5 step by step exercises
In this post I will teach you the basic steps for developing a smooth and even double stroke roll. I’ve put together a series of practise videos that will help you slowly build up your double stroke roll one step at a time. These exercises were taught to me by the world renowned drum teacher Bruce Becker.
It’s best to learn the foundations of good technique while being guided by a private teacher or by following a step by step online course. A good teacher will teach you the fundamentals of good technique such as proper stick gripping and much more, as well as provide you with feedback on any bad habits that you may develop along the way.
Exercise #1: Bounce-Catch-Turn
Before launching into the double stroke roll, we’ll need to develop the basic mechanics of the exercise. We’ll start by working on each hand separately.
*Practise Tip: I suggest spending a week of two practising this exercise at least 4 times a week until moving on to the next step.
Exercise #2: Bounce-Turn
The following exercise is designed to help you get a good snap on the second double, which is crucial for developing a smooth double stroke roll. In this video, we’ll collapse the “catch-turn” into one and call it “turn.”
*Practise tip: Similar to the previous exercise, practise this for 1 or 2 weeks before moving on.
** It’s a great idea to film yourself at the end of this 2 week practise period. While reviewing your video, try to notice anything that seems out of line and work on correcting it.
Exercise #3: Tap Strokes to Doubles
We will now begin to put our hands together and play a double stroke roll. In this video, we’ll play 2 bars of tap strokes (low strokes at about 45 degrees from the pad) and then launch into playing doubles. Playing tap strokes will create the frame and optimal height for your double stroke roll. When launching into doubles, fell the stick rebounding over the middle finger fulcrum.
*Practise tip: Spend another couple of weeks working on getting your double stroke roll as smooth as possible.
Exercise #4: Pivot-Catch/Drop-Pull -> Moeller Motion
In order to get in and out of the double stroke roll seamlessly, we’ll work on the following exercise which will allow us to play accents. The following exercise consists of generating a whipping motion with our wrist, forearm and elbow. We’ll draw on the Moeller Technique in order to play a downstroke on the first double, and an upstroke on the second.
Exercise #5: Long Double Stroke Rolls
In this last exercise, this is where our double stroke roll will really take form. We’ll play 3 different long roll exercises in 32nd notes and combine them with accents in various places. We’ll use the upstroke and downstroke that we developed in the previous video to incorporate the accents.
(which includes German Grip Fundamentals)
For private drum lessons at my studio in Montreal, Canada or through Zoom or Skype
Elijah is a university-educated drummer with extensive experience for both teaching and musical performance. Since completing his Bachelor of Music degree at Concordia University in 2010, he has played music across each province in Canada and in more than 20 countries around the world. For information about private lessons at his studio in Montreal or for lessons on Skype visit: Elijah Drums