One of a fundamental techniques that all drummers should learn is the drum roll. This specific stroke is essential to your overall growth as a drummer, as it can be used in all forms of music and for a variety of different styles.
The drum roll can be tricky to learn if you aren’t sure what to do, however once the basics have been mastered it can be picked up very quickly.
I’ll be teaching you how to learn drum rolls from beginning to end. I’ll take you through all of the techniques that need to be learned in detail. This will ensure that you don’t pick up bad habits, and jeopardize the quality of your drum roll.
Before you start to tackle the drum roll you should make sure that you are actually holding the drum stick correctly. To do this you must make sure that the stick is on the fulcrum point of your hand. This is the part of your hand that will ensure that the stick bounces off the batterhead with maximum rebound.
To find the fulcrum point you simply hit the drum, but without holding the sticks with your fingers. The sticks should be held with just the thumb and index finger; this will allow you to figure out the best place on your hand for response.
Once you are hitting the drum correctly you should learn the single stroke roll. This is the first drum rudiment that most people learn. The stick technique for this rudiment is very simple: Right, Left, Right, Left (sticking is reversed for left handed drummers).
You should be able to play the single stroke roll to a good speed before you move on. It’s a good idea to practice this rudiment on multiple drums. Circling the kit and using the toms can be a great way to build up control.
After you have mastered the single stoke roll you should try to master the double stroke roll. This is very similar, only you have to hit the drum twice before switching hands.
The sticking is: Right, Right, Left, Left. Again, once you can play this at a decent speed and on multiple drums then you should move on.
Lastly you should learn the buzz roll. This is what’s known commonly as the drum roll. If you are: holding the sticks correctly, and can play both the single and double stroke roll then you are ready to learn the buzz roll. The buzz roll uses the same technique as the single stroke, only instead of letting the stick bounce upwards you should push the stick towards the skin.
This will create a consistent rebound sound. If you switch hands when performing this action then you will be able to create a smooth and consistent drum roll. Trying to keep the buzz and timing of each hit is essential, and that’s why you should learn the single and double stoke rolls first, as this will increase your sense of control.
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