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Learn How To Play A Single Stroke Roll

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One of the most essential drum rudiments that drummers must know, is the single stroke roll. This drum rudiment is what most beats, fills, and solo’s are constructed from. It may seem like a very simple pattern to most, and it is; however, you must master this basi rudiment before you can move on to the more advanced drum rudiments. A lot of drummers will overlook the single stroke roll thinking they already know it, and therefore do not practice it. This is a big no no. You should never stop practicing the single stroke roll.

This rudiment works great for building stamina, and strength in your wrists and fingers. You will be surprised at how much your drumming improves when you practice the single stroke roll routinely. Remember to always use a metronome when practicing any drum rudiment, it will keep you on time, and will allow you to measure your progress. Practice the single stroke two ways. First, get a timer handy and time yourself going as fast as you can for one minute. This will build strength and speed. Second, Set your metronome at a lower speed, and go a longer period of time. This will help build endurance and stamina.

We will start with proper stick grip. Without proper stick grip, you will have uneven strokes that sound more like a flam than a roll. Also, you will find you have more endurance and control when you are holding the sticks right. The principle is the same either way you hold your sticks. If you are using matched grip, you will want to try and make your weaker hand copy your dominant hand exactly – this is the same with the French grip. If you are using the traditional grip, you may notice yourleft hand must move in a different way then your right. Stick independence will come in time, and that is why you are practicing the single stroke roll.

The Single Stroke Roll

The single stroke roll is very easy to learn. You simply alternate your sticking: Right, Left, Right, Left… Try to get the same sound out of both your sticks, so they sound uniform. Here’s how a single stroke roll looks like:

Drum Notation

For some more advanced practice, try adding accents in. Practicing the single stroke roll with accents will help develop stick independence. In these next examples, you will use accents on your right, and left hand!

Drum Notation

Drum Notation

Try these following drum rudiments out with a practice pad first. Start out slow, bringing the speed up as you improve. You will notice a big change with your drumming once you get these essential rudiments down! Once you have mastered the Single stroke roll, you may move on to the Double Stroke Roll. Remember, use proper stick technique, and make sure that you tune your drums before applying the single stroke roll to your kit.

Master the single stroke roll drum rudiment in Lionel Duperron's free Drum Rudiment Master Class! Lionel will teach you how to play a single stroke roll, and how to apply the single stroke roll to your drumming!

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