Ninja Drummist - Official web site of session drummer and teacher Lewis Partridge. Free Drum Lessons, Drum Rudiments and Other Educational Resources.

The official web site of session drummer and teacher Lewis Partridge.


Beginner's Guide to Drum Rudiments

This web site contains a wealth of material on rudiments and the large number of possible combinations may seem a daunting task for beginner drummers.

I have created this page as a very easy, introductory guide to drum rudiments for beginners either encountering rudiments for the first time or attempting to improve their knowledge in this area.


What are Rudiments?

Rudiments are simply groups of notes/strokes that have a set pattern between the right and left hands, known as sticking patterns.

Repetition is the key to success in this area of drumming. Try to play each rudiment from memory, so that you are able to concentrate on the clarity, tone and correct execution of strokes.

Rudiments are usually named after their sound, which accounts for some of the odd names.


Why should I learn Rudiments?

These patterns form the basic building blocks or "vocabulary" of drumming, and can be applied to the Drum Kit in a great variety of ways. A drummer without this vocabulary may find their playing is somewhat limited compared to a drummer with good rudimental knowledge and ability. Rudiments also make valuable exercises for developing technique, speed and endurance.

Rudiments are also a great help in developing the weaker hand. Most right-handed drummers will find that their left hand is weaker in comparison to the right (the opposite is usually true for left-handed drummers). As most rudiments consist of alternating patterns and are usually required to sound as even as possible, this helps to develop both hands equally.


Basic Rudiments

The three easiest rudiments for any beginner to grasp are Single Stroke Rolls, Double Stroke Rolls and Single Paradiddles (see below) as they are simply combinations of the right and left hands. If you know your right from your left, you can play these rudiments!

These rudiments are also part of Grade 1 examinations in both Snare Drum and Drum Kit with almost all current exam boards.

(Note: Reverse the sticking for Left Handed Drummers.
For Example, R L R L becomes L R L R etc.)

Single Stroke Roll

Single Stroke Roll

Alternating single strokes (i.e. R L R L, etc) of any speed or length leading with either hand. Though...

Double Stroke Roll

Double Stroke Roll

Alternating doubles strokes (i.e. RR LL, etc) of any speed or length leading with either hand. As with...

Single Paradiddle

Single Paradiddle

Two single strokes (para) followed by a double stroke (diddle). Often played with an accented note on...


Basic Rudimental Groups

Many beginner drummers can feel overwhelmed when they begin to realise just how many rudimental possiblities there are and how long it might take to learn them. However, all rudiments are formed out of only three most basic rudimental groups - Single Strokes, Double Strokes and Flams (see below).

For example: A Paradiddle is two single strokes, followed by a double stroke. A Double Paradiddle is four single strokes, followed by a double stroke. A Drag is a double stroke, followed by a single stroke. A Flam Paradidle is a flam, followed by a single stroke, followed by a double stroke etc.

Being aware of this fact will make it easier to not only learn and remember a large number of rudiments but will also help to gain an understanding of the 40 PAS Rudiments as well as more complex rudimental patterns such as Hybrid Rudiments.

Single Strokes

Single Strokes

Alternating single strokes (i.e. R L R L, etc) of any speed or length leading with either hand. Though...

Double Strokes

Double Strokes

Alternating doubles strokes (i.e. RR LL, etc) of any speed or length leading with either hand. As with...

Flams

Flams

A flam consists of a quiet "grace" note on one hand followed by a louder "primary"...


The Next Step?

Please take a look at my other educational resources on rudiments below:


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