How to Assemble a Bass Drum Pedal

Updated April 17, 2017

Bass drum pedals are all assembled in similar fashion no matter what brand is owned. Also called "kick drum" pedals, they are used to the play the bass drum in a drum set via a foot pedal attached to a beater. The beater strikes the drum when the pedal is depressed. Since the main parts of the pedal are pre-assembled at the factory, the only part requiring assembly is that of attaching the pedal to the drum. On some models, the beater is packaged separately and must be installed on the pedal before use.

Place the shaft of the bass drum beater into hole at the top of the pedal (if not already attached), until the beater-shaft is inserted about 1 or 2 inches. Turn the wing-nut, t-bolt or thumbscrew clockwise to hold the shaft in position.

Loosen the thumbscrew or t-bolt on the drum-clamp assembly, located underneath the beater at the bottom of the pedal.

Lift the bass drum up about 1 inch and insert the pedal clamp onto the bass drum rim where it contacts the floor. Ensure that the top-part of the clamp is sufficiently loosened to allow the pedal to be pushed onto the rim fully. The pedal is attached to the side of the drum which will face you when in playing position.

Tighten the thumbscrew or t-bolt on the top of the pedal clamp fully by turning it clockwise. Some pedals have the t-bolt or thumbscrew on the bottom of the clamp.

Check the pedal for operation by depressing the pedal to play the drum.


The beater may be adjusted up or down to suit your playing preference by loosening the holding bolt, adjusting the beater shaft, and re-tightening the bolt. Bass drum beaters are interchangeable and are available with felt, wood, rubber or plastic beaters. If you wish to try a different type of beater, take your current unit to the music store and compare the shafts on prospective beaters to assure proper fit. You may be able to purchase just the beater and install it on your existing shaft, so also check the fit in this scenario.


Avoid over-tightening the bolts on the clamp and the shaft to prevent stripping of the screws. Hand-tight is generally sufficient. Remove the pedal when the bass drum is lifted or moved for any reason. Keeping the pedal connected and free-hanging can damage both the drum rim and the pedal clamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Bass drum pedal
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About the Author

Matt McKay began his writing career in 1999, writing training programs and articles for a national corporation. His work has appeared in various online publications and materials for private companies. McKay has experience in entrepreneurship, corporate training, human resources, technology and the music business.