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.


Rudimental Families

The easiest way to learn and remember the 40 PAS Rudiments, is to separate them into "families". This way, the rudiments tend to help one another along (e.g. once you have mastered the Flam, you will then find it easier to master Flam Taps, Flam Paradiddles etc). Also, the relationship between the rudiments enables you to see the bigger picture, eventually helping you to remember all 40 of them.

The 40 PAS Rudiments break down into the following six "families":

  1. Single Stroke Roll Rudiments
  2. Multiple Bounce Roll Rudiments
  3. Double Stroke Roll Rudiments
  4. Paradiddle Rudiments
  5. Flam Rudiments
  6. Drag Rudiments

History of Rudimental Drumming

Rudiments and their history is closely connected to the development of snare drum, also known as a side drum or military drum. In 1386, the Battle of Sempach was the first recorded use of fifes and drums used as a means of signalling troops in battle. By the early 15th century, Swiss Mercenaries were employed throughout Western Europe and their signals and marches were soon adopted by other European countries. The first written rudiment dates back to year 1610 in Basel, Switzerland. "Regulations", which specified the different drum signals for Revolutionary Troops, was written by Baron Friedrich von Stuben in Philadelphia while he was working for Continental Congress in 1778.

Later in France, professional drummers became part of the King's honour guard in the 17th - 18th century. Rudimental drumming was also featured heavily during reign of Napoleon I. A march called "Le Rigodon", in 18th century, is said to be one of the cornerstones of modern rudimental drumming.

Charles Stewart Ashworth is said to have originally used term "rudiments" to describe a group of sticking patterns and is therefore considered by some to be the father of rudimental drumming.

The snare drum itself is descended from a medieval drum called the Tabor, with a single gut snare. It was around size of a medium tom tom, they were not always double headed and some may not have had snares. The drum was later made deeper and carried on the drummer's left hand side (hence snare drum also being known as a side drum). The tabor is also played on snare side (with snare wires on top). Metal snares appeared in 1900's. Further developments such as metal screws, snare restrainer mechanisms and size variations etc led to snare drum we know today.

Today, there are 3 main rudimental drumming groups:

  • Swiss Basler Trommeln
  • Scottish Pipe Drumming
  • American Corps Drumming

In the early 20th Century, the American Legion began holding national contests for Drum and Bugle Corps. Problems arose with judging these competitions due to differences in the rudiments published over last century. Led by American Legion and the Ludwig Drum Company, the most influential drum instructors from across country gathered together at the American Legion National Convention in Chicago to create a list of thirteen "essential" rudiments. This later led to creation of the organization NARD in 1932 who then published another set of Thirteen to form the "Standard 26 American Drum Rudiments" (see below).

In 1984, PAS reorganized the Standard 26 American Drum Rudiments and added a further fourteen (including a number of drum corps, orchestral, European, and contemporary drum rudiments) to form the current 40 International PAS Drum Rudiments. This also led to many of the names of the Standard 26 American Drum Rudiments being changed (for example, what we know as a Drag today used to be called a Ruff).

Standard 26 American Drum Rudiments published by NARD:

  1. Single Stroke Roll
  2. Double Stroke Roll*
  3. Five Stroke Roll*
  4. Seven Stroke Roll*
  5. Nine Stroke Roll
  6. Ten Stroke Roll
  7. Eleven Stroke Roll
  8. Thirteen Stroke Roll
  9. Fifteen Stroke Roll
  10. Single Paradiddle
  11. Double Paradiddle*
  12. Flam*
  13. Flam Accent*
  14. Flam Tap
  15. Flamacue*
  16. Flam Paradiddle*
  17. Flam Paradiddle-diddle
  18. Ruff* (Now known as a Drag)
  19. Single Drag* (Now known as a Single Drag Tap)
  20. Double Drag* (Now known as a Double Drag Tap)
  21. Lesson 25
  22. Drag Paradiddle #1
  23. Drag Paradiddle #2
  24. Single Ratamacue*
  25. Double Ratamacue
  26. Triple Ratamacue*

* One of the original Thirteen Rudiments.

14 Additional Rudiments published by PAS:

  1. Single Stroke Four
  2. Single Stroke Seven
  3. Multiple Bounce Roll
  4. Triple Stroke Roll
  5. Six Stroke Roll
  6. Seventeen Stroke Roll
  7. Triple Paradiddle
  8. Paradiddle-Diddle
  9. Single Flammed Mill
  10. Pataflafla
  11. Swiss Army Triplet
  12. Inverted Flam Tap
  13. Flam Drag
  14. Single Dragadiddle

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