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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Jackson

Mastering the Double Stroke Roll: A Drummer's Guide

Updated: Mar 27



The double stroke roll is one of the fundamental techniques in drumming, serving as the building block for many other rudiments and patterns. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced drummer, mastering this technique is crucial for developing speed, control, and finesse on the drum kit. In this guide, we'll delve into the proper technique for executing a double stroke roll and provide tips for improvement.

Understanding the Double Stroke Roll:

A double stroke roll consists of two consecutive strokes played with each hand. This results in a sequence of four notes, with the sticking pattern typically written as RRLL or LLRR (R for right hand, L for left hand). The goal is to achieve consistency and evenness between the strokes of each hand, creating a smooth and fluid sound.

Proper Technique:

  1. Hand Position:

    1. Begin by ensuring proper hand positioning. Hold the drumsticks with a relaxed grip, allowing for fluid movement and rebound.

    2. Position your hands slightly above the drum surface, with the sticks angled downward towards the drumhead.

  2. Wrist Motion:

    1. Utilize a combination of wrist motion and finger control to execute the double strokes.

    2. Start by striking the drumhead with a controlled downstroke using your wrist.

    3. As the stick rebounds off the drumhead, engage your fingers to guide it back down for the second stroke.

  3. Controlled Rebound:

    1. Focus on the rebound of the stick after the initial stroke. The key to achieving speed and fluidity lies in controlling this rebound.

    2. Allow the stick to bounce naturally off the drumhead, but be ready to catch it with your fingers for the second stroke.

    3. Practice controlling the rebound to maintain consistency in the spacing between each stroke.

  4. Even Pressure:

    1. Maintain consistent pressure with both hands throughout the double stroke roll.

    2. Avoid exerting too much force, as this can lead to tension and fatigue. Instead, focus on finding the balance between control and relaxation.

  5. Gradual Speed Increase:

    1. Start practicing the double stroke roll at a comfortable tempo, focusing on accuracy and control.

    2. Once you feel confident, gradually increase the speed while maintaining evenness between each stroke.

    3. Use a metronome to track your progress and ensure steady improvement over time.

  6. Alternate Hands:

    1. Practice leading with both hands to develop ambidexterity and ensure proficiency with each hand.

    2. Switch between leading with your right hand (RRLL) and your left hand (LLRR) to achieve balance and symmetry in your playing.

Tips for Improvement:

  • Consistent Practice: Dedicate regular practice sessions to the double stroke roll, focusing on gradual improvement over time.

  • Use a Mirror: Practice in front of a mirror to observe your hand technique and ensure proper form.

  • Record Yourself: Record yourself playing the double stroke roll to identify areas for improvement and track your progress.

  • Seek Feedback: Don't hesitate to seek feedback from instructors or fellow drummers to refine your technique and address any issues.

Conclusion:

Mastering the double stroke roll is essential for any drummer looking to develop speed, control, and finesse on the drum kit. By focusing on proper hand technique, controlled rebound, and consistent practice, you can improve your double stroke roll and unlock new possibilities in your drumming repertoire. So, grab your sticks, hit the practice pad, and embark on the journey to mastering this fundamental rudiment. Happy drumming!

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