top of page
  • Writer's pictureNathan Coles

How to Play a Castanet Redoble Roll

The redoble castanet roll is an extended technique for handled castanets and is used in a variety of musical settings.


Meet Your Instructor

Tim Church is Vice President of Black Swamp Percussion and is head of the sales and marketing department. Tim has been working for Black Swamp Percussion full-time since 2000., after receiving a BM (Grand Valley State University) and MM (University of Akron) in percussion performance, Over the years, Tim has performed as an extra or freelance percussionist in a variety of musical situations around Michigan. Outside of managing sales, marketing, and Artist Relations for Black Swamp, Tim enjoys habitually watching Star Wars with his two daughters on the weekends.


Instrument Set Up

This castanet instructional is intended to help you perform effective redoble castanet rolls with handled castanets. While Black Swamp castanets are always recommended, they are not necessary to create a great sound on your instrument.

Here is the gear used in this lesson:


Performing a Redoble Castanet Roll

handled castanet t-flange

When mastering the Redoble Castanet roll, there are several key points to consider. First and foremost, the proper positioning of the handled castanets is of paramount importance. Begin by inverting the castanets so that the T-flange, which serves as the uppermost point of the Castanet, faces your leg. It is essential to avoid attempting the Castanet roll with the knobs or T-flange oriented upwards, as this will impede your ability to execute the technique effectively.

Equally significant is your posture, particularly in relation to your leg positioning. Optimal performance is achieved by maintaining a moderately lower leg position, rather than aiming for a perfect 90-degree angle at the knee. To facilitate this, consider placing your foot on a support to ensure stability during play and to enhance your overall performance.

turn castanets upside down to perform the redoble roll
Flip your castanets so that the T-flange faces your leg. Keep your back straight and your leg around a 45-degree angle.

It's important to note that the approach to playing the Castanet roll differs from the traditional snare drum stroke involving fingers and wrist. In this case, a firmer grip is employed, primarily relying on wrist movements with some involvement of the arm. This technique is pivotal in producing the desired redoble or "click clack" sound, as Tim refers to it.

gif of an up and down stroke on handled castanets

Visualizing the "click clack" as a type of pickup can aid in understanding its auditory profile. The primary stroke generates a resonance against your leg, with the subtle click occurring during the upward motion just before this primary contact. As you familiarize yourself with this technique and grow more at ease, progression involves transitioning to a basic single stroke roll – a fundamental rudiment in the realm of percussion.

Upon mastery, experimenting with increased tempo yields a richer and more intricate roll sonority. These guidelines encapsulate the essence of the redoble Castanet roll technique, empowering you to achieve a heightened level of proficiency and musicality.

Happy practicing!


bottom of page