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How to play a Buzz Roll
Rudiments for Drums!

First things first
Drummers will often confuse a buzz roll with a double stroke roll. Although a double stroke roll sounds like it's "buzzing", it is not generally called a buzz roll. It is called a double stroke roll because it is played with "double strokes" (two strokes for each hand).

The buzz roll is also called a multiple stroke bounce roll and that helps understand the distinction. When approaching a buzz roll, teachers often have a drum student drop the stick on the snare drum and let it bounce multiple times (as opposed to just twice). They then drop the other stick and let it bounce multiple times. From there, they will gradually speed up the process and slowly blend the two together until it starts to create a consistent and smooth buzz sound.

R R R R R R ...    L L L L L L ...

As the student is attempting to learn the buzz roll and speed it up, two main approaches apply:

1. The basic grip of the stick is between the thumb and the index finger with the other fingers
mostly out of the way.

2. Slight pressure is applied downward into the drumhead and the speed is increased.

The most common mistake students make is taking things too fast. It is a gradual process building to a smooth buzz and patience is a requirement. If it is executed poorly, it will sound choppy and inconsistent. Practice hard and strive for perfection!

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