This column explores the six-stroke roll sticking. I say “sticking” because rhythmically it can be interpreted in different ways. The pattern is RLLRRL (or the opposite, LRRLLR). The first example shows the accepted rhythmic content for a six-stroke roll. Ex. 2 shows another version as sixteenth-note triplets with all the note values being equal. Whichever way you phrase them, these are handy patterns to use around the kit. Exs. 3–6 are some orchestrations around the kit that I like to use. Try these and then come up with your own. And don’t forget to try them with both the of the different phrasings.
DRUM! Music Editor Wally Schnalle is a drummer, composer, and teacher based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has performed with Eddie Gale, Ernie Watts, and the San Jose Symphony Orchestra. itrhymes.com