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How to play a Double Stroke Roll - Free Drum Lesson

Updated: May 18, 2020

Welcome all to another free Drum Lesson at Hackney Wick Drum Studio. I'm Jack, your drum teacher in London. Before we start, if you're looking for online drum lessons, hit me up via or simply dive right in and book your drum lesson today. I've been teaching all ages and abilities for over fifteen years, so whatever aspect of your playing you're looking at improving, I'll have the right tools to make you a better drummer.

As part of our series looking at rudiments, today we're taking a look at the double stroke roll. This is my personal favourite rudiment. It adds a different texture to drum fills because the sticking and dynamics differ slightly from the single stroke roll. The key to getting this one to sound right is to get the transitions between the right and left hands as smooth as possible. As always, start it slowly and really focus on the smoothness of each note.

The double stroke roll is simply two right hands followed by two left hands. Check out the notation below.

You'll see that the first two notes of each beat, '1 e' are played with the right hand and the second two notes, '& a" are played by the left. Then you simply repeat the process for each beat in the bar.

Here is a video of me playing Sixteenth notes. You'll see that the first two bars are a single stroke and that the second two bars are double stroke.

Once you're happy with how your double stroke rolls are sounding, have a go at copying the video above. It's a great exercise to help you with the transition between singles and doubles and really helpful for your muscle memory.

Here's the same exercise played again at 90BPM. See how far you can take it tempo-wise, but remember, never sacrifice the rudiments integrity for tempo. If it starts to sound sloppy or lumpy, go back a few BPM and stick to that tempo until you've cracked it.

So there we have it, you should now have a basic understanding of how to play a sixteenth note double stroke on the drums. Now you can try and move this exercise around the toms.

Here's an idea for you to try, both with single strokes and double strokes.

If you're having trouble remembering where each note falls on the stave, you can always check back and have a look at my notes on the stave blog post.

See what different variations you can come up with using different parts of the drum kit using the double stroke. It's a highly versatile rudiment and one of the most widely used amongst the worlds top drummers.

That's it for todays blog post on how to play a double stroke roll. Like I said at the start, if you need anymore help with this or any other area of your drumming, get in touch in the comments below or simply book a drum lesson. I'm a drum teacher based in London but also have availability for online drum lessons, so I look forward to hearing from you with what you'd like to learn.

Thanks again for checking out my drum blog, and I'll be back in a few days with another lesson where we'll be checking out the single stroke four.

Until then, happy drumming!! Jack x

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