seven stroke roll notation

Boobai

Junior Member
Hi guys,
I don't really post here, just read a lot, but recently a question arose which I couldn't find an answer to.

The seven stroke roll notation - I used to read it as a dotted eight note roll.
Recently got a new solos book (Charley Wilcoxon - The All American Drummer 150 Rudimental solos) and he writes it there as a 5 stroke roll. only found one example of this writing method on the net:

clip_image004.gif

The question is, do I play it as seven stroke roll beginning on the eight note (like written) and landing on the 'e' (an-duh-1-e)? which is kinda odd because the 1 is accented.
or
Do I begin the roll as a drag on the eight note and land on the '1'?

Thanks alot for your attention.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Hi guys,
I don't really post here, just read a lot, but recently a question arose which I couldn't find an answer to.

The seven stroke roll notation - I used to read it as a dotted eight note roll.
Recently got a new solos book (Charley Wilcoxon - The All American Drummer 150 Rudimental solos) and he writes it there as a 5 stroke roll. only found one example of this writing method on the net:

View attachment 68194

The question is, do I play it as seven stroke roll beginning on the eight note (like written) and landing on the 'e' (an-duh-1-e)? which is kinda odd because the 1 is accented.
or
Do I begin the roll as a drag on the eight note and land on the '1'?

Thanks alot for your attention.

My understanding is that you begin it on the "and" as notated and use three double strokes (i.e. a triplet) to connect it to beat 1 (or 2 as the case may be). If you want to think of it another way, you'll be playing a 16th-note sextuplet beginning on the "and" of the beat.

Edited: 16th, not 32nd-note.
 
Last edited:

BillBachman

Gold Member
In the case you're referring to it sounds like the seven stroke rolls will be one 8th note worth of triplets, that's the traditional application of the seven stroke roll. So yes, start on the "and" count and roll to the downbeat playing eighth note triplet skeleton.

Now, the example you posted there would be five stroke rolls, especially when you do the math looking at note values and such. However, it's common place to use that same exact notation and then simply put a number 7 above it to tell the drummer to play a triplet roll.

The choice between the five and seven stroke roll would generally be determined by the tempo. They really just want a roll in there and they select the best amount of notes to make it smooth. They aren't always in a familiar metric rate either, for instance in "Downfall of Paris" there's a 15 stroke roll that covers a dotted quarter note's worth time (dotted quarter = 3 eighth notes). Metrically you just pretend it's a group of 7 doubled from start to finish. Again, all of these rolls were pretty much there to tell people the speed of the roll given the limitations of big `ol rope tension/calf skin headed snare drums.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I think there are quite a few pieces in Wilcoxon (and in Haskell Harr) where that same 8th note-value roll is indicated as a 5 or as a 7 within the same piece-- normally I play those as either 16th notes or a 16th note triplet, but those old guys are not always as hard and fast with rhythm as we are now, and I sometimes wonder if it's intended that you actually play the 7 on the "e-&-a". Elsewhere he writes a 7sr a an 8th note with a ruff at the beginning of the roll-- I believe that's definitely meant to be played in a 16th note rhythm, rolling on the "e-&-a".
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
When you see a 7 stroke roll notated on an 8th note as in the example you showed, it should be treated like a triplet, not "e, &, a". Stylistically, the triplet, and its subsequent release are played slightly behind the beat. You can hear a great example of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcNK0y8ta4Y

However, if you see an 8th note roll with a ruff in front of it, that it also a 7 stroke, but it is treated as "e, &, a". See example….

View attachment 7 stroke rolls.pdf
 
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