25th October 2018 Wil Wainwright

6-Stroke Roll Part 1

Here is another rudiment that, lets be honest, you really should know. Today I just want to introduce the 6 stroke roll in its simplest form.

1) Before we get to the actual rudiment itself, I’d like us to take this opportunity to warm up our hands and make sure we have our subdivisions and dynamics dialled in. To start with, lets just play RLL where the right hand is accented. Make sure your dynamics are defined and consistent. Once you are happy with this, make sure you play along with a metronome at a nice slow pace.
2) Next lets look at the RRL where the left hand is now accented. Once this is feeling comfortable and sounding good, play along with a metronome. Pay extra attention that the accent is on the last partial of the triplet and you do not move it to the downbeat.
3) One more exercise before we get to the actual rudiment itself. If you are unfamiliar with this style of transcription it can be a little intimidating. All it is, is swung 16th notes with accents on the down beat and the “a”. Take your time to get the motions smooth. It doesn’t have to be Moeller but a fluid motion works best here. Make sure, as in the previous exercises, your dynamics are accurate and consistent.
4) You made it! So here it is. The 6-stroke roll. Once you have the basic pattern, try alternating between this and the previous exercise. We will go into more detail in a later lesson on how we can interpret 16th note rhythms as 6-stroke roll type stickings.
5) In the final exercise we are just moving the accents in the simplest way. All right hand accents go to the floor tom and all left to the high tom. This can be a great exercise to help strengthen your accents in general.

There is a LOT of milage in the 6-stroke roll so make sure you have the basics down first. Once you have mastered all of the above, make sure you play them with both a 1/4 note and an 1/8 note pulse in the left foot. I hope you got something out of that even if you are familiar with the 6-stroke roll. We will go into more interesting applications soon.


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