Drum Rolls

Most people that knows anything about drumming knows what a drumroll is. when it comes to reading drum rolls, they can be interpreted as either Multiple Bounce Rolls, or open Double Stroke Rolls. They’re usually written out the same way, and follow the same rules as to how to the note values of the rolls, and the length of their count. Below is a video showing you how to read, and count out the rolls.

Holding Rolls Based On Note Values

Typically, you’ll see long length rolls written with Quarter, Half, or Whole Notes. The images shows examples of that, and how many counts each note value holds for. For example, a Quarter Note is 1 count. Depending on how many slashes (Tremolos) you see on a note stem, they represent the rate of the rolls, and you’ll see that on each of the examples below. 

32nd Note Rolls

16th Note Rolls

Note: The augmented half note 16th note roll was put there for reference. Usually, the half note is naturally 2 counts, but since that note is augmented, one extra count is added which is half of the amount of counts of the half note. Yes, it sounds confusing, and you’ll learn more about augmented notes further into the reading music course.

8th Note Rolls

8th Note stems & Up

When it comes to 8th note, 16th note, 32nd note stems and beyond, the notes will multiply 2x to the next note value. 

How Rolls Can Be Written

When it comes to writing out rolls, it all really depends on the composer. Usually in Concert & Symphonic band, You’ll see rolls written with Whole, Half, and Quarter Note Stems. In marching/rudimental drumming music, you can sometimes see Whole, Half, and Quarter Note stems in sheet music, but you’ll quite often see rolls written with 8th and 16th note stems. It’s a bit rare to see 64th note rolls, but it’s in here for reference.