Understanding The Buzz Roll

In this lesson we take a look at how the buzz roll works. There are a couple of factors that can help us improve the quality of sound and feel of our “buzzed” strokes.

Alternating Tap Strokes

The structure of the buzz roll is created by just playing alternating 16th notes as tap strokes (rlrl). Be sure to keep the heights down and focus on creating nice even strokes.


Fulcrum Pressure

Once we have our foundation of nice even 16th notes we need to create the actual “buzz” strokes. This step will focus on Fulcrum Pressure. Too much fulcrum pressure applied will make for a shorter buzz sound and minimal pressure will create multiple bounces. There has to be the correct pressure for the speed being produced of the actual stroke when you play alternating strokes. When you are at a slower tempo you will want to apply less fulcrum pressure to let the buzz open up to fill in more space. At faster tempos you want to increase Fulcrum Pressure since there will be less space to fill.

Back And Forth

Once you have a good idea of how everything works lets practice going back and forth between tap strokes and “buzzed” strokes. This will improve the evenness of each stroke and help you get acquainted with switching between the two. Think one measure of alternating 16th notes as tap strokes, then one measure of “buzzed” alternating 16th notes still as tap strokes. The hand movements are all the same, only the pressure applied and released changes.

Have fun and I hope this helps you!

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