As I said earlier I'm a newbie to the drums but I'm not new to music or theory. So I know how to read music. Just a question: in drum notation sometimes I have bass drum playing quarter notes, sometimes dotted quarter notes, etc..... please forgive my stupidity but I'm assuming that the duration of the note is dependent on how hard I hit the bass drum , and not necessarily on the duration of pressing the pedal. So is it right for me to assume that if I want to do a dotted quarter note I should press the bass drum pedal harder to make the bass drum ring longer? Or is it all in how long I hold the bass pedal down? It's strange I can make the snare ring correctly but somehow I'm not sure that the bass drum is ringing as long as it should. But at least I know how to count.
I know I should take some lessons but I can't afford it right now. Think part of the problem is I have a digital drumkit which comes with a foot-switch instead of a pedal for the bass drum which may sound slightly different but I have a good metronome and really sensitive to tone so I think I've got a great start but I think clearing this question is foundational and important.
I have not heard of using dotted quarter notes and such to indicate louder. I do know paranthesis ( ) around a note means ghost note (softly). A less than symbol above the note < means hitting it harder but an accent. This is an interesting guide here for notation: http://web.mit.edu/merolish/Public/drums.pdf'