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Essential Drum Set Rudiments

Essential Drum Set Rudiments

Whether you are a beginner drummer or have been playing for many years, the importance of rudiments cannot be overlooked. Rudiments are essential for hand development and to achieve technical mastery of the drums. While most of the forty standardized rudiments (all listed here) may seem militaristic and inapplicable to the drum set, there are a few important ones that translate extremely well.

The single stroke roll is by far the easiest and most applicable rudiment for the drum set. Even individuals who have never played the drums can accomplish a single stroke roll by simply alternating their hands. While the concept of the rudiment is simple, the application to the drum set should still be practiced regularly. Move the singles around the kit using various subdivisions to practice leading with a different hand. You can also incorporate your feet by substituting for one of the notes, or having your foot keep an underlying ostinato.

The double stroke roll is a rudiment that takes a great deal of time to develop at different speeds. At fast speeds, the sticks must be able to execute a controlled, bounced double. This takes much repetition and consistency of the fulcrum of the grip. Practice playing doubles in each hand, and experiment with the amount of squeeze on the stick until the openness of the double sounds correct. Bounced doubles work great on the snare drum or the hi hat, where the surface is firm and allows for much rebound.

Paradiddles are simply a combination of the singles and doubles, and can be moved around the drum set in a similar fashion to the previous rudiments. Experiment with moving the accent around the rudiment to allow for a different auditory response.

You can practice these rudiments on your own and/or in your drum lessons. Your drum teacher can help you with your technique and suggest more rudiments to help you get better. Either way, the more consistent your practice is with these rudiments, the faster your overall drumming will improve.


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