How To Play A One-Footed Bass Drum Roll

How To Play A One-Footed Roll

Tiger Bill

Last month we started to develop fast one-footed single bass footwork combinations. This month, we develop a full-fledged one-footed roll. Click here if you missed last month’s workout.

The one-footed roll, like the one-handed roll (see Lesson #3), is not an actual closed roll. It’s a triplet, as you can see in the written exercises below. When played up to speed, the triplet figure sounds like a continuous roll.

Practice the first exercise slowly playing the accents with leg technique and the unaccented notes using heel up. Gradually, you will be able to increase your speed. The trick is to gain speed without losing the clean, even sound of the triplet. Once you can play the first exercise easily, add the second one to your workout. With practice you should be able to get the one-footed roll up to 200 bpm and beyond! If you’re interested in stats, when you can hold 200 bpm for at least 60 seconds you’ll be playing 600 bpm with one foot.


For Further Study
Work on these exercises with each foot separately. Once you perfect that, try them with both feet using alternating single stroke sticking. Start out slowly and use a metronome to keep track of your progress. Practice at two volume levels, soft and loud, stopping at the slightest feeling of tension in your legs or feet.

The goal is to be able to play at any speed and any volume level with absolutely no tension! For more on Tension Free Drumming, visit

Next month: A double bass workout for developing extreme speed.

Get the How To Tune Drums Minibook when you subscribe to our newsletter