One Handed Roll

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

The one handed roll (also known as freehand technique) is a great technique for playing a very fast single stroke roll with only one hand. In this free drum lesson, Jared Falk teaches you how to play the one handed roll and a couple of exercises that you can use to practice this technique. The one handed roll is broken down for you with slow motion video as well, so you can see exactly how Jared’s arms behave when applying this technique to the snare drum.

The one handed roll was first introduced to the drumming community by Kenwood Dennard. It was later made popular by the great innovator Johnny Rabb who began applying it to great success to drum solos and drum ‘n’ bass. Since the one handed roll allows for one hand to remain free to play grooves or ostinatos while the other one “rolls”, Johnny named it the freehand technique. This technique has become a staple in the world of death metal drumming as well. It’s used in the form of a blast beat known as gravity blast, hyper blast or Swedish blast.

The one handed roll uses the rim of the snare drum as a pivoting point for pushing and pulling the stick against it with the combination of an upward and downward motion of the arm. The one handed roll is not only a cool hand technique for showmanship purposes, but also for coming up with creative drum beats and drum fills. The one handed roll is not limited to the snare drum. You can use it on toms and cowbells for instance.

If you’re interested in knowing more about showmanship techniques, check the free drum lesson “Double Stroke Sweep” to learn a very cool showmanship technique that makes use of the double stroke roll. If you’d like to get some ideas on how to apply the one handed roll to drum beats, move on to the free drum lessons “One Handed Roll Applications“.




  • Alex says:

    Its cool, how can i download the video

  • john says:

    awesome just starting out buddy,need to learn more ,feed me please.

  • Plaid-Man Individual says:

    Hi Jared,
    Glad to see someone has developed this method of the one-handed drum roll, and is introducing others to it with this instructional video. It truly is an innovative, amazing and useful technique. I’m actually the innovator of this technique called “The D.B. Technique” (The “Double Bounce” Technique). I discovered/developed this method back in 1973 and wrote a booklet on it in 1979 (U.S. copyright TXu 284 910). The utility of this technique is awesome and I’m glad to see you spreading the word. Good on you and keep up the good work.
    Christopher Billings

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  • Steven says:

    How do you do this using traditional grip?

  • DadDoesDrums says:

    That was really awesome, especially the 50% speed view.
    I think the loose crack on the snare enhances the affect, though I’m sure sounds great on any snare tuning. Getting both hands working together And alternating creates great possibilities for 32nd and 64th note Single stroke rolls. Nice.

  • Kevin says:

    Man he makes that look easy, but it’s going to take a LOT of practice before I can even get 1/10 of the speed and accuracy he’s displaying here.

    • mikey says:

      iv been prac the one hander so mutch i drove my family nuts. lol so what i did to muffl the sound i put a tee towel over my snerr. now i can prac all i want lol. thanks j for the one hander lesson it worked for me.

  • anand ashok kumar says:

    wow buddy that was a very good show any one would like to see. And i as a music lover i have to agree you simply goooooooooood……Keep rocking.God Bless you.

  • prince says:

    please can u show how u use the stick in a slow so that i can understand cos i find it so hard to do as a beginner

  • iloveplayingdrums21 says:

    awesome nice lesson oh…….

  • michael arde says:

    i like the rolls now the rimshots can be now rimrolls but i like the most the bloopers

  • Alan Gervin says:

    Jared Falk is my hero. Being a new drummer trying to get to the sound that you want isn’t always easy, but with the easy to absorbe lessons and great content I feel confident I can stay one step ahead of my instructor and Jared’s videos are always a great point of reference for things I learned during my last lesson just to get a second point of view. Thanks for all your hard work on this site and keep the videos coming.

  • acoustic guitar learn play says:

    Thank you for any other informative blog. Where else may I get that kind of information written in such an ideal method? I have a undertaking that I’m just now running on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

  • ian says:

    nice lesson. keep it up.

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  • Marco says:

    Jared, your lessons are brilliant and this is another brilliant one! Please do a follow up!

  • Tom says:

    Does anyone have any tips on just using your wrists to do this roll?
    I find myself using my whole forearm…
    Maybe because I moved my snare in front of the computer to try to copy Jared’s motions.
    Very cool skill to develop… Thanks Jared

    • Tom says:

      Back to myself and anyone else who is listening.
      After a couple of hours, once I was able to speed it up, it naturally turned into wrist action and the rhythm became much easier. Now I just need to concentrate on not hitting the rim so hard.

  • Kermit says:

    Your lessons are extremely beneficial to me. However – I have Hughesnet Satellite DSL and am subject to FAP (Fair Access Policy) which does not allow me to watch much without losing access to downloads or “live” feeds – for example, I watched your 2 one handed roll lessons which reduced my download allowance by 33%. If I use up my allowance, I can fill’er up again for $7.50 – This really sucks, but I live rural and there is no other option. Cutting to the chase. I would be willing to subscribe to an ongoing “DrumLessons.com DVD club” (OK you come up with a better name) and purchase these DVD’s. You could probably fit 10-20 lessons per DVD – anyway think about it – your capitalistic instincts should be kickin’ in – go for it! Gratefully yours #1 subscriber.

  • Roy says:

    I realy think you are doing a amazing yob teaching us this lesson lots of respect now that said i have being practicing this for a technique but istll have a question about it do u use your midlle finger like a automatic rebouncer and drop the stick on the rim and let it bounch back or do u use your middle finger to pusch the tip of the stick on your head as one motion reason for this question is i find i get faster srokes just by bouncing on the rim but when i pusch the tip on the stick back with my middle finger on the head the 2 strokes sound more the same and preduce a better sound
    Please some advice on how to do this

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  • joe says:

    Really like your lessons overall and this a good one, too. I can see that you have your snare mounted a bit higher than me. It seems like as a beginning drummer I always find myself hitting the rim inadvertantly, that’s why I dropped mine low. Maybe I just need to get used to playing with my arms higher? I guess the entire kit would raised.

  • Terry says:

    New to all this, but having fun.
    This site is freak’n awesome and this lesson is fun and cool. It’s taken me about a day and a half to figure this out (still working on the left hand and I want to bite it off some times).
    One thing I don’t think you stress enough is the tension on the middle finger. I know you say you hold the sticks a little tighter, but I think the average beginner probably misses the importance of the middle finger. Assuming I’m doing it right, your middle finger is like a spring that has to have tension on it thoughout. It’s pushing the back of the stick up (the tip down), and the instant you raise your wrist the “spring” is snapping the tip down as you are already pushing back down to the rim. I think your instruction and the video are great, but I swore for about a day that your wrists were different than my wrists. Once I realized I needed tension up (not just grip) on my middle finger, I also realized our wrists are pretty similar. Thanks, and hope that helps some other beginner shave off a few hours.

  • Jisoo says:

    oh it is awesome and this place is very good and i was learning by myself and this is so good for me

  • Husnia says:

    great lesson.Thanks

  • jake wright says:

    i was wondering if yall could make a video on behind the scenes of how a online drum lesson is made thanks jake

  • Gabriel says:

    sweet Jared to the practice room! thx

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      Nice giveaway!! Let’s see, what would I not apgtoorhph with this?? I have been wanting one, but can’t justify the purchase right now. I would love to do A photo a day for 365 days in 2011! It would be fun to see what I came up with at the end of the year.

  • larry d says:

    in the video, do you use the middle finger for speed
    or is it all wrist? (maybe camera might be able
    to shoot that angle to show) Thanks

  • Ronald Cote says:

    Hay J; Your drumming survived the rapture; but you look like YOU DIDN’T, (ha-ha).

  • chris says:

    awesome brho thanks

  • Bradly says:

    that really helps me, thank you alot, do you have a good technique to do double or triplet kick, or doing 16th note with the kick please, and thank you again

  • Chris says:

    Due to my living situation, I must use electronic drums. I wonder if I even have a shot at doing it.

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  • Dave says:

    Great lesson. Follow up video please.

  • Mayford says:

    Great video! Thank you loads…….

  • Israel says:

    This is great and fascinating. But How could I get this for home practice.

    • Janado says:

      Use a practice pad.

      If you have a pad with a rim you’re good to go. If your practice pad is rimless, use one of your drumsticks as a makeshift rim. Hold it with one hand while you practice the one handed roll with the other one.

      Since drumsticks are a bit higher than rims, slant you practice pad a bit in your direction.

      Hope this helps :).

  • Thuggery says:

    thx im teaching my son, lol, dont play myself (i play guitar} so your vids are great

  • chris says:

    Would you use the same technique for a two handed roll ?
    Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Ronald Maratas says:

    just lost the use of my left hand so this is excellent in playing those rolls.

  • Alan says:

    Question – Thanks, really liked this challenging video, is there any way to practice this on a pad (rimless). I have been doing all my practicing on pads and a electric set (don’t own any drums YET).

  • BIG MIKE says:

    thank you your the man

  • Dave says:

    good lesson

  • Chiko says:

    Great video! Go on, it´s very interesting to get newaideas!

  • William says:

    Follow up video 😉

  • Sukrit says:

    awesome lesson i am weak at my left hand it gts hard

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  • BUSAWEZ says:

    Awesome thankyou love this stuff!!!!

  • Liz says:

    You are seriously a blessing thank you so much! I have always wanted to learn how to play the drums, but I can’t afford a teacher right now! Your video is great for beginners and I feel so much better knowing I can learn this stuff! 🙂

  • Camilo says:

    follow up video please!

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  • Camilo says:

    Follow up video!!

  • JJ says:

    u look like a somby

  • ABUY says:

    That’s amazing Jarek…
    I like your lessons. Thanks U.

  • John says:

    Great vid – please do a follow up

    Thanks for posting

  • jash says:

    good lesson.. it helps me a lot.. thanks..