The six-stroke roll is one of a handful of popular rudiments commonly applied to the drum set. Let’s explore some of the ways we can orchestrate it. Here is the sticking for the six-stroke roll (without the accents) that we will experiment with.
Now move the first and last notes to the toms while keeping the middle doubles on the snare. This makes a cool fill.
You can also do the same thing with the crash cymbal and kick drum on the first and last notes.
The most commonly used application of this rudiment is as a fill commonly heard in Motown songs. Move the first note to a tom and add two more quarter notes.
And here is one of my favorite ways to apply it; playing it as 16th note triplets with the doubles between the hi-hat and ride with the snare on 2 and 4.
All of these variations of the six stroke roll are a good example of creative applications of the rudiments. Give them a shot and have fun coming up with your own.