ROLLING THE DIFFERENT NOTES

Beware, this is a fairly long page.

I describe how to play every single sort of roll on every note from bottom D up to top b. And a full chart with all the abc’s and the dots for each roll is on the (Fairly) Complete Rolls Chart page. Remember, as well as all the rolls detailed below, you can simply use the default rolls for each note ( if you like that sort of thing).

 

Aoife Johnstone, of Dublin

The  note ‘D’  

1.       First, a slap roll, either on the (C-row) drawn D, or the (G-row) push D will generally work best once you get it going i.e. D (3D_D

2.      Staccato roll using the D’s only. You actually hit each note in (very) quick succession. This sometimes works for me when I’ve built up a head of steam and it’s easier to just hammer the one key than jump around 2 or 3 to achieve a roll using cuts and tips.

The next 2 techniques [ nos 3-4]  are for rolls on the pressed D ( G2 ) only:

3.     A cran roll – cut the D with the pressed G ( C5 ) and pressed E. So it looks like this:  D (3GED. I have an extra F#, on the press, on my concer so I can also use it instead of the G, i.e. D (3F#ED.

The  note ‘E’ 

  1. A cran roll, cutting the E first with the G at C5, then tipping with the pressed D, and no E inbetween the 2 grace notes,  i.e. – E (3 GDE.
  2. An E EGE cran rollWorks like this –E (3EGE.
  3. bellows-change roll –  cut the E first with the drawn A at C5 , then the  F natural , and finally the E again, so E (3 AFE.  I find this works best  for jig rhythm. On anything but a very fast-actioned instrument it’s harder to make it effective  for rolls in reel-time .
  4. Slap rollE (3 E-E.

The  note ‘F#’ 

Here I’ll deal only with the drawn F# on the G-row. Some people have a pressed F# as an extra key. I do myself but choose not to use it when gracing.

  1. A cran roll. Cut with first the drawn A at C5, then the F natural. i .e. F# (3AFF#.
  2.  A slap roll . Timing is of the essence. This roll requires you to play 3 consecutive notes ( with a  tiny break for the ‘slap’ on the RHS) with the LH pinky, which is not generally as responsive as your  middle 3 fingers. Takes lots of practice, both at a slow speed and full pace.

The  note ‘G’

Here I’m dealing with the G-row pressed G (G3). I never roll the other G at C5 . But you could perhaps the slap roll for that button.

  1. A cran roll. You grace with the G at C5, then the pressed A at  T4, using your index and middle fingers respectively.  So, G 3(GAG.
  2. bellows-change roll – cut the G first with the C-row drawn B ( C6  ), then with the G-row drawn A (G3).         So, G 3(BAG.
  3. A slap roll whilst holding down the G.

The G-row ‘A’ ( at G3 )

  1. A cran roll.  Grace the A first with the drawn B (C6), and then with the other drawn A (C5 ). So, A 3( BAA.
  2. Another cran roll, and in fact the default for many people. But I can’t  make it sound as smooth as no. 1 above. It is: A 3(dBA, all notes on the draw.
  3. The slap roll works well too.

The C-row ‘A’ ( at C5

Here I cannot speak from experience as I do not roll this note.  However, if you use this A a lot, and want to roll it, I can suggest two types of cran roll. Firstly, gracing with the drawn B and the drawn G at T4,  so: A 3(BGA. Or grace with drawn ‘d’ at C7 and then the the drawn B,  so: A 3(dBA.

The pressed note ‘B’  ( at G4 )

  1. A sort of staccato roll. Play the B for about one-quaver-length, then play it again, cutting it 2nd time with the pressed ‘c’ at C6, then play again . So, it goes B 3( BcB.
  2. A bellows-change roll.  The B, then the drawn B at C6, the drawn ‘c’ at G4, then back to the ‘home’ B on the same button. So, it’s B 3(BcB.
  3. A slap roll .

Of these 3 I prefer the bellows change.

The note ‘B’ on the draw ( at C6 )

  1. A cran roll. B, then the drawn ‘d’,  the drawn A (either one), and the B again. So, it’s B 3(dAB.

The note ‘c’ on the press ( at C6 )

  1. A fiddle-style roll:  Cut the c, first with the pressed ‘d’ at G5, play the c again, then tip with the pressed  B at G4, then back to the ‘c’. So, it’s c 3(dcBc.
  2. A cran roll: as with the roll above but leave out the middle ‘c’. So it’s c 3(dBc.
  3. A bellows-change roll.  The ‘c’, then the drawn ‘c’ at G4, back to C6 for a drawn B, and finally the home ‘c’ on the same button. So. it’s c 3(cBc.

Of these,  I find the cran roll easier.

The note ‘c’ on the draw ( at G4 )

1.      A cran roll. All notes on the draw:  c 3(dBc.

2.      A bellows-change roll.  The ‘c’, then the pressed ‘c’ at C6, back to G4 for a pressed B, and finally the home ‘c’ on the same button. So, it’s c 3(cBc.

Of these, I prefer the former. The latter doesn’t work for me on the draw, more on the press.

The note ‘d’ on the press (G5)

 1.       A fiddle-style roll:  first the ‘d’, then cut with the pressed ‘e’ at C7, tip with the pressed  C# at T6, then back to the ‘c’. So, it’s dedc#d.

2.       A cran roll. A cranned version of the above. So, it’s d 3(ec#d.

3.       A bellows-change roll.  The ‘d’, then the drawn ‘d’ at C7, back to G5 for a drawn ‘e’, and finally the home ‘d’ on the same button. So. it’s d 3(ded.

4.       A slap roll .

The  note ‘d’ on the draw (C7)

 1.      A fiddle-style roll:  first the d’, then cut with the drawn ‘e’ at G5, tip with the drawn ‘c#’ if your instrument has one, then back to the ‘d’. So, it’s dedc#d.

2.       A cran roll. A cranned version of the above. So, it’s dec#d .

You could try a slap roll too, hitting the LH end of the instrument, but I haven’t got it to sound good yet.

The note ‘e’ on the press

 The only roll I know for this note is a bellows-change roll.  First the ‘e’, then the drawn ‘e’ at G5, back to C7 for a drawn ‘d’, and finally the home ‘e’ on the same button. So: s eede.

 The  note ‘e’ on the draw

I use this ‘e’ much more often. Here are the options –

1.       A fiddle-style roll:  first the ‘e’, then cut with the drawn ‘f#’ at G6, tip with the drawn ‘d’ at C7, then back to the ‘e’. So, it’s e 4(f#ede.

2.       A cran roll. A cranned version of the above. So, it’s e 3(f#de.

3.  A chromatic cran roll. This one I learnt from Dublin player and teacher Aoife Johnstone when she gave a workshop in Australia. The ‘e’ is graced by the drawn ‘d’ at C7, then the drawn ‘d#’ at T6 ( or T7). So, it’s e 3(d- d#- e.

3.      A bellows-change roll.  The ‘e’, then the pressed ‘e’ at C7, back to G5 for a pressed ‘d’, and finally the home ‘e’ on the same button. So. it’s e 3(ede. But, as mentioned above, these rolls on the draw can be hard to get right

The note ‘f’ ( C7) – A cran roll is recommended, gracing with the drawn a at C8 and the drawn e at G5. So – f 3(aef

The  note ‘f#’  –  The only roll I use is for this note is a cran roll.  Grace with the ‘a’ at G7 and the ‘eG5. So, it’s f# 3(aef#.

The  note ‘g’ Here I deal only with the g at G6. I never roll the other one. So I can’t offer any sort of informed option. I use a cran roll.  Grace with the g at C8, then with the b  at G7, i.e. g 3(gbg

The  note ‘a’ (G7)  I use a cran roll, gracing first with the drawn b at C9, then the drawn ‘a’ at C8 , so it’s abaa.

 The  note ‘b’ on the press (G7)this can be difficult one to get right. I don’t play a pure roll as such. After the playing the note first. I release it and play it again, then hit the pressed d’ on the key above , then play the b again.  The last 3 notes really come out as a triplet  – so : b 3(bd’b. 

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