The Buzz or Multiple Bounce Roll
Assuming that you now know the double stroke roll and its derivatives, it's time to learn the buzz roll. If you're just skimming through this book, do not attempt to play a buzz roll without first learning the double stroke roll. In the long run, you'll do yourself a favor. Why? You won't be tempted to skip the double stroke roll altogether.
You'll find that gaining proficiency with the buzz roll is a lot easier than gaining proficiency with the long roll. Don't take the path of least resistance. Some students cop out, figuring that they can “get away with” the buzz in most musical situations. Don't let this be you. The buzz is not to be confused with the novelty roll, the press roll. The press roll uses abnormally tight buzzes. In fact, they're so tight, that the roll sounds purposely ugly. For this reason, the press roll should be used only sparingly. Sometimes it's effective in jazz, but you should not worry about it at this stage in the game.
When playing a buzz roll, you must make each buzz really sing. Practice playing using each hand individually before you try putting them together to create the roll. After you learn how to play individual buzzes, connect them together so that as one buzz begins to decay, you play another buzz with the alternate hand. What you're actually playing are buzzed sixteenth notes. When the roll is properly executed, it should sound smooth and refined. This type of roll is the closest a drummer can get to sustain.
FIGURE 7-14 Buzz roll
The buzz roll (FIGURE 7-14) heard on the CD begins with individual buzzes played alternately between hands. Gradually, each buzz is sped up until you hear the buzz roll in its complete form. Like double stroke rolls, a buzz will always end with single stroke.