Double Stroke Roll

Learn How To Play The Double Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!

The double stroke roll is not only a very important rudiment to master for anyone serious about their drumming, but for anyone serious about mastering the 40 drum rudiments. The double stroke roll is the basis for many of the 40 drum rudiments. In this next free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to go about practicing the double stroke roll in an effective way, and exemplifies how to apply it to the drum set through a couple of drum beats and drum fills.

The double stroke roll is the second most important pattern of the 40 drum rudiments. Whether you’re brand new to the 40 drum rudiments or a more seasoned drummer, check the lesson on the single stroke roll before attempting to learn how to play the double stroke roll. This way, you can learn how to play the 40 drum rudiments in a proper sequence.

The double stroke roll works just like the single stroke roll - it’s played in a sequence of alternating strokes (roll). But instead of having one stroke per hand you’ll have two, as shown on the sheet music below. You can use full wrist turns to play each stroke of the double stroke at slower speeds.

Double Stroke Roll

Focus on getting consistent sounding doubles for each hand. You can check your stroke evenness by watching your stick heights. Uniform distances from the drumhead to the drumstick for each stroke will hail even sounding doubles. If the first stroke of each set of doubles is louder than the second, your double stroke roll will sound sloppy and uneven.

As you start speeding up the double stroke roll, you’ll naturally start bouncing the second stroke off of the snare drum or practice pad. On toms this will not work as well. Tom-toms have very little bounce to them, and as such, your second stroke will sound muddy.

To work around this issue, you’ll have to play your double strokes exclusively with wrist motion. You can also get a more even sounding second stroke by snapping the fingers on the drumstick after performing the first stroke with the wrists. Work on leading this rudiment with both hands. When you feel you’re pretty competent in playing a double stroke roll on a single surface, it’s time to move on to the drum beats and drum fills on this free drum lesson.

You can start practicing drum beat #1 by playing a steady four-on-the-floor bass drum pattern – a bass drum hit on each quarter note – the snare drum on count 3, and the first 8th note on each double stroke, just to get used to the movements required to execute this pattern perfectly. Once you get comfortable with it, double the 8th notes on each tom to complete this double stroke roll drum beat.

Double Stroke Roll #1

To work on exercise #2 we’d advise you to start simple at first - with the hands. Play an alternating single stroke roll between the hi-hat and the snare drum. The notes played with the left hand on the snare drum are ghosted, expect for the “ah” of count 2 which is accented. The notes played with the right hand are at a normal volume on the hi-hat. On counts 2 and 4, and on the “and” of 4, the right hand comes down on the snare drum to play accented strokes.

Double Stroke Roll #2

Once you feel comfortable playing this, add the bass drum on all the 8th notes. This is the basic pattern; make sure to practice with a metronome before adding the doubles in, since they add an extra level of challenge. The double strokes are represented with a diagonal line on the note stems on the sheet music below. For each of the stems with this diagonal line you’ll have to double the single strokes you were playing before.

Exercise #3 is the first of two drum fills in this 40 drum rudiments free lesson. In this first pattern you’ll have the left hand on the hi-tom playing double strokes, while the right hand goes around the other drums playing doubles – floor tom, snare drum, mid-tom. The fill ends with a snare stroke on count 4. If there’re only two toms on your drum set you can play the mid-tom strokes on floor tom.

Double Stroke Roll #3

The last exercise on this free drum lesson is based around a very cool single stroke roll drum fill called “The X-Drum Fill”. Start by playing the first 8th note of each double stroke. This will help you getting used to crossing your arms before adding the doubles in. Once you feel comfortable, double the 8th notes by playing a 16th note double stroke roll “X-Drum Fill”.

Double Stroke Roll #4

Once you’re done with this lesson, and if you’ve already learned how to play the single stroke roll, you can move on to the single paradiddle. If you’d like to keep on learning how to play double stroke roll based drum rudiments, then the five stroke roll is the next best thing for you. If you’re more into learning a new type of stroke, check the multiple bounce roll, the flam, the drag or the triple stroke roll.