Hello again! I trust all is well in the land of drums. This exercise is nothing new but I feel it’s a valuable one. Double and triple strokes are something of an obsession of mine. There’s nothing like a perfectly executed roll with the sound and precision of a machine gun!
Start this exercise slowly. We’re going to be using full strokes to execute this, throwing the sticks down allowing them to bounce back up to generate a clean, full sound. It’s not till we reach around 120 to 130 bpm that our technique will change and we’ll start incorporating our fingers. These will help you pull out the second stroke of the doubles and second and third strokes of the triples.
It’s important to have good “finger snap” technique to really keep the machine gun sound of these strokes. As the speed increases, your grip will close down slightly and your fulcrum will shift forward to the front of your hand. Your stick heights will also become lower with this increase of speed. Remember to keep it loose and allow the sticks to work for you—play off the drumhead not through it.
When I’m trying to play great double and triple strokes I always like to think of that scene in Predator, the one when Arnie and his squad decimate the forest with a million bullets, for the ultimate roll sound!
I hope you’ve found this useful and may your rolls be clean and fast! ‘Til next time.
Will Taylor is an author, educator and session musician based in London, UK. Find him online at willtaylordrums.co.uk.