In this installment of Sound Pure Gear Tips, drums specialist Paul Spencer walks us through 4 different types of bass drum pedals and their drives.

These 4 types include single chain drives, double chain drives, strap or belt drives, and direct drives. They all come at different price points, have different levels of responsiveness, and feel different under your foot.

Single chain drives are most often the least expensive. They require the least amount of material and don’t require that much time and effort to make. Single chains tend to be pretty flimsy, and generally are not professional level pedals. You can usually find them on beginner/intermediate pedals or lightweight pedals that are designed to give you more of a classic look and feel. Sometimes you can feel and see a little bit of side to side movement of the footboard in these pedals. This movement might decrease the responsiveness of the pedal.

Double chain drives are more robust than single chain drives. They feel more responsive and feel sturdier. And unlike single chain drives, on modern double chain pedals, you usually don’t see the chains break from excessive use. There’s a chance of the chains wearing out, but you usually don’t see that. These pedals do tend to feel a little heavy under the foot, their weight providing more power.

Strap/belt drives are lighter than chain drives and are more responsive under your foot, but with a little less power. These drives tend to be made out of nylon or other composite materials. Because of this they tend to be a little stronger than metal chains and tend to not wear out as much. Also unlike chain drives, these pedals tend to not 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 feeling as metal chain drives, but they are a little more fluid.

Direct drives are for drummers who like to rip blast beats and extremely fast double kicks. These are made from a solid linkage of metal between the footboard and the housing that supports the beater shaft. Direct drive pedals don’t have a cam — they’re all one solid piece of metal. These pedals are generally the most expensive pedals on the market. They are extremely professional and give you the most response possible out of a pedal. Some people find these pedals to be a little too responsive. They are extremely quick and don’t need a lot of force to get them moving. Because of this, it takes a bit of an adjustment period to get used to how fast this kind of pedal moves.

When trying to decide which type of pedal to buy, it’s important to feel the different types under your feet in your own kit. Sound Pure has all 4 of these types of pedals available in our Try Before You Buy demo program. If you have any additional questions about bass drum pedals, feel free to contact a drums specialist!