The open stroke snare drum roll is simply playing RRLLRRLLRRLLRLLRLLRRLLRRLLRRLL and in order to develop control you want to practice playing from very slow to as fast as you can play and then slow back down to the speed where you started.
The goal of this roll exercise is to speed up and slow down gradually and very evenly. A common problem that students experience is that when they are speeding up there is a gap or a hiccough that occurs when they transition from double strokes to double bounces with the snare drum stick on the drum.
The first thing we need to define is what a double stroke is and what a double bounce is:
- Double Stroke is the playing of RR or LL with two wrist motions.
- Double Bounce is the playing of RR or LL with only one wrist motion and the second R or L is achieved by the bounce of the stick
The roll from slow to fast to slow works the transition from double strokes to double bounces and back to double strokes again as the roll slows back down.
It’s important to not have any gaps or breaks in the transition and this is a good way to help with that problem.
Start by playing a double bounce roll at your comfortable rolling speed and start to slow down gradually. As you slow down make sure that you maintain your bounce stroke. Try to bounce as slow as you possibly can bounce and still maintain and even roll.
When you are as slow as possible you should be able to switch from a double bounce to a double stroke and keep the same speed.
Practice staying at the same speed and go back and forth from bounces to strokes. This is called the Bridge.
The Bridge is the speed at which you can play double bounces and double strokes at exactly the same.