Beat EFX Bass Pedal Enhancers
Compact beater attachments to add subtle shaker, jingle, and finger-cymbal sounds.
Always looking to introduce unique accessory items to its catalog, Gibraltar developed a trio of bass drum beater attachments that add an extra layer of sound to every stroke. The Beat EFX enhancers are constructed using a small hard-plastic mounting bracket and a drum key–operated screw, which serves dual purposes of holding the shaker, finger cymbal, and tambourine jingles in place and tightening them on to the beater rod. List price is $45.99 for the set.
How They Work
Attaching the Beat EFX is straightforward and simple. Simply twist the bracket onto the beater shaft, position the Beat EFX wherever you like, and tighten the screw with a drum key. When you reattach the beater to your pedal, be careful to position the Beat EFX facing away from the drum so that the attachment doesn’t smack into the drumhead.
The bracket on the Beat EFX is designed to grab on both sides of the beater shaft, which means it won’t fall off or fly away if the screw comes loose. Incidentally, the Beat EFX never budged throughout our testing period. While we had no problem adding and removing the Beat EFX from the beater quickly between songs to get different sounds, you may be better off carrying spare beaters with the attachments already in place to make the changeovers even easier.
How They Sound
The subtlest sounding Beat EFX is the egg shaker. When playing the bass drum at full volume, the shaker effect is hard to hear. But when playing lightly, you can create a cool earthy texture of rhythm beneath every stroke. Depending on how you manage the backswing of the beater, you can effectively play two 8th notes or 16th notes for every stroke. Quick, syncopated bass drum figures can sound a bit chaotic with the shaker Beat EFX attached, so you’ll need to be strategic and sparse with your bass drum note placement. Less is definitely more in this case.
The tambourine Beat EFX has four metal jingles that move freely on a 1″ rod. The jingle sound is more pronounced than that of the shaker version, but the two-for-one reaction is the same. You get a strong, fairly short jingle every time you strike the drum, followed by a slightly softer and less defined sound on the backswing. I found this attachment to be most effective when playing very simple bass drum patterns, like four on the floor, so I could closely monitor the rhythm of the beater moving forward and backward to create an even layer of 8ths or 16ths. I also had fun experimenting with playing the pedal without striking the drum to activate the jingles by themselves.
The finger cymbal attachment is the most esoteric of the three. It features two 2″ bronze cymbals separated by a spring that keeps them spaced betweexn strokes. Every time the beater hits the drum, the finger cymbals clash together to produce a bright, high-pitched “ding.” When used sparingly, the finger cymbal Beat EFX provides an interesting bell-like tone that contrasts with the deep tone of the bass drum. Though the Beat EFX enhancers might have limited applications on a primary bass drum pedal, they would be a nice choice for adding an extra layer of texture on auxiliary kick drums and percussion instruments that can be played with a pedal, like a cajon, cowbell, or woodblock.