It is very important to develop the technique and skill to start and stop your timpani roll with either hand for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is that the music you are playing requires you to start your roll on one drum and finish on another drum which might be to your left or to your right and so by having the ability to adjust your roll and end on the appropriate instrument is very important.
Here is a simple exercise that looks easy, but needs a lot of work to become proficient at it
- Set your metronome to 100 beats to the quarter note and then play half notes with your right hand only
- When you are ready; play a roll starting on one of the half notes and end with your right hand on the next one. Your sound should remain consistent whether or not you are playing a roll.
- Repeat this exercise starting on the left and ending on the left
- Then alternate strokes from left to right. At first just play the half notes without rolls then roll from left to right and then from right to left