Drums & Percussion/rolls


I am a newcomer to the drum (after years of woodwinds). How do you learn a fast roll as the intro to the National Anthem? Is that a rapid single roll?  Thanks, Joel

Hi Joel,
Welcome to the drumming community. The conventional way to play the intro to The National Anthem is to use a "buzz roll" or long roll as it's referred to in the NARD list of rudiments. It's an indeterminate amount of strokes in each hand. To achieve this, try dropping your sticks (RLRL) and letting them bounce rapidly and for as long as possible.  You'll have to apply a little pressure when the stick hits the head to achieve the "buzz" sound. Start slowly with the RLRL (assuming you're a righty, if not LRLR) sticking and over time gradually increase your speed.
Have fun with that!

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Mike Shapiro


I can answer questions regarding drum and percussion subjects. If you have a question about technique, rudiments, grooves, fills, styles, reading (etc.) in relation to the drum set... ask away! I'm also able to help with timpani, vibes, marimba and hand percussion. I can also answer questions regarding the purchasing of drum and percussion instruments and accessories, including vintage and current items. I can help with restoration projects or research with the history of percussion instruments, music, repertoire, manufacturers etc.


I've been playing professionally and teaching music for 25 years. I'm involved in many genres of music and have played with a wide range of musicians from Todd Rundgren to Zubin Mehta. I'm also very interested in the instruments themselves and have owned or played many interesting ones.

Professional Drum Teachers Guild

Bachelor of Music, The Juilliard School

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