A drum pedal is a foot controlled device used to play or control a drum or drum kit component.
Drum pedals include:
- Bass drum pedal
- Hi-hat pedal or control
- Timpani pedal
Single bass drum pedal
Also known as a kick drum pedal, the bass drum pedal works when a footplate is pressed, pulling a pedal drive.
Different types of pedal drive include:
- Belt driven - very fast action, lightweight but can be less durable.
- Chain driven - fast action, durable and adjustable, but requires frequent cleaning.
- Direct driven - fast action, low maintenance, high durability.
When the pedal drive is activated, the beater is moved forward and strikes the bass drum head.
Beater heads materials include:
- Wool (felt)
Double bass drum pedal
Works in the same way as a single bass drum pedal but features a second footplate and beater.
A double bass drum pedal enables the performer to increase the frequency at which the bass drum can be struck. It is frequently used by performers of rock and metal styles of music.
Hi-hat pedal or control
Hi-hats are two cymbals on a stand that are linked to a foot pedal. The bottom cymbal is stationary, and the movement of the top cymbal is controlled by the foot pedal. When the pedal is pressed the cymbals meet (close hi-hat) and when the pedal is released the cymbals part (open hi-hat).
A timpani is a type of drum with a large bowl-shaped body with a head (or skin) stretched over the top. When the pedal is pressed, a series of rods pulls the counter hoop down, making the head tighter and the pitch rises. If the pedal is down, the rods move up pushing the hoop up, and the tone drops.
There are two main types of timpani pedal:
- Balanced action pedal
- Dresden style pedal