The importance of rudimental drumming can never be overemphasised. you will come to realise that sooner or later! So it does not matter if you are signing up for drum lessons either as, teen, or even as a kid, learning and practising drum rudiments is the first step you have to take to be a top-class drummer.
Rudiments in drumming are the foundation on which every drum beats or patterns lie. It helps you play the drum very accurately. Whatever your skill level is on the drums, practising your rudiments will definitely help expand your skills and potentials as a drummer.
All you need is a metronome, a practice pad, and of course a pair of drumsticks to get started with the rudiments.
There are about 40 total rudiments in drumming. Each drum rudiment can be applied in so many drumming patterns. Have it at the back of your mind that you will not make use of all the rudiments in your day to day practice. Nevertheless, if you constantly practice and improve on all the rudiment, you will definitely open up unique ways to communicate using drums.
For a better and clearer understanding, the 40 basic drum rudiments have been grouped under five major headings. This is to help you better understand how the rudiments can be applied to the drum. It is also an easy way to remember how many drum rudiments there are.
If you need a further breakdown, then this book on drum rudiments and musical application is a ‘go-to’ to have on your bedside table.
Now let’s take a look at what are the rudiments of drumming and later on, we will look at each of the rudiments in more detail.
- The Single Stroke rudiments
- The Drum roll rudiments
- The Paradiddle rudiments
- The Flam based rudiments
- The Drag based rudiments.
Rudiments in Drumming
Single Stroke rudiments
Single Stroke Roll This rudiment is a well-known drum rudiment used day by day on a drum. Other than creating control and precision, it is equally the foundation for most complicated roles. This drum rudiment comprises rotating strokes played between the left (L) and the right (R) hand.
Regardless of the hand, you begin with, its very important you learn and understand ways to play the single stroke roll with both hands. Concentrate on maintaining all strokes an even volume. It is advisable to practice in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on both hands.
Single Stroke Four This rudiment is just one step different from the single stroke roll. Here, Instead of having an unending roll of rotating single strokes, it has four continuously rotating single strokes played as triplets.
Single Stroke Seven Single stroke seven is not well-known as most rudiments, notwithstanding, it is a great pattern to add to in your drumming. It is not farfetched from single stroke roll and single stroke four drum rudiments. The only difference is that it is played in a group of 7 strokes.
This pattern is more or less like single stroke four joined with three extra triplets. Note that the strokes should be at the same tempo. Start developing the pattern slowly on a practice pad then you can use a metronome. The groups of seven must be played at the right time.
Drum Roll Rudiments
Multiple Bounce Roll – This rudiment is also known as buzz roll. It is a well-known drum rudiment that can be used in so many ways. Multiple bounce roll consists of a rotating series of bounce stroke.
Both hands will play faint stroke that will produce multiple notes in no time. You are advised to hold your stick correctly while playing. This way your hands are at par and you be able to play at even tempo
Double Stroke Roll The double stroke is a drum fundamental that should be rehearsed to a level of flawlessness by anybody serious about playing the drums or learning the 40 drum rudiments to perfection. It is commonly used for a beat and fills and for many other significant drum rudiments.
This rudiment is very similar to the single stroke roll. It is played in a sequence of interchanging strokes, but instead of just one stroke, you will have two. Start by playing the two strokes using your wrist for each stroke. Both strokes should be at even tempo.
This can be done by watching the height of your stick during each stroke to be sure that they are coming at the same distance from the drum. Once you have mastered this basic style of using your wrists, you can start to increase your speed.
Triple Stroke Roll The triple stroke roll represents an incredible drum rudiment for playing a wide range of musical patterns. From what we learned earlier, the single stroke roll has one stroke for every hand, the double stroke roll has two strokes, so also with the triple stroke roll, you play three rotating strikes.
Using complete wrist turns to play each stroke of the triple stroke roll as you work on it at slower speeds. Focus on achieving even sounding triple strokes on each hand.
Five Stroke roll – The five-stroke roll is also a very important drum rudiment based on the double stroke roll. This rudiment does not have rotating groups of five strokes on each hand. Instead, it consists of two double strokes and a single.
First of all, you play it with your right hand leading then repeat the pattern again with your left-hand leading (reverse may be the case if you are a left-handed drummer). Start slowly then increase the tempo as you advance.
Six Stroke Roll – This drum rudiment is a blend of the single and double stroke rolls. It begins with two double strokes at half the tempo, then repeats with the alternate hand leading into the entire pattern.
Another way to achieve the six-stroke roll is starting with a single then play two doubles followed by a single again. You may need to change the sticking of a drum rudiment to fit what you want to achieve on the drum set.
Seven Stroke Roll This has seven strokes in total, that is three double strokes and one single stroke. Due to the simplicity of this drum pattern, it is applicable to a wide variety of drum patterns.
This drum rudiment can be played with both right and left-hand leads. It is best to Practice it both ways for greater results.
Nine Stroke Roll – This drum rudiment combines a series of double strokes with one single stroke to create the nine stroke roll. This pattern is not as common as other drum rudiments but, learning it will add great value to your drum skills.
Ten Stroke Roll The ten stroke roll has four sets of doubles and two singles. If you notice, It is quite similar to the nine stroke roll. The only difference between them is that while nine stroke roll has just one, the ten stroke rolls have two singles and they are played at about half the speed of doubles stroke.
Eleven Stroke Roll As you can see from the sheet of music below, this drum rudiments is made up of five sets of doubles and one single stroke. It naturally changes the hand leading from measure to measure. The higher your speed, the harder it gets played. Practice it with both right and left-hand leads.
Thirteen Stroke Roll This rudiment is not a common drum rudiment. It comprises of six double strokes and ends with one single stroke. Make sure your doubles are at the same tempo.
Fifteen Stroke Roll – This second to the largest drum rudiment from the drum roll family. it comprises of seven sets of double strokes with one single stroke. The underlying rhythm of this role is quite different from that of other drum roll rudiments. You need a lot of practice and consistency to get this rhythmic pattern perfectly.
Seventeen Stroke Roll This is the last and the largest drum rudiment under drum roll rudiment. It combines eight sets of double stroke along with a single stroke at the end. You can start with both right and left-hand lead. It is a great rudiment for use within the drum fill around the kit.
Single Paradiddle This rudiment is a well-known pattern played with drum beats, unique solo patterns, and drum. It’s extremely important for any drummer that wants to become a pro. ‘Paradiddle drum rudiment‘ here means 2 singles (para) and then a set of double strokes (diddle).
From this brief explanation, we can see that a single paradiddle is made up of singles and doubles Begin with two rotating singles stokes and then one double stroke. Now that is for the first part, for the second part – repeat this pattern starting with your opposite hand.
Double Paradiddle – This rudiment is perfect for playing drum beats with drum fills.
Triple Paradiddle – This drum rudiment is a combination of single and double strokes. The triple paradiddle is mostly played as sixteenth notes. You can hardly feel the beat of the strokes at lower speeds due to a large number of single strokes.
Single Paradiddle-diddle This drum rudiment depends on a single paradiddle .it adds four notes to create a triple feel.
Flam – Flam is an essential and principal pattern that you should learn in other to play further developed drum rudiments. A flam note comprises of two notes played as one. The first note appears smaller than the second one which signifies that it should be played at a slower tempo than the other.
The highest and loudest note is called the primary note, while the lowest and softer note is called the grace note.
Flam Tap Flam tap is quite simple. It is played first as a flam then followed up by a tap which we know as a single stroke. This rudiment is played most times in the eighth note.
Flam Accent Here we have an eight-note triplet single stroke roll, where the first note is flamed. This rudiment is good for innovative drum patterns and varied styles of music. This rudiment starts with right-hand flam then single strokes by the left hand and right hand. You can repeat this exact pattern starting with your left hand this time.
Flamacue The Flamacue is a unique drum rudiment that integrates the flam stroke into a partial single stroke roll. It is to be practised by both right and left-hand leads rotating back and forth. It can be used within a variety of drum beats.
Flam Paradiddle This is a drum rudiment that adds a flam into a single paradiddle. The only difference is the addition of flam strokes on the one to four counts, this will definitely change things up a little, but it should not be too difficult.
Single Flammed Mill – This drum rudiment is also called a single mill. if you look at the drum notation below, you will see that the pattern for the single flammed mill is just a reverse single paradiddle.
Flam Paradiddle-diddle – This is a combination of single paradiddle-diddle and flam stroke.
Swiss Army Triplet The Swiss army triplet is similar to the flam accent but instead of being built upon a single stroke roll, it has a double stroke with a flam on the first note, followed by a single stroke. The Swiss army triplet, unlike other rudiments, does not interchange within itself.
Inverted Flam Tap The inverted flam tap is played as double stroke roll but with flams at the beginning of each interchanging double.
Flam Drag – This unique drum rudiment makes use of flam and drags within a rotating double stroke roll. Flam drag is a very good way to develop overall coordination.
Pataflafla – This drum rudiment may test your flam stokes playing skills. It focuses on playing continuous flams with only one hand. It tends to be tasking initially, but it is definitely worth your effort.
Drag Based Rudiments
Drag Ruff The drag ruff is a very fundamental drum rudiment that is used to play several advanced patterns. This drum rudiment is similar to flam. It has two quiet notes that are followed by a primary stroke.
Single Drag Tap It is essential to learn and perfect the drag ruff and also double stroke pattern first before proceeding to a single drag tap. It will help you understand and perform better. It starts with a right-hand drag followed by a left-handed stroke. Repeated this same process with your left hand as a lead.
The Double Drag Tap The name of this rudiment tell us everything we need to know. All you need to do is play two drags before you tap!
Lesson 25 Nobody seems to know why this drum rudiment was named like this. Nevertheless, it is an important rudiment pattern to should learn. Start by using your right hand to play drag, then use your left and right hand again to play single strokes.
The Single Dragadiddle This rudiment is quite simple and straight forward. The pattern is just like flam paradiddle and single paradiddle drum rudiments. The only difference is that you first play a drag before every group of four.
Dragadiddle #1 Dragadiddle also called drag paradiddle. You begin the pattern with a drag then slowly switch to paradiddle then conclude using a single stroke. When you have successfully done this, start the process all over again but with a different hand lead. Start practising at a low tempo then increase speed as you get comfortable.
Dragadiddle #2 This drum rudiment which is also known as drag paradiddle is just a follow-up to the dragadiddle #1 pattern. It is also known as drag paradiddle #2. Be sure to master the first version before practising this. It can be a little difficult to jump right into it.
The Single Ratamacue The single ratamacue consists of a single stroke with a blend of drag. It is used on varied styles of music. It rotates within itself.
The Double Ratamacue – This rudiment is an upgrade of single ratamacue, the only new thing is the addition of a drag ruff at the beginning. This drum also interchanges within itself.
The Triple Ratamacue – The triple ratamacue is just a step up from double ratamacue. Just add an extra drag ruff and that does it! Take a look at the music sheet below to see what we mean by that.
As you can see, these rudiments are very important for consistently growing and improving your drumming skills. Following this list will also show you how many drum rudiments there are.
Ideally, you should consider practising each drum rudiment consistently as time goes on. This way, you will discover unique ways to communicate using the drums!