The bass drum is a large drum-shaped percussion instrument that produces a low pitch when struck with a mallet or a beater on a pedal. The Turkish davul (tabl turki), which existed in the 1300s, was the earliest version of the bass drum. Many of these drums were brought to Europe in the mid-1700s and quickly became a popular addition to military music. Turkish drums were traditionally played with a rod and a wooden drumstick, but when Spontini introduced them into the orchestra in the 1800s, they were played with felt-covered mallets.
Interesting facts about Bass Drum:
The bass drum was introduced as part of a drum kit (used in bands along with several other drums) in the early 1900s as part of jazz music.
William F. Ludwig invented striking the bass drum with a bass pedal in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois.
Because their hands were free to use smaller drum sticks after adding the bass pedal to the drum kit, the drummer was able to play other percussion instruments such as snare drums and cymbals.
Bass drums are constructed with a shell (cylinder) made of wood (sometimes metal) and two heads (the part struck by the mallet or bass pedal) stretched over the two open shell ends.
The majority of bass drums are stationary, as in a drum kit setup. When used in marching bands, however, bass drums must be moveable and suspended by straps or other apparatus to allow the drummer to walk with the instrument.
The bass drum in an orchestra is suspended in a frame that allows the drummer to change its position or angle. It is usually held in place by rubber straps, leather straps, or wires.
When not using a bass pedal, the mallets used for playing the bass drum typically have a thick handle made of beech wood or hornbeam. The head is usually made of wood and wrapped in felt.
When lower dynamic sounds are desired, a timpani mallet is occasionally used on the bass drum.
For the bass drum, other sticks such as hard felt sticks, leather sticks, wood sticks, side drum sticks, and brushes are used.
A bass drum is placed on the floor on feet as part of a drum kit, and the drummer hits the head with a bass pedal. Cloths are frequently used inside the head to dampen sound.
When the bass drum is part of a kit, other instruments, such as the cowbell, are often mounted to the shell, and the kit also includes tom-toms, cymbals, snare drums, high hats, and others.
The bass drum’s sound has been described as thunderous, rumbling, pounding, hollow, mighty, and even soft at times.
Neil Peart (from the band RUSH), Buddy Rich, Ringo Star, Phil Collins, Benny Goodman, and Rick Allen are some of the most well-known drummers (One-armed drummer for the band Def Leppard).