sure you’re using the best bass drum beater for your sound.

You can easily swap the drum beater on any* bass drum pedal made in the last 25+ years, so don’t be afraid to experiment with beaters like you would with drumheads or sticks. All of the bass drum beaters we cover in this guide are universal fit, which means they’ll fit any pedal.

(*Seriously – if you’ve got a pedal made within the last 25+ years that can’t do this, we want to see it!)

Tip: If you don’t understand any of the terms used on this page, check out the drum sound FAQ – it’s like an encyclopedia, but for drums.

How does a bass drum beater change my sound?

Before we begin, it’s important to mention that good drum tuning and choosing the best drumhead for the job are also big factors here. Any drum dampening and drum muffling you use, and your bass drum port hole will also play a part. People can put a lot of effort into these things.

DW SM110 Control - Best Bass Drum BeaterOn top of the above factors, a big part of your bass drum sound depends on the bass drum beater you’re using. You can get anything from a deep, warm, and subtle thud, to a bright cutting slap, to an earth-shaking powerful boom, simply by changing beaters. How do you do this?

With different bass drum beater materials, weights, shapes, and sizes.

The type of music you’re playing (and the volume level you’re playing it at), will dictate what the best bass drum beater is for your situation:

  • For some drumming styles, you’ll want a really noticeable kick drum beater sound that cuts through the mix. Harder bass drum beaters are great for this.
  • In other situations, a deep yet subtle kick drum boom can really lift the music to another level. Softer bass drum beaters will really shine in these conditions.
  • There’ll also be times when you need a bass drum sound that rides the middle ground – noticeable and punchy enough, without being too harsh.

To achieve any of these sounds, you need the best bass drum beater for the job. With this in mind, we’ve covered the different bass drum beater types out there, explaining:

  • Exactly how each drum beater sounds.
  • The typical music style and use for each beater type (this is just a guide though, don’t be afraid to experiment!).
  • The best bass drum beater in each category, and why it stands out.

For the first part of this guide, there’s a big focus on the drum beater’s material (e.g. felt, plastic, wood, etc.). Further down the page, you’ll find info on how shape, size, and weight will also influence your bass drum beater sound and feel.

Let’s get into it!

Trick Dominator - Metal Bass Drum Beater

Bass Drum Beater Materials: What’s Your Beater Made Of?

In general, the harder the surface of a drum beater, the brighter and sharper the beater’s sound will be.

A very soft bass drum beater will give a warm rounded thud, with minimal attack. Conversely, a hard beater will give a very noticeable bright and cutting bass drum hit. You can still get a deep low-end tone with a hard beater (this comes more from the drumhead, drum tuning, and the bass drum itself). These deeper tones occur after the attack of the beater, although they’re also influenced by a beater’s weight and shape (covered further down this page).

Below, you’ll see the different kick drum beater types listed, starting with the warmest and softest sounding:

Fluffy Bass Drum Beaters

Like the name implies, fluffy bass drum beaters are extremely soft, with the fluffy material absorbing some of the initial impact. There’s no hard surface to slap against your drumhead, which leaves you with a very warm, low-end thump.

Fluffy drum beaters remove a lot of the attack, to give you a deep and very smooth bass drum tone. You’ll minimize bright high-end frequencies: all of the bass drum sound will come from the drum, drumheads, and tuning. These are the best bass drum beater type to remove the bright slap or clicky bass drum attack.

Fluffy kick drum beaters are popular for low to medium volume playing, and they’re also great in the recording studio. If you’re searching for a super warm bass drum sound, look no further – fluffy is the best bass drum beater type for you.

Vater Vintage Bomber Fluffy Bass Drum Beater

Vater Vintage Bomber Bass Drum BeaterThe Vater Vintage Bomber fluffy kick drum beater is an absolute top beater for a deep fluffy boom.

These fluffy bass drum beaters are made to replicate the boomy soft bass drum sound of the jazz era – the Vintage Bomber is the best bass drum beater for a warm jazzy sound.

This drum beater has a synthetic cover with a soft and puffy feel, and a center made of cork. The Vintage Bomber will give you a well-rounded low-end sound with a soft attack. You’ll feel the bass more than you’ll hear it, and the sound you do hear will be a focused low-end thump.

The Vater Vintage Bomber is the best bass drum beater for jazz, blues, low-volume acoustic shows, or any medium volume music if you mic your bass drum. It also performs really well in the studio, giving a great smooth bass drum sound.

AmazonThe Vintage bomber is the warmest fluffy bass drum beater out there… Get this beater if you like your bass drum smooth.

DW Black Sheep Fluffy Bass Drum Beater

DW Black Sheep Bass Drum BeaterIf you want more punch than the Vater Vintage Bomber (above), then the DW Black Sheep fluffy bass drum beater is for you.

The Black Sheep has a heavier impact and a more cutting sound vs. the Vintage Bomber, however it still retains the smooth deep fluffy kick drum beater tone.

The beater itself is wood, made of black-stained maple. The fluffy cover is made of black wool, with an elastic bottom to stay put.

With the fluffy cover on, the Black Sheep gives a softer thump with a little bit of punch. Compared to the Vater Vintage Bomber, the sound is a little punchier, making this a good choice if you need slightly more volume and cut from your bass drum. Keep in mind, though, that we’re still very far along the warm end of the drum beater sound spectrum here. When you remove the fluffy cover, the wood beater gives a much more cutting attack (for more on wood bass drum beater sound, see below).

AmazonThe DW Black Sheep gives you two sounds in one thanks to the removable cover, making it a versatile choice… Get this beater if you want warmth and bass drum sound options.

Felt Bass Drum Beaters

Felt bass drum beaters have more rebound and more stroke definition vs. fluffy beaters. Felt is the most common type of kick drum beater material, and these beaters are great for general use… There’s enough definition for strokes to stand out, and a nice full bass drum thump.

Felt is the best bass drum beater for drummers wanting a moderate attack and a deep thud, without the brightness that comes with harder kick drum beater types.

Felt bass drum beaters are very common for rock, pop, R&B, hip hop, country, or any music style that isn’t super loud or super quiet. With a felt kick drum beater, there’s a strong focus on midrange frequencies in the attack, and a punchy bass drum sound.

It’s normal for felt beaters to slowly wear out over time (although it usually takes many years). As they age, felt kick drum beaters usually become a little softer in sound and feel. Depending on the quality of the beater (and the density of the felt), this change can happen quickly or slowly.

DW Drum Workshop SM103 Medium Felt Bass Drum Beater

DW DWSM103 Felt Bass Drum BeaterThe DW SM103 is the perfect example of a felt bass drum beater. It has that classic felt sound: a punchy warm thump, with the perfect amount of stroke definition.

The felt has enough density for a well-defined sound when you hit hard, without being too harsh for softer strokes… It’s also dense enough to last through a lot of long-term use and abuse. This is a well balanced drum beater that delivers a really nice bass drum thump.

The DW SM103 comes with a weight on the beater shaft, to change the beater’s feel: The higher it is, the heavier the beater will feel (and the harder it will impact the bass drum head).

AmazonFor a great felt all-rounder, this is a top bass drum beater choice… Get this beater for a full, rich bass drum thump.

Rubber Bass Drum Beaters

Rubber bass drum beaters have a more defined attack vs. felt beaters, and with a little more fatness compared to plastic or wood. They give a good midrange slap when they make contact with the drumhead, allowing your kick drum strokes to stand out quite well.

A rubber bass drum beater is a great choice for a punchy sound that leans slightly towards the brighter side. Since they give more definition to your bass strokes, rubber bass drum beaters are often used by double bass drummers.

Rubber bass drum beaters are great for louder types of music, and for any style that requires a cutting punch from the bass drum. A rubber kick drum beater is also great for a defined kick drum sound in medium volume styles of music. At extremely low volumes however, there may be too much drum beater attack, so keep this in mind.

Note: Rubber (and plastic) bass drum beaters can melt if they’re not striking at a flat angle (they can also melt your drumhead!). Make sure your beater is not rubbing across the drumhead, or you’ll generate heat a lot faster than with other kick drum beater types. Don’t let this put you off trying them, just remember to check the angle of impact and adjust it if necessary. You can also use a bass drum patch to protect your drumhead.

TAMA CB900AS Accu-Strike Cobra Rubber Bass Drum Beater

TAMA CB900AS Accu-Strike Cobra Rubber Bass Drum BeaterThe Tama CB900AS rubber bass drum beater is one of the best rubber beaters out there.

The beater face is strong, and during testing the rubber didn’t show any wear at all. The sound of this kick drum beater is punchy, powerful, and a little fat.

There’s a good amount of body in the bass drum sound, and good stroke definition. Some rubber bass drum beaters can feel a little light, but Tama’s Cobra rubber beater gives a well-balanced feel which contributes to the punchy sound.

Importantly, the beater head’s angle is adjustable with a drum key… This ensures your beater makes perfectly flat contact with your bass drum head at all times.

AmazonThe Tama CB900AS rubber beater is one of the best bass drum beaters out there for a great feel and good stroke definition… Get this beater for a good attack, and some punchy warm bass drum tones.

Wood Bass Drum Beaters

You hit the rest of your kit with wooden sticks, so why not use wood on the bass drum too!

The sound of a wood bass drum beater is similar to wooden drumsticks. To compare with other kick drum beater types, think of wood as a slightly less bright version of a plastic beater.

There’s a strong attack with a wood bass drum beater, and a good amount of depth to the sound. Depending on the wood’s size and density, wooden bass drum beaters can have a heavy impact, or a lighter feel.

Wood bass drum beaters are great for music styles that require a strong bass drum punch. You’ll get good depth to your sound, and your bass drum will stand out.

Low Boy Natural Wood Bass Drum Beater

Low Boy Amber Black Stripes Standard Bass Drum Beater

When it comes to the best wood bass drum beater, Low Boy have it covered.

Low Boy’s maple drum beater is excellent, giving a great punchy sound with good volume and attack. These wooden beaters have a very well balanced feel… Heavy enough for a good impact, without too much weight slowing you down. Looking at them, these wooden beaters seem heavier than they actually are. They have a medium weight that feels great slamming into a bass drum head.

Low Boy also scores points in the versatility department with these wood beaters: there’s a large flat face on one side, and a smaller rounded face on the other. The large flat side gives extra power and volume to your strokes, which is perfect for drummers needing projection. The smaller side is great for a more traditional wood bass drum beater sound, with a slightly bright attack and a moderate punch (see below for more on how bass drum beater shape and size affects your drum sound).

To top it off, Low Boy’s wood bass drum beaters look quite nice, and they’re available in a range of different colours to match your kit. These beaters are hand-painted in the USA, and the wood is sealed and treated to ensure it lasts… These are custom-made beaters, made with love.

AmazonGet the Low Boy maple beater for versatility, punch, and a strong natural bass drum tone.


Low Boy’s Felt Daddy won 1st place bass drum beater in DRUM! Magazine’s DRUMMIES! awards in late 2017. The Felt Daddy is very similar to the natural wood beater, but with a felt patch on the flat face for a warmer attack.

Plastic Bass Drum Beaters

Like felt, plastic is one of the more common bass drum beater types. A plastic bass drum beater has a very defined attack, which means your bass drum will be heard loud and clear. Upon striking the drumhead, plastic bass drum beaters give a bright cutting sound, with excellent stroke definition.

If you play fast double bass drumming, a plastic kick drum beater is a great choice. You’ll get the definition you need for each stroke to stand out clearly, and you’ll have enough high-end attack to cut through even in very loud environments.

The cutting power of plastic is great for loud single bass drumming as well… plastic bass drum beaters shine in any situation where there are a lot of high volume instruments in the mix.

Note: Plastic (and rubber) bass drum beaters can melt if they’re not striking at a flat angle (they can also melt your drumhead!). Make sure your beater is not rubbing across the drumhead, or you’ll generate heat a lot faster than with other kick drum beater types. Don’t let this put you off trying them, just remember to check the angle of impact and adjust it if necessary. You can also use a bass drum patch to protect your drumhead.

DW DWSM107 Flyweight Plastic Bass Drum Beater

The DW Flyweight plastic bass drum beater stands out from the crowd for a few reasons:

DW DWSM107 Flyweight Plastic Bass Drum BeaterFirstly, it’s a double-sided plastic kick drum beater. There’s a curved red plastic side, and a flatter black plastic side to give you two different sound options (see below for how bass drum beater shape affects your bass drum sound). Both of these sides give a nice impact, with the flatter black side giving a good boost in the attack. The red side has a slightly milder attack, but with good punch.

Second, there’s an adjustable weight on the drum beater shaft, allowing you to change the feel of your pedal. Without the weight, this plastic bass drum beater is on the lighter side, great for extreme speed and double bass drumming. As you move the weight up the shaft, it becomes heavier and gives a harder impact, which is great for extra power.

The third reason we like the DWSM107 Flywheel is because it feels great in your hand, and on your pedal… It’s a well built, high quality bass drum beater that will last through a lot of use and abuse. The plastic showed no signs of wear and tear during some heavy testing.

AmazonFor a hard-hitting plastic beater sound, the DW Flywheel is the best bass drum beater for the job…. Get this beater if you’re a high-volume drummer who wants the bass to be felt and heard, loud and clear.

Metal Bass Drum Beaters

Metal kick drum beaters are not common, but they do exist. Metal is hard (obviously!), and it gives a full, punchy sound to your bass drum.

You can expect to hear a lot of midrange and higher frequencies in the attack, and a good amount of depth in your bass drum tone. Metal bass drum beaters won’t wear down over time, unlike a lot of other kick drum beaters (especially felt, plastic, and rubber).

With metal, you’ll never have a worn-out  spot on your kick drum beater. Your drumhead, on the other hand, could use a bass drum patch for protection.

Trick Dominator Metal Bass Drum Beater

Trick Dominator Aluminium Bass Drum BeaterTrick’s Dominator beater is a metal kick drum beater with a lot of punch, and a big sound. This bass drum beater is a touch on the heavier side, which allows for a big, booming bass drum. The beater head is made of machined billet aluminium, and feels really solid.

The head can slide up and down the beater shaft, letting you set the height to your liking. Sound-wise, there’s a lot of punch when using this bass drum beater. You’ll have a mid-high frequency attack, and a deep bass drum boom thanks to the weight.

If you’re looking for a kick drum beater to give good depth to your bass drum, the Trick Dominator is a great choice. You can really lay into your kick drum with these beaters, to get a powerful and projecting sound.

AmazonGet the Trick Dominator bass drum beater if you want your bass drum to go BOOM.

Trick Detonator Bass Drum BeaterNote: For extreme speed, you might prefer the Trick Detonator metal bass drum beaters… These beaters are a little lighter than the Trick Dominator beaters, allowing you to play faster. However, you’ll sacrifice a little power due to the reduced weight. Tip: see below for more on how bass drum beater weight affects your bass drum sound.

Combination Bass Drum Beaters

So we’ve covered each type of kick drum beater, along with a top quality example of each. For extra versatility, there are a lot of combination beaters with two (or more) different materials in one. These are great if you’re on the fence about the sound you want, or want to avoid carrying different beaters around.

Pearl B200QB Quad Beater

Pearl’s quad-faced bass drum beater is a classic. It comes with two felt sides and two plastic sides, giving you a lot of versatility with your bass drum sound.

Pearl B200QB Quad Bass Drum BeaterThe felt is quite hard and durable, a little harder than the DW SM103 we reviewed above. To give you an idea of its hardness, the felt will slowly wear down rather than become softer. The felt sides of this bass drum beater give a midrange heavy attack. There’s enough definition to easily stand out in low and medium volume drumming, without it being over-the-top.

For higher volumes, the plastic beater faces give a much brighter cutting attack, allowing your bass drum strokes to stand out among the noise.

Pearl Quad Bass Drum BeaterEach of the two plastic and felt sides have a rounded face and a line shaped face. Depending on the shape you use, you’ll get a different volume and attack
(See below for more on how bass drum beater shape affects your bass drum sound).

On top of all of this, Pearl’s quad drum beater comes with an adjustable weight to change the feel – slide it up for a punchier, heavier impact, or slide it down for more speed.

AmazonGet this bass drum beater for versatility in your sound and attack.

Gibraltar SC-3265 G-Class Variable Weight Bass Drum Beater

Gibraltar SC-GCBDBW G Class Bass Drum Beater With WeightsGibraltar’s G-Class variable weight kick drum beater is built for those of you who like to fine-tune your beater’s feel. It’s a two-faced bass drum beater, with one plastic side and one felt side.

What makes this bass drum beater stand out are the removable magnetic weights. Without the weights, the feel is similar to a standard medium-weight beater. Each of the three weights adds 5.2 grams to the beater, which gives more punch, power, and volume to your bass drum.

With all three weights, you can really feel this bass drum beater being driven powerfully into your drumhead. The weights are extremely easy to install; they’re magnetic cylinders that slot into the head of the beater.

AmazonIf you want to really fine-tune your feel, the Gibraltar G-Class is the bass drum beater for you.

DW Drum Workshop DWSM105 Hardcore Bass Drum Beater

This is a unique one. With the SWSM105 Hardcore beater, DW have designed a bass drum beater that plays like soft felt at low impact, and like hard plastic when you really lay into it.

Why is this great?

Because it really extends your dynamic range, without needing to swap your kick drum beater. This is great for drummers who really mix it up with both hard and soft bass drum strokes across a performance.

DW’s aptly named Hardcore bass drum beater is built with a hard plastic core, embedded within soft foam rubber. The soft outer layer comes into play with softer hits, giving a warmer more subtle thump. The beater’s hard center takes over when hit with more force, allowing you to produce a brighter and more cutting bass drum sound.

The DW Hardcore’s hard plastic core is adjustable, so you can fine-tune your sound by changing how much plastic you’re using.

This bass drum beater is a great little tool to have in your drumming arsenal, especially if you’ve been working hard on your limb independence and drumming dynamics.

AmazonGet this bass drum beater if you’re a drummer who loves playing with a wide dynamic range.

Now: the best bass drum beater, in our humble opinion…

Okay, we’ve reviewed a lot of bass drum beaters. Everything we’ve listed so far is very worthy of being added to your collection… If you buy a few of the beaters above, you’ll have a great range of tools to get the perfect bass drum sound in any situation.

However, there’s one beater that really stood out enough to take number one spot as the best bass drum beater out there. It’s top quality, extremely versatile, and (most importantly), sounds great when it slams into your bass drum.

Here’s the winner for the best bass drum beater, and exactly why it’s great:

DW SM110 Control Bass Drum Beater

DW Control - Best Bass Drum BeaterDW’s Control Beater is a really sophisticated bass drum beater. It’s also the beater that comes with the top-of-the-line DW MDD bass drum pedal.

It takes the award for best bass drum beater because of its versatility… The DW Control Beater is like having a great range of top beaters at your disposal, all in the one package.

First of all, you get three interchangeable playing surfaces with this kick drum beater. These screw directly into the beater head:

  • a round felt surface
  • a flat felt surface, and
  • a hard plastic surface

There are also four removable brass weights included (each weighing 10 grams), allowing you to really fine-tune the weight, feel, and power of your strokes. The brass weights are easily installed with the drum beater’s face removed.

DW SM110 Control - Best Bass Drum Beater

With all four weights installed, this kick drum beater feels powerful: you’ll have a huge impact, producing a big bass drum sound. With all weights removed, it becomes very light, making it a great bass drum beater for fast double bass drumming. Add one or more of the weights to get anything in between.

On top of this, the beater head itself is self-leveling, and it does a great job of ensure you’re always striking the bass drum head perfectly flat. A flat striking angle is really important for flat-faced bass drum beaters, so it’s nice to see DW have thought about this (and they’ve executed it well).

Due to the excellent versatility with both materials and weight, the DW Control Beater takes the best bass drum beater award. This is a great beater for drummers switching between fast double bass and hard-hitting single bass, or for people who love to really fine-tune their beater feel.

AmazonGet this bass drum beater if you want to have full control over your power, speed, attack, and punch, all in the one package.

For larger drums (24″ or more) or for drummers looking for an even bigger sound, there’s also the DW Control Beater XL. The longer shaft and bigger face of this bass drum beater gives more attack, more projection, and an increase in bass drum volume. This extra large kick drum beater comes with a flat felt face, a flat wood face, and four removable weights.

If you’ve read through the reviews above but you’re still not satisfied, then take a look at the top rated bass drum beaters on

Vater Vintage Bomber - Fluffy Bass Drum Beater

Bass Drum Beater Design: How Shape, Size, and Weight Affect Your Sound

As you’ve seen from everything above, bass drum beater material is super important to your sound. However, there are three other factors that also play a part: The shape, size, and weight of your bass drum beater.

We’ll go into each of these now:

The Important Stuff: Bass Drum Beater Shape

Shape is important, because it can really change how much contact the drum beater makes with your bass drum head. By shape, we’re talking about the shape of the part that actually touches the drumhead.

Low Boy Wood Bass Drum BeaterThe three most common bass drum beater shapes are round, line, and flat. With everything else held constant (i.e. using beaters of the same size, weight, and material):

  • A flat-faced bass drum beater will give you the biggest sound, because it makes the most contact with the drumhead’s surface. Flat-faced bass drum beaters have the most attack, volume, and depth. The flat-faced beater came about after Hal Blaine‘s drum tech Rick Faucher cut the face off of a round felt beater in the 1960s, to create a much larger beater area to hit the bass drum.
  • A round bass drum beater makes the least surface area contact with the drumhead, which gives a little less attack, volume, and depth compared to a flat-faced beater. One thing that’s important here is how round the beater’s face actually is – a smaller diameter gives a smaller sound.
  • A line-shaped bass drum beater fits in between flat and round bass drum beaters in terms of sound. The thickness of the line is important – you’ll get a bigger sound if more surface area makes contact with the drumhead.

The Important Stuff: Bass Drum Beater Size

This one is pretty straightforward: a larger bass drum beater creates a bigger sound – more punch, depth, and attack. If you’ve just read the rules for the shape of a bass drum beater above, you can probably figure out how size affects things. With everything else equal:

  • A larger sized bass drum beater gives you a bigger sound, because it makes more contact with the drumhead. You’ll get more punch, attack, volume, and depth to your bass drum sound.
  • A smaller sized bass drum beater creates less of an impact, leading to less attack, volume, and depth in your bass drum sound.

The Important Stuff: Bass Drum Beater Weight

Weight is an important factor in a drum beater… Arguably much more important than size and shape.


Because a kick drum beater’s weight affects how quickly you can play, and how much power you have in your pedal:

  • Gibraltar G-Class Adjustable Weight Bass Drum BeaterHeavy bass drum beaters give you a nice boost in power. You’ll hit the bass drum harder to get a bigger, fuller, and louder sound. Heavier bass drum beaters are great for hard-hitting drumming. However, it takes more energy to move a heavy beater, so the boost to power comes at a cost: It’s harder to play fast.
  • Light bass drum beaters allow for excellent speed. Low weight beaters are perfect for quick pedal movements, making them the best bass drum beaters for fast double bass drumming. However, while light bass drum beaters react quicker to your feet, they lack power compared to heavy beaters. This means you can end up have less depth and volume in your bass drum sound.

With bass drum beater weight, it’s always a trade-off between power and speed. To try and get the best of both worlds, you can buy a medium weight beater. In fact, most of the beaters we’ve reviewed in this guide would fit into the medium-weight category. 

Weight versatility is one of the reason the DW Control Beater is so great (and why it gets the best bass drum beater award on this page!)… You can add or remove weights to find the best feel for your personal style.

DW Flywheel - Plastic Bass Drum Beater

Bass Drum Beaters for Electronic Drums

Roland Mesh Electronic Bass Drum Pad - Use A Plastic Bass Drum BeaterThis deserves a special section, because you can actually damage your mesh and rubber electronic drum pads with the wrong drum beater type.

The best bass drum beater for electronic drum pads is a plastic beater. In fact, Roland themselves recommend people use a plastic drum beater for their electronic kick drum pads. Regardless of whether you’re using Roland, Yamaha, Alesis, Pintech, or any other electronic kick drum type, it’s a good idea to stick with plastic beaters.

Avoid felt and rubber beaters for electronic drums… Mesh electronic drumheads will wear down felt beaters faster than normal, and any exposed metal from the worn-down beater can tear through the mesh. Felt and rubber beaters will also damage rubber kick drum pads much quicker than plastic.

Another tip for rubber electronic bass drum pads: It’s especially important to check the drum beater face is aligned straight, to hit the pad as flat as possible. Hitting on an angle will damage both mesh and rubber kick drum pads.

Plastic bass drum beaters aren’t the quietest… If you’re drumming in an apartment, even an electronic kit can be too loud with a plastic beater. In situations like this, you can get away with using a fluffy beater if you’re not hitting too hard. If noise level is important, take a look at our review of the Roland TD-17KVX, which comes with a quieter-than-usual kick drum pad. For more on drum noise reduction, check out our tips to reduce drum volume, including tips on how to make electronic drums quieter.


Low Boy Bass Drum Beater

Bass Drum Beater Tips

  • Trick Dominator Aluminium Bass Drum BeaterUse a bass drum patch to protect your drumhead from damage. This is especially important if you use a hard beater… you can wear through your drumhead over time.
  • Remove your bass drum beater before you throw your pedal into your bag – there’s less chance you’ll break something on the beater and the pedal.
  • When reinstalling your bass drum beater, make sure it’s aligned straight… Push it up to against the drumhead to check the angle of impact, and adjust if necessary. The full face of the beater should be hitting the drumhead, otherwise you can damage the head.
  • You bass drum pedal can have a big impact on how light or heavy your beater movement feels. Check out our huge guide to the best bass drum pedals, including essential info to understand exactly how your pedal works.
  • DIY Fluffy sock beater: Bass drum beaters aren’t expensive, but you can use a sock wrapped around your beater if you’re really on a budget: Pull it all the way down onto your beater, twist it below the beater head, pull it back up above your beater, twist it again, and then back down once more. Use a rubber band to hold it on the shaft.
  • Knitted fluffy beater: A step up from the fluffy sock beater is knitting a fluffy cover for your beater. Install it the same way as the sock!
  • Don’t forget your weights: A lot of beaters come with a weight on the shaft… Move them up or down for a harder or lighter impact. You can also use them as a memory lock towards the bottom of the beater shaft – this is useful if you’re constantly removing your beater.

Don’t wait until your bass drum beater looks like this before you replace it!
Old Felt Bass Drum Beater

Tama CB900AS Rubber Bass Drum BeaterFinally… Remember that the sound of your drum beater comes from a combination of material type, weight, size, and shape. Material has the biggest impact on the sound, so pay the close attention to this when buying your bass drum beaters. The weight is also quite important: a light beater is best for extreme speed, and a heavy beater is best for a big punch. Your sound will be bigger or smaller depending on the size and shape of the beater… Specifically, how much contact it makes with the drumhead.

The type of drum beater you choose really depends on the sound you want, and the music style you play:

  • The best bass drum beater for metal or other loud styles of music is usually a harder beater with a medium to large amount of surface area. This will make your bass drum strokes stand out among all of the other noise.
  • DW Flywheel Plastic Bass Drum BeaterThe best bass drum beater for double bass drumming is usually a hard, lightweight beater to allow for speed.
  • If you need very good stroke definition, choose metal, plastic, wood, or rubber. These are the best kick drum beaters for fast double bass drumming, because you’ll have a noticeable “hit” for each stroke.
  • For a quieter environment, you’re probably better off with a softer drum beater to get a warmer and smoother thud… For a subtly warm sound, the best bass drum beater is a fluffy one.
  • In the recording studio, the choice of bass drum beater will have a big impact on your final drum sound… More so than live playing, since the studio is a much more controlled environment. Think about the sound you want, and how the above beater types can get you there. For general studio recording you’ll probably want a moderate amount of attack (but not too much), so a felt bass drum beater can be a great all-round option. If you’re new to the recording experience, check out these top tips for drummers in the recording studio.

These suggestions are all just starting points though, so experiment and listen for what works best.

Your choice of bass drum beater will always have a big impact on your bass drum sound. Keep in mind that your bass drum’s sound also comes from your drum tuning, drum dampening, your bass drum hole, and choosing the best drumhead for your style. Master these things, and you’ll be a bass drum sound master.