Monthly Archives: April 2021

Double Stroke Roll

One of the first rudiments learned by any drummer is the double stroke roll. The double stroke roll works just like the single stroke roll, but it’s played in a sequence of alternating strokes. Instead of having one stroke per hand you’ll have two. When played properly the two strokes can be made to sound identical. This produces a near-continuous sound when the technique is mastered.

Doubles are extremely useful. Isolated double strokes can be played around the drum set. In addition to those obvious applications, being able to play a good-quality double stroke roll will likely improve your drumming in ways you wouldn’t expect. I’m still working on my double stroke roll to this day. I’ve spent countless hours working it out on the pad while trying to produce as consistent a rebound as possible. Below are some exercises to help you improve your double stroke roll (Click image for full size):

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Spreading My Wings

I’ve always wanted to learn the piano. There’s something about that instrument that speaks to me. I took keyboarding and music theory in school but it’s like starting all over again. It’s a process. Challenging? Yes, but fun. (At least for me, maybe not so much for my family who have to hear me practice.) We were blessed to be given a beautiful piano by our church.

Being an historian, I did some research on our “new” piano and am amazed at the age of the instrument. The firm of Blasius & Sons built very high quality, well-made instruments on a smaller scale from the 1850s until just before the Great Depression.

Charles Blasius left his native home of Cologne, Germany to come to America at the young age of 25. In Pre-Civil War America, Blasius had the privilege of apprenticing with some of the most important piano men in American history. After mastering the art of fine piano building, Charles Blasius established his own company in 1855 in Trenton, New Jersey.

In 1857, Blasius moved his firm to Philadelphia, a hub of major piano manufacturing by many great makers. There he established his firm as “Blasius & Sons” after admitting his two sons Levi and Oscar into partnership.

So that means our piano was built sometime between the 1850’s and 1920’s. Imagine, this piano could have seen the Civil War. Let’s say at the least it was built in 1929, that’s 92 years old. It needs some tuning which I am attending to but other than your normal wear and tear it’s in amazing shape.

Ever since we delivered the piano to our home I’ve been obsessed with watching piano lesson videos on YouTube to learn and piano performances to get inspired. I’ve gone from watching Dave Weckl to Chick Corea. My drums must be jealous.

I plan to take some video to record some of my progress and perhaps I will share some here. Until then I’ll be back to drum posts in my next entry. Now it’s back to the piano. I have practicing to do.

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