Rolling In Time

Three types of roll, three pulses

Rhythm - - RHYTHM DRUM LESSONS - Colin Wool­way colin@drum­

Wel­come to an­other jazz con­cepts ar­ti­cle, this time we are look­ing specif­i­cally at rolling in dif­fer­ent pulses. Jazz drum­mers of­ten mess around with what we call ‘met­ric mo­du­la­tion’, in other words mov­ing back­wards and for­wards from one pulse to an­other, by this I mean play­ing from straight ‘2 feel’ to swung ‘3 feel’ triplets. We can kill two birds with one stone, prac­tice wise, by ex­ploit­ing this con­cept of us­ing three types of roll; sin­gle-stroke roll, dou­ble-stroke roll, and buzz-stroke roll. We can use an­other ba­sic jazz con­cept of ‘ground­ing’ our prac­tice by keep­ing time with the bass drum and the stepped hi-hat.

Ex­am­ple 1 shows the ba­sic idea, chang­ing pulse ev­ery bar from eighth notes, to eighth note triplet, to 16th notes and back to eighth note triplets. Ex­am­ple 2 shows ex­actly the same stick­ing but played us­ing buzz strokes. Don’t be afraid to play this slowly, your eighth notes could be quite open and the 16th notes can be­come closed. Ex­am­ple 3 changes the stick­ing, play­ing two notes on each hand, take care with the triplets! Fi­nally, the prac­tice chal­lenge short­ens the amount of notes you play in each pulse, it should change smoothly from sin­gles to buzzes to dou­bles and back; check the video footage!

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