There are so many Joe Morello–inspired exercises that I use for practice and teaching. Joe’s classic Rudimental Jazz book was rereleased just prior to his passing, and I feel it is one of the most creative drum books ever written, with Joe taking the basic rudiments and applying them to the drum set. One of my favorites is a 5-stroke roll, played as eighth-note triplets, starting on the & of 4 (Ex. 1). I remember, way back in 1975, sitting in my apartment in New York, and practicing this one pattern for a week! Ex 2 is my variation, substituting a bass drum for every accent. You can also substitute the hi-hat. In Ex. 3, I take the basic pattern and play a 3/2 clave on the bass drum.
Danny Gottlieb has played with Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, the NDR Big Band, and is currently a member of Gary Sinise’s Lt Dan Band (ltdanband.com). He is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University Of North Florida. dannygottlieb.org