Almost a year ago, I posted about my favorite rudiment, the six-stroke roll. Now, let’s spend some more time on this lick and really break it down.
A six-stroke roll is simply one beat of 16th note triplets (6 notes total) using the sticking RLLRRL. Okay, that’s simple enough to understand, but how can we build our chops? And how can we employ this lick around the drum kit?
First, let start by splitting the roll into halves – RLL and RRL.
By breaking the roll up like this we can really focus on the feel of each half of the roll. Practice these exercises very slowly, at first. Start at 60 bpm and stay there for at least 5 solid minutes then increase the tempo by 10 bpm. Each time, stay at the set tempo longer than you feel like you need to. Focus on the stroke. Really pop the accents and make sure the inner beats (non-accented notes) are light. The slow tempos give you the time to perfect your playing and build up your muscle memory.
Once you feel comfortable, put the two halves together and start working the entire roll the same way you worked the halves.
Now you’ve got the basics of the six-stroke roll!
In the next lesson, we’ll start to string the roll and it’s halves together to make fills and solos.