Truly a lost art, this percussion technique is almost exclusively utilized on the snare drum, be it in a concert or rudimental setting.

Trying to illustrate a buzz roll here would be impossible, so it would be easier to explain it. A buzz roll is when each stick is pressed into the head using a variant on a rebound stroke and then alternated to the other stick. The trick to getting a buzz roll to not sound like total crap is having a feel for it - not pressing so hard that it sounds like ground notes on top of each other, but not approaching it too lightly and thus producing a sloppy open roll.

A buzz roll on a concert snare drum should just be a sound without borders, no beginning, no end, and no pulsation. It should sound like silk or a non-fluctuating ocean wave.

The proper way to learn how to buzz roll is to sit in a practice room with some sticks and a snare drum and just let the stick fall onto the drum until you are able to feel everything about the stroke, at which point you tighten and shorten the stroke without crushing or grinding it. After a couple of weeks, your hands will be ready to interpret a proper buzz roll.

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