The double stroke roll is an extremely popular rudiment that should be practiced to perfection by anyone serious about playing the drums. Not only is it popular for use within beats and fills, but it is also the foundation for many other important drum rudiments. Here is how it is written out in drum notation:
You can start by playing the doubles using your wrists for each stroke. Focus on keeping both alternating strokes at an even volume. This can be done by watching your stick heights during each stroke, to be sure they are all coming up to an even distance from the drum head. If the first stroke of each set of doubles is louder than the second, your double stroke roll will sound sloppy and un-even.
Once you have mastered the basic pattern using your wrists, you can begin to speed it up. Eventually, you will begin to bounce the sticks to get the double strokes. This can take some time to perfect, but it will allow you to play with much greater speed. Watch the video lesson on this page to see how Lionel plays this rudiment.
This drum beat incorporates the double stroke roll in the first half of the measure:
This third exercise features the double stroke roll in the context of a drum fill:
Once you've mastered the double stroke roll - you can move on to the triple stroke roll, or skip way ahead to the single paradiddle. It's an excellent rudiment that incorporates singles and doubles in one steady pattern.
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