The right kick pedal for your individual technique
When choosing your kick pedal, you can do a lot of things right, but you can also do a lot of things wrong. Because every kick is a move that you should execute ergonomically and mechanically correct. If you don't, it can lead to tension in the muscle system, complications with ligaments and tendons, to an incorrect posture of the body and the misalignment and deformation of the feet. A carefully and properly selected kick pedal fits like a tailor-made shoe for your individual playing style. So let's beat out the difference!
The power train
The transmission of power from the foot to the bass drum requires a mechanism that can be divided into three types: Belt drive, chain drive and direct drive. Of all of them, the pressing down of the pedal is translated into the rolling motion of a shaft. The beater mounted on the shaft swings forward and hits the batter head or pad.
Kick pedals with belt drive are on the retreat nowadays and can still only be found in the inexpensive entry-level models. They have a more cozy way of working and are not as direct as the other mechanics.
The chain drive is the most common type. The chain, in the design of a bicycle chain in single or double version, transmits power directly to the shaft without loss, but also allows the pedal the necessary slack for an agile and lively interaction with the foot. This can feel like the pedal itself is grooving along.
Kick Pedals with direct drive are the F1 among pedals. It's all about 100ths of a second here, you might think. With a well-adjusted and finely tuned direct drive pedal (and the right talent), you can kick the most capricious figures and hit the most precise 128ths of a second. It's all a question of physics.
In the best case, the beater of your kick pedal strikes the center of the bass drum in an angular motion.
The longer the mallet arm, the more force must be brought to bear on the pedal. However, the slower the beat will be. As mentioned, it's physics. A mallet that is adjustable in length and thus in centrifugal force is therefore advantageous, because you can save your energy and play faster.
In addition to the adjustable mallet, some kick pedals have centrifugal weights on the mallet shaft, with which a precise "flying weight" can be adjusted.
Most important is the adjustable preload of the return spring. It determines the speed in which the mechanism returns to the starting position and in which it is ready for the next beat.
The angle between the position of the footplate and the position of the mallet should also be adjustable in the best case. Since the performance of each drummer is unique, your kick pedal should be able to be individualized to you here.
Felt or wood - rubber or carbon?
The type of material defines the stroke dynamics and the sound. In the case of E-Drums in your living room, this also controls the volume of the inherent noise. A wooden mallet or a mallet with a carbon head produces more rebound and is louder than a rubber or felt mallet.
Beaters with changeable heads
Many kick pedals are equipped with mallets whose interchangeable heads have different materials on the front and back. On almost all kick pedals, the mallets can also be exchanged.
The most important advice at the end
Be sure to test which kick pedal is right for you. The pedal is the most important mechanical part of your drum kit. And as mentioned before, a good kick pedal should fit like a custom-made shoe. You'll know when you've found it!