The double stroke is one of the most feared rudiments by beginner drummers. Most drummers are simply intimidated by the expectation that their single hand can act as two separate hands while maintaining tempo and fluency.
Hopefully in this lesson, we will be able to dispel your fears of the double stroke, and help you get off to the right start.
The first step to learning the double stroke is actually becoming fluent with the single stroke. The single stroke is one of the most basic techniques in drumming, but the ability to perform it correctly is a foundation for all drum rudiments.
Start off by performing a simple eighth note alternating single stroke pattern along with a metronome.
If you feel more comfortable, try the bouncing technique; use your ring finger and pinky finger to bounce the stick. Using your wrist as the guide, begin your first stroke. Upon the rebound, simply tilt the stick pack towards your palm, where it will then bounce off of the flesh. This will redirect the momentum back towards your pad, allowing you to keep a perfectly fluid motion once you become properly acquainted with the technique.
It is important that you don’t hesitate between strokes. This will make your playing choppy, and it will also make your rolls imperfect. This means that your note lengths will become uneven, and your rhythm will come off track.
Once you are fully comfortable with the use of a single stroke roll, you can move on to a double stroke.
The reason that it was important to learn the bounce technique is so that your double strokes are easier. Instead of alternating notes, try using the bounce technique to make two consecutive strokes with one hand. Notice how little energy you used; your wrist is doing half of the work, and your fingers are taking up their share of the load with a tiny tap.
This allows your body to spread out the work load evenly.
When you feel comfortable performing a double stroke, turn on your metronome. Practice keeping each stroke even with the last. This will help you to develop good rhythm with your double stroke, which will in turn allow you to have fluid double stroke rolls.
When your main hand is comfortable with double strokes, switch to your off hand. If you feel a bit awkward with your technique, slow yourself down and analyze your form. If your fingers are simply pushing too low on the stick, move the stick in your hand.
Once again, use the metronome to develop a fluent rhythm in your off hand double strokes.
Now that you know how to double stroke, and from the single stroke roll how to alternate, the final step is putting the two techniques together as one.
Perform a double stroke with your main hand, which will allow it to lead the rhythm. Follow up with a double stroke from your off hand. Alternate back. Set aside a chunk of time each day to practice, and soon enough you will be fluent with the double strokes open roll. Good luck!
Drum Rudiment System gives you all the tools and tips you’ll ever need to improvise fills and rudiments for any given occasion. On top of that, you will also have great fun playing along to new beats and broadening your drumming “vocabulary”.