Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Snare drum technique: the roll.

Probably, the roll is the most characteristic and idiomatic of all snare drum techniques. I always tell my students we don´t have a bow or an air column allowing us to play long notes: isolately played, a 64th note lasts the same as a whole note on a snare drum. Thus, the roll  is the only way we can create the ilusion of a sustained sound.

A good rolling technique resulting in a good music making tool is a must. The sad thing is that, despite the roll being a basic technique, there are still wrong ideas and concepts arround it.

Trying to explain my thoughts on the roll, how I analyze it, the way I improved mine, and how I work to control the number of rebounds, I have shot this video:


Aplying the concept of the "Triple Stroke Roll" rudiment has been fundamental in order to improve my roll. I hope you find this video helpful.

As always, any comment helping me to become a better musician will be more than welcome. Anxiously waiting for them!

…et in Arcadia ego.
© David Valdés


  1. Thanks for this! As a working orchestral percussionist, I really enjoy your information and pointers.
    Please post more!
    in Canada

  2. Thank you very much for your kind words, Robin. Your support is what makes me want to write and shoot videos like this. Is very moving to see there´s someone "at the other side", reading my "aloud thoughts", those I thought nobody was paying attention to. Indeed, thank you very much.