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The multiple bounce roll (also known as buzz roll) is mostly associated with orchestral and marching band snare drumming. However, it’s still possible to hear the multiple bounce roll being applied to the drum set in drum solos, and in popular styles of music like jazz, rock and Latin. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to apply the buzz roll to drum beats and drum fills, and shares cool practice tips that will get you playing the multiple bounce roll to your fullest potential.
The multiple bounce roll consists of consecutive and alternating multiple bounce strokes. Each stroke has an undefined number of notes that are produced by pushing the stick into the drumhead or practice pad surface, using a little bit of fulcrum pressure. The number of bounces is generated by the pressure you use on your fulcrum – the more pressure you use, the fewer amount of bounces.
If you don’t push the stick into the surface you’re practicing the multiple bounce roll with, you’ll be playing a single stroke roll. So, basically, the single stroke roll is the basis for the multiple bounce roll. Learn how to play the single stroke roll before going any further with this free drum lesson on the buzz roll.
The multiple bounced strokes are represented by the double diagonal lines on the note stems from the sheet music below. Work on getting your hands to produce an even amount of pressure on the drumsticks. As the stick bounces, you can relax a bit of the pressure on the fulcrum, making it easier to prepare for the next stroke. Don’t squeeze the sticks with the back fingers since it kills most of the bounce. Relax the back fingers and focus on the fulcrum pressure with the thumb and forefinger.
All these small tips will get you playing the type of multiple bounced strokes required to attain a great sounding buzz roll. As with the single stroke roll, the buzz roll does not alternate within itself. So, it’s important you learn how to play the multiple bounce roll leading with both hands.
Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat that incorporates two drum rudiments – the single stroke roll and the buzz roll. The first two counts will have you playing a 16th note single stroke roll between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Count 3 sees you playing a 16th note multiple bounce roll that ends with a single stroke on count 4. Add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3, and you’re done.
Transitioning from the 16th note single stroke roll on the hi-hat to the 16th note buzz roll on the snare drum is the most challenging part of this exercise. You’re not only changing techniques but doing so while going from one surface to another. Practice this exercise slowly at first, to enable you to get used to transitioning smoothly.
Exercise #2 is a 16th note drum beat. This exercises’ main challenge is pretty much like the one on exercise #1 – transitioning smoothly between buzz rolls and single strokes. The main difference here is that these transitions are played on one single surface instead. Thus, if you can play the previous exercise quite effortlessly, this drum beat will come easier to you.
Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill that features the multiple bounce roll. Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see how the drum fill has the same rhythmic pattern being played twice – one starting on count 1 and the other on count 3. The only difference is the drum played on counts 2 and 4. This rhythmic pattern is the same as the one starting on count 3 of exercise #1 on this free drum lesson. Thus, if you can play exercise #1 quite effortlessly, this drum fill will be easier to master.
Exercise #4 has a very similar rhythmic pattern to the one on the last drum fill. Still, there are some differences. The bass drum on count 3 of exercise #3, here is moved one 8th note to the left, to the “and” of count 2. The floor tom played on the fourth count of exercise #3 is moved one 8th note to the right – to the “and” of count 4 – with a hi-tom note being added to count 4.
Just remember to take your time with the material in each of these free drum lessons on the 40 drum rudiments. These patterns take years to master. The more thorough you are at practicing each one of the 40 drum rudiments, the better you’ll ultimately be at performing them.
Once you’re done with this free drum lesson, you can move on to learn how to play other drum rudiments. We encourage you to learn how to play the double stroke roll next. If you’ve done that already, check the free drum lessons on the triple stroke roll or on the single paradiddle instead.
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