How and When to Play a Buzz Roll on Timpani

It doesn’t happen very often but when you are playing timpani with wooden sticks for baroque and early classical music like Bach, Hayden, and Handel or sometimes Mozart and you come across a roll in the timpani part it makes sense to play a buzz roll instead of a standard hand to hand timpani roll. […]

How to Play Legato Drum Rolls on Timpani

Take a look this video about legato rolls from drum to drum and give it a try. In this exercise above practice moving from drum to drum while rolling. You’ll have to switch your lead hand during the roll so that you can move to the next drum smoothly. Practice playing a slow tempo with […]

Drum Rolling Exercises for 4 Timpani Drums

Here is another timpani roll exercise that involves moving between four drums instead of two. Left hand and Right Hand Lead Drum Rolls When you roll between drum and you’re looking for everything to sound smooth and legato you have to be able to switch from a RIGHT HAND LEAD drum roll to a LEFT […]

How to Play Tied and Separated Timpani Rolls

In this next video I talk about the ending of a timpani roll. Sometimes you will see that the end note is tied to the rolled note and other times you will see or maybe hear that there needs to be some separating between the roll and the next note. It’s an important technique to […]

How to Use Quintuplets to Learn to Play Drum Rolls Ending on Either Hand

Playing drums of any kind means that the drummer or percussionist needs to develop their ambidexterity which is the ability to do things well with either hand. In timpani playing we often have to start rolls with one hand and end them on the other hand. If we don’t practice this technique we either won’t […]

Timpani Roll Practice Exercises: Roll and Control

This exercise is tricky because you need to maintain the roll on one drum while playing the individual notes at the same time. Your ability to shift from right and lead to left hand lead will improve by practicing this carefully. This exercise continues to develop your rolling technique and it helps you to develop […]

How to Play a Fortissimo Piano Roll with a Crescendo on Timpani

What do we do when we see the following dynamic notation in a piece we’re playing? The trick is to play the drum loudly with a single note and to be patient. Let the sound almost die away to nothing and then start your roll at that very quiet level of sound. Then take your […]