Double Stroke Exercises
Practicing doubles is essential for any drummer to gain the ability to have full control of their playing and be able to play every beat precisely and with ease.
To begin with, practice playing doubles (RRLL, etc) at a steady tempo you feel comfortable with, and over time build up the tempo. Eventually, you’ll be able to play them evenly at a fast tempo, resulting in a fluent double stroke roll.
There are many other variations of the double stroke roll (such as the Seven Stroke Roll and Nine Stroke Roll), and can be found on the Vic Firth website, along with loads more rudiments to practice.
Once you’ve grasped double strokes and can play them evenly on both hands, you can play about with different patterns of doubles to add to your practice routine. Below, I’ve notated a few to get you started. All examples should be practiced leading with both your right and your left hand!
This first one is a straightforward RLRL pattern, starting with a single stroke roll and ending with a Seven Stroke Roll (RRLLRRL, etc).
This next one is similar but instead of playing a Seven Stroke Roll, you play a Nine Stroke Roll (RRLLRRLLR, etc). N.b. Beat nine of the Nine Stroke Roll lands on the first beat of bar 2).
You can vary the pattern by still ending with a Seven Stroke Roll, but playing a paradiddle at the start instead of a single stroke roll:
And do the same again but with a Nine Stroke Roll:
This last one is good for strengthening and evening out the wrists. You begin by playing the usual single stroke roll but with four R-hand beats, followed by a L-hand leading Nine Stroke Roll. The hands reverse in the second bar: