Which Bass Drum Pedal is Right for you?

In this installment of Sound Pure Gear Tips, Drums & Percussion Specialist Paul Spencer walks us through 4 different types of bass drum pedalsThis includes single-chain, double-chain, strap/belt-drive, and direct-drive pedals. 


Single-chain pedals are most often the cheapest available option. They are built with the least amount of materials and don’t require as much time and effort to make. Single-chains tend to be quite flimsy, and are generally not considered to be professional-level pedals. You can usually find them on beginner to intermediate offerings or lightweight pedals that are designed to give you more of a classic look and feel. At times, you can feel and see a bit of side to side movement with the footboard, and this motion might decrease the responsiveness of the pedal.


Double-chain pedals are more robust than their single-chain counterparts. They are usually more responsive and have a sturdier feel. Plus, with modern double-chain pedals, it’s rare for the chains to break from excessive use (which has been known to happen with single-chain pedals). There is a possibility of the chains wearing out over time, but it’s not a common occurrence. These pedals do tend to feel a little heavy under the foot, but the extra weight will provide you with more power.


Strap/belt-drive pedals are lighter and more responsive under your foot than chain-drives. These pedals are usually made out of nylon or other composite materials. Because of this, they tend to be a little stronger than metal chains and will remain intact for ages. Also, unlike chain-drives, these pedals won’t collapse in on themselves as the pedal goes into the upstroke when playing fast bass pedal lines. These pedals aren’t quite as powerful or heavy as metal chain-drives, but they are more fluid.


Direct-drive pedals are great for drummers who like to rip blast beats and extremely fast double kicks. These pedals don’t have cams, rather they are made from a solid linkage of metal between the footboard and the housing that supports the beater shaft. While direct-drives tend to be among the more expensive pedal options, they are extremely professional and give you the most response. They are extremely quick and don’t require a lot of force to get them moving (in fact, some drummers may find these pedals to be a little too responsive). Because of this, it can take a bit of an adjustment period to get used to the movement.

Single-Chain Example

Double-Chain Example

Strap/Belt-Drive Example

Direct-Drive Example


When trying to decide which type of pedal to buy, it’s important to test them out them for yourself, with your own kit. Sound Pure has all 4 of these options available for demo through our Try Before You Buy program. If you have any additional questions about bass drum pedals, feel free to contact a drums specialist today!

Paul Spencer

Paul Spencer

Drums & Percussion Specialist