The six-stroke roll is a very user-friendly rudiment when it comes to drum set application. A true mixture of singles and doubles, this rudiment allows for smooth mobility around the drum set thanks mainly to the two single strokes at the front and back. To put a fresh spin on this great rudiment I thought it would be cool to steal an idea from the great book by George Lawrence Stone, Accents and Rebounds.

The first bunch of exercises take a repeated accent pattern and applies it to different stickings. The goal is to make all stickings sound the same. This gives you interesting combinations of accented singles and doubles. In this exercise we will take one single accent and have it travel through the sticking of the six-stroke roll, which will create similar interesting combinations of accented singles and doubles. Developing this type of stick control will greatly help your ability to play ghost notes with ease.

This will help you to develop an accented note on the first stroke of a double (Ex. 1).

Ex. 1

This exercise will also help you to control the stick to create an accented note on the second note of a double (Ex. 2).

Ex. 2

Let’s start with the traditional six-stroke roll with the single strokes accented (Ex. 3).

Ex. 3

Next, we take away the accented single strokes (Ex. 4). This will already break your habit of always accenting the singles. Make sure to play this as evenly as possible as there may be a tendency to accent the first note.

Ex. 4

Now we will re-introduce the accent on the first stroke (Ex. 5).

Ex. 5

Move the accent over to the first note of the left-hand doubles (Ex. 6).

Ex. 6

Move the accent over one sixteenth to the second left of the doubles (Ex. 7).

Ex. 7

Move the accent over one more sixteenth to the first note of the right-hand doubles (Ex. 8).

Ex. 8

Move the accent over one sixteenth to the second right of the doubles (Ex. 9).

Ex. 9

And finally to the last single left hand (Ex. 10).

Ex. 10

We can now re-introduce the two accents that occur on the two single strokes (Ex. 11).

Ex. 11

Now, while leaving the first accent in place on the right hand, move the second accent through the rudiment (Ex. 12-15).

Ex. 12

Ex. 13

Ex. 14

Ex. 15

Eventually bringing us back to the traditional six-stroke roll (Ex. 16).

Ex. 16


Stewart Jean is Program Chair for Drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA.


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