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How To Play Drums & Traps - the roll

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The Roll. Now we come to the most important and the
hardest of all the snare drum effects. It takes everybody con-
siderable time to perfect a really good roll—a succession of
rapid even strokes so close together that it sounds almost like
the purr—or roar—of a motor.

The roll always starts with the left hand, and is made with
alternate double strokes of each hand.

One secret of making the roll is this—let the second tap of
each hand be a bounce, instead of raising the hand and making
a second stroke. This makes for both smoothness and speed.
Another secret is always to raise your idle hand high so that
when you bring it down the stick will bounce almost of its
own accord to make the second tap.

Do not try to play a fast roll all at once. Start slowly and in-
crease the speed gradually. Most drum instructors have their
pupils start their daily practice by practicing the roll for five or
ten minutes, and this is a good idea for everyone to follow.

Flam Accent. This is a stroke that alternates from hand to
hand—left, right, left, right; then right, left, right, left, and so
on, starting with a different hand each time. It sounds like a
rapid ra-TAT-TAT-TAT, ra-TAT-TAT-TAT.

Single Paradiddle. There are three paradiddles, the basis of
each being four rapid, even notes. Notice the sticking care-
fully, as it is a little tricky until you get onto it. The single
paradiddle sounds like rat-tat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat-tat.

Flam Paradiddle. Like the flam itself, the flam paradiddle is
preceded by a grace note. It sounds like a rapid ra-tat-tat-tat-

Drag Paradiddle. This paradiddle is preceded by two grace
notes and sounds like ra-ra-tat-tat-tat-tat.

When you have mastered all these strokes you will be a
snare drum player. They are good fun for most people to prac-
tice. The main thing is to get sharpness, smoothness and speed.


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