Many young percussionists have trouble executing a tambourine thumb or finger roll. While it is a relatively easy technique to master, students often ignore spending the time necessary to develop good technique.
Here are a few tips to expedite the learning process:
- Keep the thumb (or finger) bent back and stiff.
- Use light pressure against the head (pushing hard hinders vibration).
- Make sure the finger travels forward around the circumference (not sideways).
- Move around the edge slowly.
- Moisten the finger or use beeswax or a “Roll-Ring” to help execution.
While the thumb roll is not too difficult to master, it is a technique that is often called for and execution must be both consistent and accurate.