How to Play A Drum Roll

A Drum Roll is basically a repeating sound on a drum, usually equal with volume, and tempo. Playing a drum roll is an essential skill that all drummers must be able to perform whenever necessary. Drum rolls sound great in verses, bridges, fills, and drum solos. If you are currently unable to play a drum solo, don’t worry, this article is going to break down the most popular ways you can do a drum roll. In no time you will be playing a drum roll with confidence and skill!

The Single Stroke Roll

The single stroke roll is a very basic drum rudiment, but if played fast enough it will make a drum roll. There isn’t much to it, just simply play LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT… As you practice this you will be able to play it faster and it will start to sound more like a drum roll. When playing with this technique it is important to keep your stick heights the same, this will help you keep each stroke equal in volume.

The Double Stroke Roll

The double stroke roll is very similar to the single stroke roll. Instead of just doing single strokes with each hand you do doubles. It would look like this LEF LEFT RIGHT RIGHT LEFT LEFT RIGHT RIGHT… You can play a double stroke roll with your wrists, or by using the bounce of the sticks to hit twice. Both methods are great to learn.

Buzz Roll (Crush Roll, Press Roll)

The buzz roll is often confused with the double stroke roll, but they are not at all related. The double stroke roll is quite different from the buzz roll. The buzz roll is played with a different grip than the double stroke roll. When you are playing the buzz roll you don’t want to use your fingers at all, its more in the position of your index finger and thumb. Simply grip the stick between your index finger and thumb on the fulcrum point of your drumstick. You are going to grip the stick harder than you normally would when playing matched or traditional grip. As you start the buzz roll, you will find that it works better if you start putting a little bit of forward pressure on your drumsticks

This buzz roll is actually quite simple, and is learned easier at fast speeds. You can start learning it by simply raising your right hand, and striking the drum with your right stick, letting it bounce as much as possible (RRRRRRR…) Now its time to do the same with your left hand (LLLLLL…) Now very slowly begin to speed this up RRRRRR…LLLLLL… As you develop and speed up this technique you will have a fully developed buzz roll in no time!

One Handed Drum Roll

The One handed drum roll is a more advanced technique, and there are as many as five different ways to perform this technique. Once you develop this technique you will notice a whole new world of drumming opportunity. You will have way more ideas when it comes to beats, fills and drum solos!

If you want to learn this method as fast as possible, I recommend Jared Falk’s One Handed Drum Roll DVD. It will show you the correct way to play the technique, and it will break the technique down with many exercises and slow motion video. It will cost you about the same amount of money as an hour long drum lesson, and it will change the way that you look at playing your drum kit.

It is very important, that when playing a drum roll with any of these techniques that you practice with a metronome. If you don’t practice with a metronome your drum rolls will be off time, and you will look like a sloppy drummer. If you have a practice pad at home, it will be much easier to learn how to play a drum roll on a practice pad vs. a snare drum. Snare drums produce many over tones and can often make it impossible to hear little mistakes that you are making. Take your time, play with a metronome, and have fun!

Back To One Handed Roll Articles