EASY! 6 Six stroke roll exercises for beginners

Keno Hellmann    Updated on 28 Jul 2022

The six stroke roll is one of the 40 drum rudiments and it can be practiced in several ways.
If you want to get to know this cool rudiment, read on and don't forget to download the sheet music to play along to.

This is the Six Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment

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Good morning, and thanks for joining me on Midnightdrummer.com today!

This time, I will show you another great drum rudiment, which you should practice as often as possible.

If you need some ideas and exercises on how to practice the 6 stroke roll, this blog post is a great resource for you.

Let's start! 

Six stroke roll rudiment 

Since, the six stroke roll is pretty much a combination of the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll, you should work on these 2 drum rudiments first, before you start practicing the 6 stroke roll.

Six stroke roll PDF

Here you can download the free six stroke roll PDF to play along to the exercises from this blog post.

When you have built a solid foundation with these two drum rudiments, the six stroke roll will become a manageable exercise.

Now, let's have a look at the basic version of the six stroke roll rudiment:

This is the basic version of the six stroke roll rudiment

Exercise #1: Six stroke roll drum rudiment

As you can see, the basic 6 stroke roll starts with an accented single stroke followed by 2 doubles (LL RR) and ending with another accented single stroke.

> = accent

This is the most typical six stroke roll sticking, but you can also start with the doubles or whatever fits the musical idea you want to play on a drum set.

Here's another basic six stroke roll notation with 32nd notes:

This is another six stroke roll notation using 32nd notes.

Exercise #2: Six stroke roll notation with 32nd notes

Playing exercise #2 is the same as #1.

The only difference is, that the single strokes now become 16th notes and the doubles 32nd notes.

If you have difficulties playing the six stroke roll rudiment as 32nd notes, simply slow down the tempo on your metronome until it becomes easier.

Great!

Six stroke roll drum fills

While you are practicing these six stroke roll variations for some time, you will probably develop some ideas on how to apply this drum rudiment to the drum kit.

Right?

Here are a few ideas, how you can do that:

Six Stroke Roll Fills on Hi-Hat and Snare Drum

Exercise #3: Six stroke roll drum fill on hi-hat and snare

Exercise #3 starts with the double strokes (RRLL) on hi-hat followed by the accented singles on the snare drum.

Of course, you can choose any other instrument and apply the six stroke roll there as well. 

The best thing is to play around with the whole drum kit and see what comes out.

Here's another idea on how to apply the six stroke roll in a drum beat:

This is a six stroke roll drum beat application

Exercise #4: Applying the six stroke roll in a drum beat

You start with the doubles as 32nd notes (RRLL) on count 1, followed by accented single stroke notes on 1+ and 1d.

Repeat the same on count 3. 

On counts 2 and 4 you simply play 16th notes starting on snare followed by 16th notes on the hi-hat.

I chose to notate 1 kick drum only on count 1 and count 3. This can be extended how you like and need it for your song.

Exercise #5 is a great drum fill using the 6 stroke roll:

This is a Six Stroke Roll Drum Fill played on Crash Cymbals and on Snare Drum

Exercise #5: Six stroke roll drum fill

Exercise #5 is - again - nearly the same as exercises #1 & #2.

The only difference is, that the accented singles will be played on crash cymbals supported by a kick drum at the same time.

Conclusion

I hope that you were successful practicing the six stroke roll.

Please remember that you have to start very slowly.
Practice in front of a mirror and record yourself on video, so that you can see slight differences between your hands.

Try to be as precise as possible when you practice drum rudiments. That leads to a better sound, higher tempos and a better understanding of what drum rudiments are and how to apply them to the drum set.

Please let me know in the comments if there are any questions.

Talk soon and enjoy playing drums!

Keno Hellmann

Keno is a professional drummer & blogger from Hamburg, Germany.
In his career, he played drums for prominent artists like Elton John and popular German bands like Rosenstolz, Big Soul and others.
Since 2004 he's also teaching drums to students of all age-groups from beginners to advanced and semi-professional drummers.

He loves kitesurfing in Germany's North Sea & Egypt's Red Sea, cooking, and he is a big supporter of the HSV football team.

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