The single stroke rudiment is both the most essential and basic of all the drum rudiments. It is also the most used of all the drum rudiments. This is why it is necessary to acquire great dynamic control skill with this rudiment and develop the ability to play it in different tempos.
Getting to boost your speed in playing this drum rudiment can be really frustrating and challenging, particularly if there are no ideal collection of exercises to practice with.
In this lesson you will find helpful tips on how to play this drum rudiment on the drum set, applying a number of drum fill and drum beats as well.
You should first learn how to play the single stroke roll rudiment before advancing to others rudiments.
The single stroke roll is comprised of alternating strokes that you play between the hands in this manner: RLRLRL or LRLRLR for the left hand dominant players. Note that R stands for Right, while L stands for Left. It doesn’t matter the hand that starts playing, the important thing is to lead with your two hands when executing the single stroke roll.
The Single Stroke Roll Rudiment.
You don’t have to be in a hurry when it comes to going through the process involved in learning the single stroke roll or just any other drum rudiment. Some people rush the process just to approach the drum fills and drum beats faster, this is highly discouraged. You will only become a better drummer by going through each step involved in a slower manner. Your priority should be quality and nothing less.
Tips for Effective Practice:
Whether it is the single stroke rudiment or any of the drum rudiments, it is always recommended that you stay in front of a mirror while practicing. This way, you can keep an eye on your posture as well as stick heights, including how both the left and right hand are able to play a stroke for each rudiment. Doing this will help you assess your performance, so that you can make necessary corrections just as though you have a teacher guiding you on what to do.
Once you have a mirror placed in front of you, see yourself as your own teacher. In essence, make demands on yourself as a teacher would normally do. Insist on getting it perfectly right as much as possible. And, don’t forget to use a metronome when practicing. Be patient while trying to get it right and play in a relaxed manner, catching fun. Before long, it will surprise you how skillful you’ve become as a drummer.
As soon as you become comfortable playing the single stroke rudiment on a snare drum, practice pad or other single surface, go ahead to practice applying it on your drum set.
To practice exercise #1, you will begin by using the hi-hat to play a 16th note single stroke. Then, remove the leading hand from the hi-hat and strike the snare drum on count 3 and count 4. On counts 1 and 3, add the bass drum to get ready.
The bass drum pattern on exercise #2 is the same as the pattern used in the previous drum beat. But, the sixteenth note single stroke is increasingly broken up between the snare drum and the hi-hat. Ensure the weaker hand stays closer to though drumhead of the snare. This will enable you play absolutely mild ghost notes on the “ahs” and “e’s” of each count. The leading hand plays the 8th note on the hi-hat on count 1 and count 3. Move the hand on counts 2 and 4 to strike accented strokes on your snare drum.
The essence of the drum fill in exercise #3 is to ensure the single stroke roll is continuously going around the drums. As you begin on the snare, move your toms down as you play 4 strokes for each drum.
For this single stroke rudiment lesson, a variation of the previous one is involved in the last drum fill. So, you will start the drum fill on count 3 and not on count 1 of the 2nd bar. Starting on count three instead is referred to as half-bar drum fill. Move down your toms after hitting the snare drum, playing 2 strokes for each drum.
As soon as you’ve mastered playing the single stroke rudiment, you can go ahead and try other rudiments.
But, if you still want to acquire more skills in playing the single stroke roll, advance to the single stroke four.