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Thank You, Let’s Get Started! Free Lesson - Buzzrolls

Academy Lesson 1 Summary

Buzz Rolls 

The 5 things to work on to develop your buzz rolls

Over the years I’ve been asked a lot about my buzz rolls. In clinics, master classes and private lessons, it is usually one of the first questions people ask. I’ve decided to make Academy Lesson 1 all about my buzz rolls and the 5 things I work on to develop them.

Thing 1. Triples, Doubles, Singles. Working on your 3 stroke roll will help develop power and control with your buzzes. The 3, 2, 1 exercise will help work on all your rolls at once. It will help strengthen your triples (which will help your buzzes) your doubles and your singles all in one simple exercise.

Thing 2. Morphing from crushed to elongated buzzes. Working on this exercise will help you develop control over how long you let the buzz last. This will help you control how you phrase your buzzes. Morphing the phrasing of your buzzes can be effective in fills and grooves.

Thing 3. Adding accents to the crushed and elongated buzzes. You can start with morphing from crushed to elongated buzzes while adding the accents to Hey Pocky Way. You can also try the accents of the traditional New Orleans second line. Once you get comfortable with adding accents to buzzes, you can start to improvise and come up with some of your own ideas that you can use for grooves and fills.

Thing 4. Power exercise. Throw the stick into the head (or pad) to get the most volume and the longest length of buzz you can get. This is not the most musical exercise, but will help to develop power in your buzz rolls.

Thing 5. Rotating the sticks in the hands. While softly buzzing quarter notes at about 60 bpm, let the stick rotate in your hand. Rotate in different directions and watch the label on the stick to see it rotate. This isn’t so much to work on the sound of the buzz, but to break yourself of the habit of over gripping the stick. Concentrate on having no tension in your hands, forearms, biceps or shoulders. Relax and meditate on loosening up. This will help you loosen up and relax while playing. Having a loose grip will help your buzz rolls and over all sound on the drums. 

Supplemental Material
I've been getting the question of how to play a rebounded triple quite a bit so I've filmed a guerrilla supplemental lesson and have attached a worksheet to really help develop the triples.
At slower tempos and as I am working on power, I kind of “muscle it out”, but then as the tempo increases, at some point I transfer to a controlled rebound stroke that is very similar to the Jeff Hamilton “stroke” on the ride cymbal. For “the stroke”, You let the stick drop on the ride cymbal on beats 2 and 4 and then let it rebound for the skip beat and pick the stick up by “snapping” your fingers closed on beats 1 and 3. Once you get comfortable with “the stroke” at slower tempos it really works great to play up tempo ride cymbal patterns at 300-360+ bpm.
Once you are comfortable with “the stroke” in the right hand, you can work on it in the left hand traditional grip and/or matched grip. You can work on both hands on a practice pad or snare drum. If one hand is giving you problems, over work that hand and play more repetitions of the Spang-a-Lang-a-Palooza exercises with that hand. When you are playing your triple stroke (French) rolls, that same stroke is what you can use at faster tempos. I've attached my worksheet “Spang-a-Lang-a-Palooza” that will help work on triple strokes not just for the 3 stroke roll but for fast ride cymbal patterns as well.

Here's the Guerrilla lesson on the stroke. I'll film a more proper lesson on this later: https://goo.gl/m5FHb8

Also, this video from Tiger Bill may help as well… https://goo.gl/3GR7Xf

Filmed by Virgile Beddok
Mixed by Elaine Maltezos