Single Stroke Rolls

Single Stroke Rolls


The Open/Close Technique

by Gordy Knudtson

Video About This Book


Multi-note strokes increase speed and energy efficiency by allowing the stick to strike the drum head more than once during one down/up movement cycle of the hand. Two common multi-note stroke techniques are Moeller and Open/Close (aka Push/Pull). Both techniques employ natural body and stick movements. The difference between them is the size of those movements. Moeller uses larger body structures — upper arms, wrist, and hand — which produces a bigger, louder sound. Open/Close uses smaller body structures — wrist, hand, and fingers — which produces a smaller, softer sound.

Even though both techniques have been around for a long time, Moeller is more widely known than Open/Close. This is because Jim Chapin, a student of Sanford Moeller's, spent his life tirelessly promoting it around the world. Open/Close Technique never had a promoter like this. It has also always lacked a commonly accepted name; nomenclature for hand/stick movements; a system of notation; and a method of synchronizing it in both hands at the same time.

It was into this void that Gordy Knudtson put forth the first books and video on the topic in 2002. The Open/Close Technique — Books One & Two introduced terminology, a notation system, and two handed synchronizations to create a genre of single stroke rolls built from multi-note strokes. His work generated an invitation from the Percussive Arts Society to be a presenter in a series of three clinics at PASIC 2003 called the "Hand Development Series". The other two presenters were Joe Morello and Jim Chapin.

In 2008, Gordy combined the two original books into one single edited compilation called Single Stroke Rolls and the Open/Close Technique. The current "second edition" of this book is a further editing and refinement of that compilation. Included with this book is a DVD of the original video released in 2002.

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