This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the October 2015 issue,
which is available here.

Rock & Jazz Clinic

The Flexible Five

Exploring the Five-Stroke Roll on the Drumset

by Mike Johnston

One of the most common questions I get from students is about applying rudiments on the kit. They want to know how to use these combinations of notes that they’ve put so much time into, and how to create something interesting with them instead of just playing them on a rubber pad—and I don’t blame them.

One mistake that’s often made when applying a rudiment to the drumset is thinking that it has to be played in the exact same way you were playing it on the practice pad. Yes, in the beginning you’ll want to transfer the rudiment verbatim from pad to kit. But after you become comfortable with it, you need to go deeper. Explore new sounds and textures. Allow the rudiment to become an inspiration for creativity rather than a set-in-stone rule that can’t be broken.

For more on this topic check out the complete article in the October 2015 issue, which is available here.

Learn more about the October Issue of Modern Drummer magazine