Drum rudiment is a popular concept in drumming. It is an essential part of playing drums. Drummers that learned paying drums from friends probably hadn’t heard of this term yet but have been using this concept in their every move.
Drum rudiment is the sticking pattern you do when playing drums. It is the beat that you use as you a drummer. Regardless if you are a beginner or an expert drummer, drum rudiment is a movement that you always rely on. Some start with basic drum rudiments, while experts can skillfully play technical drum rudiments to add swag with their sticking patterns.
Drum rudiment is an essential technique that all drummers must understand. It can begin with small patterns. These small patterns are then used to produce more complex drum rudiments and plays. Drum rudiment or rudimental drumming are considered as two different drumming patterns, yet both means as series of different drumming components.
In short, rudimental drumming is just a type of drum rudiment, so don’t be confused about it. It is just one of the 40 commonly known types of drum rudiments out there.
History of Drum Rudiments
The first drum rudiment recorded in history was played by the Swiss mercenaries. They used long polearms with their snare drums. They formed close formation and used pikes. This movement requires huge amount of coordination in order to succeed.
The Swiss mercenaries used distinct drumming patterns through setting a tempo and different commands via the use of a tabor sound. If you have seen marching bands playing snare drum, they have heard a snare drum rudiment.
Rudimental fife and drum are another popular rudimental drum that was recorded by the Swiss military. It was first recorded in 1386 during the battle of Sempach. The French system was largely influenced by the Swiss rudimental system; hence most French patterns were based from the Swiss rudimental system.
Switzerland was known for producing two distinct and known rudimental patterns, the Basler Trommeln or Basel version and the very popular Swiss Ordonnanz Trommel. The latter was popular in Geneva, Zurich, and Valais.
The Basel version of Basier Trommeln is very popular outside Switzerland. It became known outside the country after being introduced by Fritz Berger in his Das Basler Trommeln, Werden und Wesen publication. He was also a drum teacher and taught Basle Drumming in the US in 1930s.
One of his students, Alphonse Grieder, continued to popularize Basel Trommeln in North America. This is despite the facr that he hadn’t been to Switzerland and knew little about the Swiss culture nor its popular drummers.
The Basier Trommeln and the Swiss Ordonnanz Trommel are different. With the Basel version, you can always hear the heavy French accent and influence. It was also notated in symbols and in sets. Berger later designed his own symbols and sets to make it easier to use even by others. The Swiss Ordonnanz Trommel is indigenous. This style was also written in standard notations. It is also very popular in Switzerland but is unknown outside the country.
The popularity of Basier Trommeln traversed outside of Switzerland to the whole world after the 1930s. To date, you can hear the Basier Trommeln rudimentary pattern from the Top Secret Drum Corps. They are very prominent in the Swizz country.
The French rudiments come with a Swiss accent added with their own style. Their most prominent influence is from the Basel pattern. One of the first known rudimental texts in the French era of the rudimentary drum was Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchesographie. It was written in 1588. Its only limitation was the use of actual notation.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, drummers were popular in France as they were part of the King’s Honor Guard. It even improved during the era of Napoleon I. One of the cornerstones of the modern drumming era in France can be heard from Le Rigodon.
Drummers for the King’s Honor Guard had to learn from the different manuals released during their time. There are 5 known French manuals produced by the military between 1870 and 1900. The first one was École du Tambour from Félix Carnaud in 1870. It was followed by Methode de Tambour in 1885 (by N. Pita). In 1889, the manual was improved by H. Broutin, and Théophile Dureau added some changes in 1895. The last version was made in 1897 by E. Reveillé.
Modern military manual in playing rudimentary drums was produced in 1946 by Robert Tourte. It was called Méthode de Tambour et Caisse Claire d’Orchestre. It was a combination of classic French rudimentary drums and 34 modern rudiments. It included Scheherezade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Bolero by Maurice Ravel.
When compared to the Swiss rudiments, the French rudiments are also excellent. The Swiss rudiments are only broader in scope. At the beginning of the 20th century, different rudiments were introduced and patterned from the Scottish and American systems as well. To date, there are now at least 70 different rudiments that a drummer can play around.
What are Different Types of Drum Rudiments?
The term rudiment is not a common term used among drummers. They call it pattern or sticking pattern. One thing is clear: there are different sticking patterns out there that is used in playing drums. Even the simplest drum play has a drum rudiment or pattern.
Among the examples of drum rudiment are single and double stroke rolls. Flam stroke is also a known drum stroke. Drum rudiment is the first step that you have to learn when playing drums. It will teach you the basics of holding your stick, controlling it, speed of using it, and independence when sitting behind your drum set.
There are 40 known drum rudiments. These 40 basic rudiments are considered as the building blocks of all drumbeats. It is also the basis for all drum fills. Once you learn plying these rudiments, you will find it easier to play any drum beat or fills. Unfortunately, some drummers often forget about this basic principle in learning to play the drums.
2 Major Drum Rudiments You Must Learn
1) Single Stroke Rudiments
Single Stroke Roll– The first lesson when learning to play the drums is the single stroke roll. It is a common drum pattern that is used in drum solos, frills and beats. Even expert drummers often go back to single stroke roll because of its simplicity yet serves as a great accompaniment to any song.
Single Stroke Four – This rudiment is derived from the single stroke roll. Instead of doing a single roll from time to time, you have to do four single strokes continuously as a group note. This stroke is great if you are practicing your hand to feet combination. It is also a great way to practice drum fills or just any solo pattern.
Single Stroke Seven – This rudiment is also derived from single stroke roll yet not as popular as the single stroke roll or four. It is often practiced by expert drummers because of its complex pattern. This pattern means you will od single stroke in a group of seven strokes.
2) Drum Roll Rudiments
Multiple Bounce Roll – This rudiment is often seen in marching bands. It is used to invite excitement and enthusiasm, something that you feel when watching a marching band passing by. You can still hear a multiple bounce roll in modern drumming.
Double Stroke Roll – beginners should not settle with single stroke roll as the double stroke roll is as important. This rudiment can allow you to play a number of beat once you get used to it. You can also make other patterns with double stroke roll as your basic pattern.
Triple Stroke Roll – in order to play different musical styles, learning the triple stroke roll is a must. If you have learned the double stroke roll, you just need to add one more note to make the triple stroke roll. The triple stroke roll is often seen on music that are ‘triplets’ based, such as jazz music or Latin music.
Five Stroke Roll – This stroke is based on the double stroke pattern. This is different from the other rolls and patterns because it doesn’t follow the number of strokes like single, double, or triple stroke rolls. The five-stroke roll is composed of two doubles plus a single stroke roll at the end.
Six Stroke Roll – If you are looking toward a different stroke that you can do with the touch of single and double stroke – you can check this stroke roll. This is a combination of two double strokes followed by two single stroke rolls. The single strokes are done with half the tempo. It is then repeated with the other hand then it goes back to the first step (two double strokes).
Seven Stroke Roll – This pattern is a combination of single and double stroke rolls. It is very straight-forward. It consists of three double strokes and ends with a single stroke roll. It is considered as an easy pattern hence most drummers are using it for different music.
Nine Stroke Roll – This rudiment is also a combination of doubles and single strokes. It created an odd-numbered series of notes by alternately doing doubles and singles.
Ten Stroke Roll – This pattern is derived from the six-stroke roll pattern where you have to make an alternate play of double and single strokes. For the ten stroke roll, you just need to make more double strokes as compared to a six-stroke roll.
Eleven Stroke Roll – This rudiment means you need to make five doubles and end it with a single. This pattern will help you make an odd-note. Basically, the eleven stroke roll is the same with how you do five stroke, seven-stroke, or nine stroke rolls.
Thirteen Stroke Roll – This rudiment is based on making double strokes and is not a popular one among drum enthusiasts. A single stroke is used at the end of double stroke combinations like what is being done in five, seven, nine, or eleven stroke rolls.
Fifteen Stroke Roll -If you are into longer rudiments, the fifteen stroke roll is an example to try. It is a combination of doubles and a single stroke at the end. It is the same with other odd-numbered stroke rolls.
Seventeen Stroke Roll – The longest of all rudimentary strokes is the seventeen stroke roll. This odd-numbered stroke is also played like how other odd-numbered strokes are – a combination of doubles and ends with a single stroke roll.
Other Drum Rudiments
Why You Should Practice Drum Rudiments?
Is it a necessity to learn about drum rudiments? Yes! It is the basic foundation of drum playing. It is about the patterns and sticking involved when playing the drums. It is the first step that you have to learn in order to do more complex rum frills and beats.
You can find these different drum rudiments from the official Drum Rudiments produced by the Percussive Arts Society. It also involved standard rudiments.
This tutorial that we have includes 7 drum rudiments which are essential in helping you get to know more your drums and sticks. This will help you learn more complex drum frills more easily in the future.
Learning these drum rudiments can also help you achieve and master a finesse that is original with your playing style. Once you learn one rudiment, start learning new ones. Don’t stop because drum playing consists of many more rudiments that are waiting to be discovered. Are you ready to commit and up your drumming skills?