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Snare Drum Warm-Up, Part 5

Move on to rolls.

The fifth and final installment in our series about creating the ideal warm-up routine.


The previous four blog articles in this series got your hands moving and introduced accent patterns, wrist lifts, and flams. Let’s move on now to rolls.

Element #5: Rolls

Rolls are arguably one of the most difficult elements of playing percussion. I like to incorporate double and triple/multiple bounce rolls into my warm-ups so I can work on my fine motor skills. I generally do these exercises for 30 seconds and then switch hands. Make sure that once you start you don’t change the tempo:

Musical annotation.

Once your hands are warmed up, it’s time for the long roll. The key to long rolls is to relax. Start with a minute for each long roll and build up to 4 – 5 minutes. This is also a great exercise when you are watching TV or YouTube:

Musical annotation.

Use a metronome on the first set of exercises to maintain a steady tempo. The rolls are the final exercise in a well-rounded warm-up.

For more roll exercises, check out my previous blog post “How Do You Roll.”

Creating a warm-up routine is an individual process and what works for me will not necessarily work for everyone. Feel free to create your own routine! Share your results with me at


Check out the previous postings in our Snare Drum Warm-Up series:

Part 1: Warming up the big muscles

Part 2: Transitioning to the small muscles

Part 3: Accent patterns and wrist lifts

Part 4: Adding flams to the equation



Dr. Dave Gerhart
Dr. Dave Gerhart is the assistant segment marketing manager of education and is a nationally recognized performer, composer and educator. Gerhart holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, an M.M. in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting, and a B.M. in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach. Before joining Yamaha, Gerhart was a Yamaha Performing Artist. He now travels the country sharing his passion for music education. In his free time, he teaches at the CSULB Steel Drum Orchestra and has published works for percussion and steel drum ensembles.

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