Here, with Nasty Lick #60, are some great sounding applications of the six stroke roll on the drum set.
If you’re not familiar with this pattern, the six stroke roll, in it’s most useful forms, is as follows:
1) Right Hand Lead
2) Left Hand Lead (“Backward”)
As shown in both 1 and 2 above, a common way to play the six stroke roll is as triplets and with accents on the first and last notes of each group of six. Many players, (myself included) find this to be the most useful version of the rudiment.
If you haven’t spent time with the six stroke roll, here is a PDF so you can shed it in the practice room: The Six Stroke Roll.
I’ve discovered that the “backward” or left hand leading version of the six stroke roll is very useful. The reason? It allows the playing of the upbeat (“let”) accents with the right hand. When playing the six stroke roll this way, those accents, which are arguably more interesting sounding because of their placement rhythmically, are easily played almost anywhere on the drum kit (left handed accents limit you to the left side of the kit).
I’ve found that idea extremely appealing because of the way it sounds. The “5 Variations” that follow will show you what I mean.
The illustration above will give you a taste of what I’m talking about. Nasty Lick #60 involves mixing the backward six stroke roll with a version that substitutes two bass drum notes and moves the accented right hand stroke to the toms.
The “5 Variations” include different phrasings and metrics: sixteenth notes, sixteenth note triplets and thirty second notes.
You’ll find the PDF here: Nasty Lick 60.