Rudiments are short, repeatable exercises that usually begin on the snare drum. They are the foundation for more advanced drum patterns and fills. Today we will take a look at two basic rudiments: the single stroke roll and the buzz roll.
Single Stroke Roll
You can think of this rudiment as an alternation between your right and left hand. Make sure you’re holding the stick an inch from the bottom. Your thumb and index finger should have the most holding pressure on your sticks.
When you hit the drum, make sure you are:
- Keeping your arm/forearm still. The movement is in your wrist and fingers.
- Rebound the stick. Let it bounce back up!
When your strokes are getting more consistent, begin alternating the left and right hands. You can speed up and slow down this alternation. It is always best to practice alongside a metronome.
The buzz roll is one type of drumroll that is often heard in marching bands and orchestras. It is called a buzz roll because each individual stroke sounds like a buzz. We are going to let the tip of the stick naturally bounce on the head of the drum after letting it drop on a stroke. Notice how each bounce of the stroke gets faster and quieter until it sounds like a buzz. Try this buzz stroke with the right hand, then move onto the left hand. Afterwards, try to alternate the buzz strokes slowly between your right and left hand. As you speed up the alternation, the buzzes should blend in with each other until it sounds like a continuous stream of buzzes.
And there you have it, two beginner drum rudiments!
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