The drum roll is a primary component to any drummer’s arsenal. It doesn’t matter what style of music you play, what drum you play, or how you want to play, the drum roll is an essential skill that needs to be learnt, and the sooner you master it the better!
I’ll be explaining how you will be able to start learning how to do a drum roll, and how you will be able to use the drum roll to improve all aspects of your drumming.
The tips and hints provided in this guide will give you a good idea of how you will be able to increase your speed, strength and stamina behind the drum kit.
The single stroke roll is a drum rudiment. It is the first rudiment that you should learn. The single stroke roll is a form of drum roll, however it doesn’t provide you with the speed that most drummers require. The sticking technique for the single stroke roll is very simple.
Starting with your right hand (reversed for left handed drummers) you play: Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left. Each hit on the drum should cause the stick to bounce back. You should then use your fingers to flick the stick back at the drum again. By using your fingers you will be able to build up more and more speed.
This is the second rudiment that you should learn. The double stroke roll is very much like a single stroke roll, however you must hit the drum twice each time before alternating hands.
The sticking technique for the double stroke roll is also very simple: Right, Right, Left, Left, Right, Right, Left, Left. The same principles apply as with the single stroke roll.
Once both the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll has been mastered then you should move onto the buzz roll. This is the drum roll that you commonly hear in drumlines, and is what most people refer to as a typical sounding drum roll.
The buzz roll can be very difficult to learn as it doesn’t have a specific stick technique. To do the buzz roll the drummer must hold the stick loosely, and then push the stick onto the drum. This will make the stick rebound at a very fast rate.
The next hand should immediately perform the same action with the opposite stick. The action should be repeated over and over again until there is a consistent sound.
The drum roll is very versatile. Once you have mastered these three different forms of drum roll then try to experiment by using the whole drum kit. Surprisingly drum rolls can sound great when they are played on cymbals, and when they are incorporated into beats and rhythms.
By trying to play drum rolls all around the drum kit you will be able to increase your overall speed and control, this is essential if you want to play quick drum fills or solos.
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