DAY 26 – Theory

5/8 meter – various ways of dividing time + Buzz Stroke Roll

1.How to play in 5/8 meter comfortable?

Meter 5/8 – how to count? Buzz Stroke Roll technique

The 5/8 meter is quite common in music, so it’s worth getting acquainted with it and being able to play it freely.

However, counting with eights can be tedious, so I will describe you two other convenient ways to count in 5/8 meter.

1. Simplify the time signature to two quarter notes + eighths

Instead of counting by eights, divide 5 eights in half, you get „2.5” of quarter note, that means you count two main note (quarter notes): „1 2” and one eight note (twice shorter than the quarter note). Graphically you have:

1-2- &

1-2- &

… etc.

Counting by quarter notes up to „two” and adding one eight note, you will be able to play more comfortably and you will be able to divide the measure into five eights more easily.


The second very common way of counting is to use syllables (words) instead of numbers – build your word or a few words containing 5 syllables, for example „I-want-to-play-more”.

Playing just sing in your head or aloud this sentence:




Each of this sentence means one bar of 5/8 meter. It’s very simple and very effective way!

2.The Buzz Stroke Roll Technique

Buzz stroke roll is a technique of free rebounding of the stick, without the participation of finger muscles – you lower the stick loosely, allowing it to bounce off the elastic surface of the snare.

Therefore, you can only use this technique when the instrument you are playing on is springy (snare, pad, cymbals). You won’t be able to use buzz stroke roll, e.g. on toms. Dynamics are also difficult to control in this technique. How to practice the buzz stroke roll?

1. Grasp the stick in the right place of balance – so that it bounces well without using force, under the influence of its weight.

2. Stroke loosely releasing the stick – hold the stick mainly with your thumb and forefinger – pressing the stick against the snare drum, you can pull it towards you, together with your hands, which will help you get more bounces – try to get as many bounces as possible at the beginning (you practice due to this, the proper balance of the stick).

3. In the next stage, try to get a certain number of reflected bumps: start with the reflected doubles, then play three strokes, four, fives …

4. Then add the remaining fingers (lying freely on the stick) and use all fingers for better control of the stick.

5. To get the so-called Tremolo, combine hitting with one and the other hand, playing the hits as densely as possible (a large number of bounces) and as close as possible to each other (both hands play alternately) – thanks to this you get a continuous sound called „tremolo” – useful in different situations and being the calling card of every drummer (not only classical or jazz).

Good luck and welcome to the practical exercises!