Learning all of the drum rudiments are in my opinion the single most
important aspect of having exceptional stick technique. All of the worlds finest
drummers practice drum rudiments daily and have been for many years. Drum
rudiments are the backbone of drumming, they are used in a variety of ways to
create drum music.
How to play a single stroke roll
The single stroke roll is the first rudiment that should be learned. It is by
far the easiest of all the drum rudiments and could be learnt to an average
standard in a matter of minutes. The stick technique for a single stroke roll is
very straight forward: Right Left Right Left. You can also switch and start with
the left hand: Left Right Left Right. The single stroke roll will only be truly
mastered when you have the ability to perform starting with either hand.
The single stroke roll is probably the most commonly used drum fill in music
purely because it's simple, powerful, and can be played in conjunction with
almost any beat or style of music.
How to play a double stroke roll
A double stroke roll should be learned only when the single stroke roll has
be mastered. The double stroke roll is the second rudiment that should be
learned. The sticking for the double stroke roll is very simple: Right Right
Left Left. And then switching and starting with the left hand Left Left Right
Right. It's very important to learn how to play the rudiments starting with your
left hand as it will help build up strength and coordination.
The double stoke roll can be applied to any drum on the kit, it helps when
practising to try and mix them up a bit. For example play Right Right on the
snare drum and Left Left on the floor tom. These simple exercises will
drastically improve your technique and speed.
How to play a multiple bounce roll/buzz roll
The multiple bounce roll is what most people usually refer to as the "drum
roll". It is commonly used in military drumming and drum lines, although it can
be used very effectively with all styles of music. The technique is fairly
simple but will take a lot of practice to be able to get a fluent motion. You
hold the drumsticks fairly loosely in standard or traditional grip and use your
wrist to push the head of the drumstick towards the skin, once impact has been
made you let the sticks bounce on the drum head creating a buzz effect. The
bounce should then be countered with the movement of the wrist to create another
impact repeating the same process, this is repeated for as long as the piece of
Unlike other drum rudiments the multiple bounce roll/buzz roll doesn't have a
set amount of bounces from either hand, as long as you achieve the "buzz" sound
then it doesn't matter.
Learning these drum rudiments will serve as an excellent foundation to other
stick techniques and will greatly improve your playing in the long run.
Mastering every single drum rudiment might take you years but with patience and
perseverance you will get there.
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