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The Single Stroke Roll - Free Drum Lesson

Welcome back to another Drum Lesson from Hackney Wick Drum Studio. The aim of this series of lessons is to cover as many Drum Rudiments as possible. Learning rudiments is one of the most important yet most overlooked areas of drumming. Spending some time learning just a handful of these will open up so many different possibilities in your playing.

Most people are familiar with the basics, but we're going to start right at the beginning today with the single stroke roll. Probably the most widely used and versatile of all the Drum Rudiments, it's also the easiest to master.

Let's take a look at the example below.


With this rudiment, it's easiest first to start it playing in an eighth note form, meaning you'll have less notes per bar. Try starting off as always at around 60 BPM.

Your right hand will be playing on the '1' and your left hand playing the '&', then carry this on throughout the bar, focussing on making sure each stroke is as even and close to the metronome as possible. Once you've mastered it at one tempo, try stepping it up and few BPM and when you're comfortable, take a look at the sixteenth note version below. Here's an example


This is one of the main components of any great drum fill. It sounds great played at any speed, but the key is to make sure like always that your notes are nice and evenly spaced.

Now that we're playing sixteenth notes, you'll find that you have twice as many notes as the eighth note example. So you'll now be playing the '1' with your right hand, the 'e' with your left, '&' with he right again and 'a' with the left. Now just repeat this throughout the rest of the bar. Here's the example below

The first two bars of the video below will give you a good introduction to how it should sound. You'll notice that the second two bars of the video are a double stroke, which is the rudiment we'll be looking at in the next blog post.

Once you're comfortable with this, give it a try around the rest of the kit, like the example in the previous blog about how to play a drum fill.

Thanks for checking out another drum lesson. I hope you've found this introduction the the single stroke roll helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below or give me a shout via If you're looking for a drum teacher in London, or now anywhere else for that matter, remember that I'm currently offering lessons online, so if you're interested, get in touch at the address above or simply book a lesson here.

I'll see you all next time with the 'how to play a double stroke' drum lesson.

Happy Drumming

Jack x

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