Hello again! This is a classic drumcorp/marching band exercise, Chicken in a Roll. This is a great exercise for working on your single to double stroke rolls. It’s a basic roll using 8th to 16th notes and the sticking is laid out below the exercise. 

I’ve played the exercise using four tempos. Below is a guide to help you produce the correct technique for each tempo. 

SLOW: We are only using full stokes here in the German grip, even for the doubles. We’re just going to throw the sticks down and allow them to bounce back up, keeping as loose as we possibly can and allowing the sticks to work for us. 

MEDIUM: This is the same as slow, utilising the rebound of the full strokes to bring out a crisp, clear sound. 

FAST: This is where a slight change is going to happen in your grip. The right hand, up until now, has been in the German grip position. This will rotate slightly and now be in the American position (American grip is a half way house between German and French grip). This will allow for the fingers to help pull out the second partial/stroke of the double (This technique is also know as drop grab or push pull). 

Now for traditional grip players, this is where your first and index fingers are going to help pull out the second partial of the double stroke—just as it does in matched grip players. 

BAT SHIT FAST: The faster you go, the lower your stick heights will become. Your grip will also tighten slightly and shift further towards the front of your hand—the thumb and first finger. Your fingers will be working hard to pull out your double strokes, but this also means you get that amazing machine gun effect. 

I hope you find this and the video useful. Till next time. 

P.S. Check out Jojo Mayer’s Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer dvd, a must for anyone interested in drum technique.

Will Taylor is an author, educator and session musician based in London, UK. Find him online at


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