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125 free video
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Bill Powelson's School of Drums

Rudiments, Rolls and Fills (Part 1)

Roll#1: The 16th Single Stroke Roll

NOTICE: The 16th single stroke roll is probably the most often used'Rudiment' in drumming. It may be applied to any beat pattern, anywhere you might choose, in any song. For a clearer definition between rolls, rudiments and fills, click on the 'rudiment' hypertext above.

If you do not have a drumset then simply pound away on the computer desk in front of you. Begin very slowly and count each stroke. Play this first pattern repeatedly until it reaches peak speed. Do not forget to pat your foot with the first note in each group of eight notes. We will connect this roll pattern with the basic eighth rock pattern shortly. The right foot or bass drum note is essential because It will help solidify your timing. You should be playing a steady stream of notes with both hands and the right foot (bass drum) will mark the beginning of each new group of eight notes.


To the Hi-Hat . . .

The next pattern looks like the same thing, but it isn't. The last note in this figure is to be played as a simultaneous hi-hat (right hand) and bass drum ( right foot.) If you practice this at the computer then designate some object on your desk as a hi hat ( . . . and don't break your poor defenseless little mouse.) Allow a little pause between each repetition. Build speed and adjust to making the move to the ha-hat (mouse) at the end. Notice the slash running through the hi-hat note in this figure. The slash indicates that the hi-hat should be closed when you strike it. Practice this many times or until you can play it rapidly from memory without mistakes. Concentrate on playing both bass drum notes. You will have a bass drum (right foot) at the beginning and also at the end.

Hear the above 16th SINGLE STROKE ROLL pattern.

VIDEO: Click here to 'Play', see, and hear the 16TH SINGLE STROKE FILL, video.

16th Singles with 8th 4/4 'Rock' . . .

In the next exercise we will attach this same roll to the first dance beat that we learned to play, 8th 'rock' 4/4. The secret to doing this correctly is with the bass drum. If your bass drum remains at a constant tempo as you repeat this exercise then you are doing it the right way.

Hear the above pattern.

VIDEO: View the 8th Rock beat with 16TH SINGLE STROKE FILL, video.

In the exercise below you must try to begin with the beat, go to the roll, then return to the beat. The bass drum will remain at a constant tempo throughout the entire procedure. Notice that the roll begins with a bass drum note and ends on a bass drum note.

Hear the 16th single stroke roll added to a beat in progress.

NOTICE: I have purposely omitted all unnecessary 'rests' in the spirit of simplification.

Back to the Stereo . . .

Try to use this pattern while playing along with all your favorite records, tapes and CDs. In the learning stage, it doesn't matter where you drop it into a song. Play it anytime you feel the urge.There are an amazing number of ways to use this roll. It may be extended to virtually any length and played from drum to drum. Any of the right or left-hand notes in this pattern may be accented or omitted entirely for additional effects. Sixteenth single strokes are the foundation for at least half of the drum solos on record. What you have learned here will help you master all the remaining rolls.


16th Double Stroke and Paradiddle Rolls


Oh may I join the choir invisible
of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence.


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Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.