Newcomer ErgoSonic Percussion has changed the face of the bass drum— literally. The ErgoSonic Marching Bass Drum has a unique angled wooden shell that features a horizontal playing surface, allowing the instrument to be played with the same vertical stroke as that of snare and tenor drums.
The drum’s unique size and shape help to minimize challenges—such as reduced sight lines and awkward side steps—that marching performers experience with traditional bass drums. Performers have the ability to face forward like the rest of the battery.
A resonant head is used instead of two batter heads; therefore, the bass drums can be tuned to several relative pitches. Small drums can be tuned to the same relative pitch as large drums, thus allowing drums to fit to the stature of the performers.
Musicians can use varying percussive strokes, hand dampening and muting techniques that are limited when using conventional marching bass drums. Accessories such as woodblocks and cowbells can also be easily hung on the drums.
“Today’s snare and tenor drums are extremely advanced—they’re like rocket ships compared to the drums of 30 years ago—but we’re still playing John Philip Sousa’s bass drum,” said Kenneth Turner, president and CEO of ErgoSonic Percussion in a press release. “The ErgoSonic Marching Bass Drum helps to close this gap, bringing the technology up-to-date and providing superior playing and marching benefits equal to 2011 rather than 1911. And perhaps most importantly, ErgoSonic makes the bass drum more fun.”