Learning the Snare Drum Roll in 3 Minutes

I am taking a week break from my Technique Improvement Series to debut this new video. Next week it will return with tips for four mallet playing.

I have received many questions from percussionists about their roll and I have tried to answer a lot of them. I hope to answer more in this blog post but also in this new video.

I have received questions from students having trouble seeing learning the roll as a process. When you look at an individual chapter in my book it can be tough to understand how it fits into the entire process. You may have noticed I have used the word process a lot. That’s because that’s exactly what learning the roll is. A process. My hope with the video it to give you a very quick, overarching look at how you can build your roll from start to finish. Each step can take a while, and it should. Learning a new technique takes time to train your body. My hope with the book is to understand WHY you are doing something. It is so much easier to trust a process if you understand WHY you are doing something instead of “just because”. This new video is a nice summary of the first third of the book and how to slowly build your new technique into a roll you can start perfecting.

The biggest difference between my method of instruction of some of those historically taught is that my method teaches the roll as a NEW technique. Rather than start with a single stroke technique and change it and modify it until we arrive at a roll, I start with the roll as a completely separate entity. This can be frustrating a first because trying anything for the first time can be daunting. However, I have found time and time again, that ultimately this is a quicker path to success. Disclaimer: it may actually take longer than 3 minutes…

If you have more questions, be sure to leave them in the comment section and I will get back to you. Good luck!

4 thoughts on “Learning the Snare Drum Roll in 3 Minutes

  1. Your blog is great, and very useful.
    I would like to know which heads you prefer both, batter, and side, and how you tune your snare drum.

    Well done it!

  2. Patricio,

    Thanks for the comments! I use Evans heads on both sides. Orchestral Coated on top and either 300 or 200 series on the bottom depending on the drum. I tune the top to around a Bb. If I want a deeper sound I will tune an A and if I want a bright cutting sound I’ll tune a B. I tune the bottom head just slightly higher than the top, roughly a half or whole step. Hope that helps!


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