Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to improve your double stroke roll

One of the most important exercises that I have used over the years to develop my double stroke roll is playing through all of its inversions. If you aren't familiar with the concept of inversion of rhythms and rudiments, it's actually quite simple. All we're doing is starting on a different note! The double stroke roll has four notes before it repeats, so we should get four different variations.

The normal double stroke roll looks like this:

If we start on the second note, we get this:

Now the third:

And the fourth:

That gives us all possible inversions the double stroke roll. Now, let's take all four of these patterns, loop them, and put them back to back. If you'll notice, each inversion ends on the hand opposite of the start of the next inversion. This allows us to switch fluidly between each one without stopping:


This exercise will tend to force you to play your double strokes evenly from hand to hand, as well as play the second note of each double as loud as the first. If you spend a few minutes every day with it, you are certain to see some improvements. Make sure to use a metronome, and keep everything honest and clean! Bonus points if you play these with your feet as well as your hands ;)