If you love playing the bass drum in your favorite marching bands, then you know how important it is to have the right mallet. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, a good marching bass mallet is a must. If you’re looking for the best bass drum mallets for marching in 2021, this list features plenty of great options.
If you want to make it to the top of the marching band, you need the right instruments. Musicians have to earn every inch of their paycheck, so they need durable equipment that will stand up to rigorous training. That's why every marching bass has to meet certain standards. A good bass can be heavy, but it has enough sustain to give the band its full range. The mallet plays a vital role in the performance of percussion instruments, and it must be of high quality. We’ve been studying the best marching bass mallets, talking to marching-band coaches, players, owners, distributors, engineers, manufacturers, band directors, and musicians themselves.The marching band bass mallets we studied were selected based on a combination of performance, price, durability, quality, reputation, and aesthetics. Read on for our full guide to choosing the ideal marching bass mallet for your next performance.
What are tips for finding and using the right marching bass mallet?
When you’re choosing the best marching bass, start with a light touch. A heavy mallet will make a loud noise and cause lots of breakage, but you will achieve a better sound with light handling. Of course, you want all the weight as evenly distributed as possible, so choose a mallet that‘s not too heavy to move easily. Keep your feet positioned at the same height as your knees. This will keep your weight centered with the large bass drum. Remember that a heavy bass has more weight behind it. The weight of the bass mallet will impact the speed of your playing, and the more you are pounding the drum, the louder you can sound. For the most dynamic sound, aim for a straight playing action. Also, look for bass mallets with more action than you might normally use.
What are things to consider when purchasing a marching bass mallet?
The ideal marching bass mallet for you is one that you can both play and practice with. The type of wood used affects sound and tone, but you’ll need to make sure you get a bass that's both durable and fits the price range. You'll want to look for a solid wood model, not laminate wood, which is not as durable. Also, the neck and head wood must be the same. Most mallets have one single wood for the body and the head, so you won't have the option of choosing a fretless bass. In addition, you also won't be able to switch between a traditional neck shape and a cast hollowbody bass, and you might have to spend some more money on specialized accessories like a strap. If you plan on practicing with your marching bass mallet, it's also a good idea to get something that has adjustable strings, as you don't want your fingers to fatigue from continuously hammering on a single instrument.
How expensive are marching bass mallets?
When it comes to marching bass mallets, it’s hard to beat the $15 to $30 range, especially if you‘re looking for a heavy-duty, durable instrument. For less than $20, you can pick up a decent-quality mallet and a carrying case. A few of these models may even be plastic.
From $25 to about $40, the quality improves and the basses will be made from a heavier, more durable material. These mallets will perform far better than plastic models.
Above $50, there are many quality marching-bass mallet sets with advanced features.
How do we choose our selection of marching bass mallets?
We like to feature a wide range of products, which gives us the chance to review and test as many different options as possible, before ultimately choosing our top picks for you. We’ve made sure to focus on brands and models that are reliable, have a high-quality build, are reasonably priced, and are easy to use. To do this, though, it‘s necessary to ensure you understand a little more about the world of marching bass. So, without further ado, let‹s dive in and take a look at our list of the best marching bass mallets on the market today.
What are features to look for in marching bass mallets?
In our humble opinion, the most important feature to look out for when buying a marching mallet is its mass. You should be looking for a mallet that has a large enough mass to move with the weight of your body, rather than a heavy, awkward-looking mallet with a much smaller mass that is difficult to manage. The best way to find out if a model is a good option for your purposes is to read through customer reviews.
Most people want a lightweight marching band mallet, but a heavier mallet is also a great option and will provide a more satisfying workout.
You can get a lot of mass out of a thin mallett, and if you are a beginner, a lighter mallete is best for long durations of play.
There is no set size of mallets for all styles of music, so you should consider the overall size and shape of any marching bass mallet you intend to purchase. A wider mallet is better for larger, heavier bands, whereas a narrower model works best with lighter bands and individuals.
The grip of some mallets is really important for two reasons. Firstly, you need to be able to hold it securely, and secondly, if it is slippery, that might mean you won't be as effective at moving the mallet as you'd like.
Washing and drying the ends of bass mallets can be tricky business, particularly if the wood finish is prone to mildew. Choosing a mallet that cleans easily is essential.
Let's face it, most of us are not serious musicians and don't need a hefty marching-band mallet to really get into a groove. Look for lighter models or models with ergonomic handles that make it easier to carry around.
Bass Drum Mallet FAQ
Q: What are the different types of bass?
A: The three main types you will find on a bass are those with a lower, middle and treble portion, which makes them suitable for playing a range of styles and genres. The bass is also the most versatile instrument, and so should have a design that is versatile enough to suit all occasions. For instance, you would not want to choose a Fender Bass because it is only designed for solos. If you’re looking for a new bass, then you should look for one that has been designed to best suit your needs.
Q: Which type of wood is best for basswood?
A: Basses are usually made from one of three types: basswood, laminated bass woods and basswoods laminate. Basswood is a type that can be found in abundance, but is usually treated with chemicals to make it stronger and more durable. It is often used in the construction of higher-end bass instruments, giving them their characteristic sound. On the downside, the wood requires a lot of maintenance, particularly during the laminating process, so most manufacturers do not recommend it. Laminated wood has a similar appearance to lamination wood but it has the added benefit of being able to be lamined with multiple layers of different woods. This allows for the player to get the best of all worlds, where the bass sounds great from both hardwoods and lamines. Lastly, mini basses are just like basses, except that they are much smaller and make up the majority of the body of a drum, making them ideal for younger players. While these are not the cheapest bass to buy, they can produce a beautiful, powerful sound that gives younger musicians an easier way to learn to play.
Derek is a professional musician who specializes in percussion and works with the independent WGI group Cap City Percussion. With a Bachelors of Music from Capital University, specializing in Music Industry studies, he consistently finds himself playing and teaching percussion to anyone who has the will to learn. Derek is also a former member of DCI groups Legends (2014-15) and Colts (2016-18); he is also the percussion technician and instructor of the drum line at Olentangy High School. You may find him playing a gig throughout the greater Columbus, Ohio area.