Issues with faster rolls

Tony_laz

Member
Hi Guys,
I wondered if I could get some input from you all on a little issue I've been having. First off I'm a Pianist that has recently decided to take up the drums and I'm pleased to say I have been making steady progress for the last 6 months. I'm really into drumline/Marching band styled drums and as such have been trying to emulate alot of what I hear.
The problem I'm running into concerns some of the faster rolls (32nd note stuff) I'm finding it difficult to exit some of theese faster rolls back into diddles and it's got me wondering whether my approach or focus isn't quite right.

So I was wondering is there something I should be focusing on or practicing in particular to make that sudden switch over from from faster rolls back into diddles smoother?
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Create your own exercise to alternate between faster and slower rolls. Work with the metronome, start slower and increase tempo. Well, that's what I do.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Create your own exercise to alternate between faster and slower rolls. Work with the metronome, start slower and increase tempo. Well, that's what I do.
This, plus pay extra attention to playing VERY slowly every time you practice when you are warming up.

There’s an exercise called the Stone Cold Killer that Joe Morello used, where he would play 8 (or 16, or 32) singles, followed by 8 notes of doubles, followed by 8 notes of paradiddles. Play this (or something else you come up with) very very slowly, and try to make the doubles, singles, and paradiddles sound exactly the same. This is really hard, especially on a low-pitched drum with lots of resonance (like a 16” floor Tom tuned low). It takes years to really master, and it’s on my list of warmups every time I practice.

Keeping attention on clean form and a loose grip really helps, too. I also recommend playing on all kinds of surfaces, everything from your leg to floor Tom to snare rim to hi hats. Moving the Stone Killer around the kit without stopping is really helpful, I find.
 

Tony_laz

Member
Hi Guys Thanks so much for this info really loved that video to, I'm not familiar with Joe Morello at all but the guy had some serious chops indeed.

Just to give a bit more detail, I'm finding it particularly difficult to go from 32nd note double strokes down to 16th double strokes smoothly. I always seem to be late going down into the 16th's.

From my own observation it seems as though I'm anticipating the need for more velocity on that first 16th note double stroke and so I'm bringing my stick up a bit higher and as a result can't quite get the stick back down in time.

I can move smoothly from 32nd double stroke rolls into 16th note single stroke rolls. I feel technically that because I'm playing so low on the 32nd note rolls that getting the stick up to a height again to play 16th note doubles immediately after is making me late.

Am I doing this right? its a bit sloppy please forgive me it was late at night by the time I got a chance to record this lol.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=13uL7ZZQZgsmS5NL3FEnMhg6d3lcD6Asv
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Throw a snare head or even a piece of notebook paper over a pillow, slow the whole thing down to about 1/8 the speed, literally, and try that for about a week or two. Keep a loose grip. Stop using rebound at that tempo. There are plenty of people who can play twice that speed without using any rebound at all, easily.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Hi Guys Thanks so much for this info really loved that video to, I'm not familiar with Joe Morello at all but the guy had some serious chops indeed.

Just to give a bit more detail, I'm finding it particularly difficult to go from 32nd note double strokes down to 16th double strokes smoothly. I always seem to be late going down into the 16th's.

From my own observation it seems as though I'm anticipating the need for more velocity on that first 16th note double stroke and so I'm bringing my stick up a bit higher and as a result can't quite get the stick back down in time.

I can move smoothly from 32nd double stroke rolls into 16th note single stroke rolls. I feel technically that because I'm playing so low on the 32nd note rolls that getting the stick up to a height again to play 16th note doubles immediately after is making me late.

Am I doing this right? its a bit sloppy please forgive me it was late at night by the time I got a chance to record this lol.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=13uL7ZZQZgsmS5NL3FEnMhg6d3lcD6Asv
On a side note, your hand technique looks to be coming along nicely. Loose and relaxed.

One thing...during the 32nd notes, you are using your entire arm, which is not good. (unless you're doing the Moeller technique)

In general, your wrists and fingers should be doing all the work. Your upper arms and forearms should be stationary and relaxed.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Honestly the answer to every question about having issues in drumming is just slow down. It sucks to hear that, but I bet it's the same learning piano.

If I can't play something, I slow it down. WAY down. Increase by 1-2 BPM, Can i do it? good, add 1-2 BPM.

There will be a point where it gets sloppy. Thats too fast. perfect practice makes perfect. I bet you can play 32nds and transition at a SUPER slow speed. Drumming is all about muscle memory. Just repeat it for hours and hours and it will come.
 

Tony_laz

Member
Thanks for all of the input guys,

Could I just ask in regard to the 32nd notes I was under the impression that you were suppose to use the forearm and not the wrist once it becomes to much for the wrists? Is this right?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Yeesh! Stop practicing your rolls like that, immediately! :) Check out, and play along with, this video:


In general, your grip is too tight around the index finger and thumb. The stick should rest between the pad of your thumb, and the crease underneath the first knuckle of your index finger. Your middle, ring, and pinky fingers should be curved gently around the butt of the stick. This will all feel very, very weird at first. It's going to be a leap of faith on your part.
 

Tony_laz

Member
This is what I thought I was doing. lol. I've joined up to Bill's site and have been following it for the last few months. I've been trying to use the index finger for fast rolls as Bills has made the point the index finger should be used as your maximum speed finger, I think this is why the emphasis in my technique looks so heavily weighted towards the front part of the hand.
 

DrummerGirl01

New member
Excuse me for the "gory" details, if you cut your middle, ring and pinky you will sound the same as now, your roll is pure bounce. You can play like that but never is going to sound accurate, it will be on the sloppy side, that is how untrained drummers sound, like there are "missing screws in the frame".


Hi Alex, I really don't know if you mean to be rude, but your messages are coming across as quite blunt and quite frankly belittling. You can clearly see this gentleman is in the beginner stage with his drumming, and you're being quite snooty towards him. If you want to offer some useful advice, then I suggest you do it in a more friendly manner and with a bit more encouragement, after all we were all beginners once. Thank you.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
Hi Alex, I really don't know if you mean to be rude, but your messages are coming across as quite blunt and quite frankly belittling. You can clearly see this gentleman is in the beginner stage with his drumming, and you're being quite snooty towards him. If you want to offer some useful advice, then I suggest you do it in a more friendly manner and with a bit more encouragement, after all we were all beginners once. Thank you.
No i don´t want to be rude, English is not my mother tonge and i´m telling him what you will tell him in Spanish translated. I told him honestly what was wrong and gave him two videos by me. Should I do the opposite? It was not my intention, then i will erase them it was not my intention...

Thanks!
 

Tony_laz

Member
So ultimately the main advice I've received so far is to start practicing the faster double stroke rolls (aka 32nd notes) at slower tempos.

I get the impression from what Push Pull is saying is also that my fingers need ALOT more development hence the advice to practice on a surface with little rebound?

As I said previously I've been trying to follow the advice I've seen on Bill's site in regard to how to technically perform these faster double strokes but there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice in this thread.

I've seen from Alex's video there almost seems to be no wrist involved at all in your double strokes it's predominantly fingers. Am I best to contact Bill and see if I can get him to take a look? After all there seems to be many different ways to achieve the same result.

BTW thanks for your input drummergirl I don't think Alex meant to come across like that, perhaps it was just a language barrier or a bad translation.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
This is what I thought I was doing. lol. I've joined up to Bill's site and have been following it for the last few months. I've been trying to use the index finger for fast rolls as Bills has made the point the index finger should be used as your maximum speed finger, I think this is why the emphasis in my technique looks so heavily weighted towards the front part of the hand.
True, the index should engage at very high speeds. However, at the speed in your video, you don't need the index, at all, really, for the 32nds or 16ths in your video. As you play 16ths, it's easy to see and hear that the first note of each double is much louder than the second. This is because you are bouncing the stick, while squeezing near the index. Instead, you should be "snapping" or "catching" the second note of each double stroke with the middle, ring, and pinky, while being relatively relaxed around the index.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So ultimately the main advice I've received so far is to start practicing the faster double stroke rolls (aka 32nd notes) at slower tempos.

I get the impression from what Push Pull is saying is also that my fingers need ALOT more development hence the advice to practice on a surface with little rebound?

As I said previously I've been trying to follow the advice I've seen on Bill's site in regard to how to technically perform these faster double strokes but there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice in this thread.

I've seen from Alex's video there almost seems to be no wrist involved at all in your double strokes it's predominantly fingers. Am I best to contact Bill and see if I can get him to take a look? After all there seems to be many different ways to achieve the same result.

BTW thanks for your input drummergirl I don't think Alex meant to come across like that, perhaps it was just a language barrier or a bad translation.
Practice the "throw-catch" technique that Bill teaches, and do so on a pad with good rebound. Part of executing smooth doubles is about taking advantage of rebound, and you can't practice that part of it on pillows. There is some wrist involvement, although it will depend on volume and speed. You may not be able to see the wrist movement, but the "throw-catch" technique will definitely display how the wrist is involved.

Think of your body's joints as gears. At very slow speeds, it's not necessary to use fingers or wrists. You can just move your arms up and down. As speed increases, it becomes necessary to use your wrists, and eventually necessary to use your fingers. Finally, the index finger is your last gear. And you do NOT want to use your fastest gear, at speeds that don't require it.

EDIT: at some speeds you will use a combination of wrist and fingers.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Thanks for all of the input guys,

Could I just ask in regard to the 32nd notes I was under the impression that you were suppose to use the forearm and not the wrist once it becomes to much for the wrists? Is this right?

after years of playing and increasing slowly it just kindof happens to be honest. Your body can do it slow, as you speed up you use different muscles and technique, everyone is slightly different.

I engage the wrists and fingers at slow AND fast speeds. The ratio does change as I speed up. It's the same with double bass, slowly I use a good amount of leg from my hip flexors, fast is mostly ankles, the middle speeds are the most difficult where it's a hybrid of both.


Try practicing on multiple surfaces too. I have a Moongel practice pad, that forces me to use more power as it has NO rebound, a couch cushion will do the same. You can not cheat on these. I have a prologix blue lighting, that pad has a minimal rebound surface but isn't TOTALLY dead. I also have an evans reelfeel pad. Those things are very bouncy and help with speed. You could use a pillow, a block of wood, a mouse pad. Whatever you want really each one will help.

Focus on hitting straight down, if you come at an angle it doesn't work very well. Try taking your index fingers right off the stick for a while. That is a good way to work on the back 3 fingers and control the stick. When you are doing paradiddles, doubles, accents you really will feel it.

I made this video for rudiments a while back. The same stuff pertains to singles.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
after years of playing and increasing slowly it just kindof happens to be honest. Your body can do it slow, as you speed up you use different muscles and technique, everyone is slightly different.

I engage the wrists and fingers at slow AND fast speeds. The ratio does change as I speed up. It's the same with double bass, slowly I use a good amount of leg from my hip flexors, fast is mostly ankles, the middle speeds are the most difficult where it's a hybrid of both.


Try practicing on multiple surfaces too. I have a Moongel practice pad, that forces me to use more power as it has NO rebound, a couch cushion will do the same. You can not cheat on these. I have a prologix blue lighting, that pad has a minimal rebound surface but isn't TOTALLY dead. I also have an evans reelfeel pad. Those things are very bouncy and help with speed. You could use a pillow, a block of wood, a mouse pad. Whatever you want really each one will help.

Focus on hitting straight down, if you come at an angle it doesn't work very well. Try taking your index fingers right off the stick for a while. That is a good way to work on the back 3 fingers and control the stick. When you are doing paradiddles, doubles, accents you really will feel it.

I made this video for rudiments a while back. The same stuff pertains to singles.
Great chops, although I find I’m a little more comfortable with my elbows slightly farther out than that. Also, one of my favorite exercises is putting a snare reso head over a pillow and playing rudiments. Try it
 
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