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Bass drum

A bass drum is a large, heavy drum that produces a low-pitched (but untuned) "thump". It is used in orchestral music, marching music[?], and throughout 20th century popular music.

The bass drum is used to punctuate time. In marches it is used to keep the march even (marching bands march to the beat of the bass). A basic beat for rock and roll has the bass drum played on the first and third beats of a bar of common time, with the snare drum on the second and fourth "back beats".

An orchestral bass drum is quite large (about 3 feet in diameter), and is struck with a large, padded mallet[?]. On a drum kit, the bass drum is much smaller (about 1.5 feet in diameter), and is played using a special pedal with a mallet attached.

In many forms of heavy metal music, particularly thrash metal, a double bass is used (two bass drums set side by side, or a custom pedal with a pair of both pedals and mallets), though the double bass has been used at least as far back as the 1960s, for example, by Ginger Baker of Cream.

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