Master of the Press Roll

untitled2Also known as the “Multiple Bounce Roll” it is created using alternating handed strokes with no specific number of bounces. It should sound even and continuous. It is also called a “buzz roll” or “press roll” (most often when referred to in the context of drum-set playing). In essence the press roll is a closed roll with added pressure on the head. Dixie band drummers from New Orleans frequently use press rolls in their repertoire. One of the most highly respected masters of the press roll was Zutty Singleton. According to his bio on Jazz Mostly: “A gifted soloist, Zutty would sometimes follow the penchant of New Orleans drummers for starting a solo playing the melodic line of the number before creating rhythmic variations. A memorable example of his skill as a drum soloist is the unaccompanied solo Drum Face.” This solo highlights the press roll and how it can be used effectively. (Note: press rolls are by no means easy. Some drummers may think they are due to the lack of specific bounce and rebound, but maintaining an even press roll between the two hands takes some practice.)

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