Think Like A Drummer – The Single Stroke Four Rudiment

The single stroke rudiment is the most basic of all drum rudiments.  It consists purely of alternating hands playing the drum or drums.  It is most likely the first rudiment anyone who has ever taken drum lessons will learn.  They will usually learn it on a practice pad or snare drum first.

In this week’s blog we look at how to create a single stroke rudiment using a drum virtual instrument.  More specifically we will look at using the Single Stroke Four rudiment.


Learning rudiments are only half of the battle of thinking like a drummer.  We also must learn how to put them into practice.

So what is a single stroke roll?

The single stroke roll is alternating sticking with an indeterminate length. This seems a little vague but it basically means you hit the drum with each stick (right and left) consecutively for however long you want at an even velocity.

The Single Stroke Four rudiment takes this a bit further.  It consists of four notes (or hits) played consecutively.  Usually, it is a triplet followed by an 8th note or as a lead into a downbeat with grace notes.

This might seem simple, but it’s how rudiments get used in the context of programming drums that can really help bring your drums to life.  Thinking like a drummer is more than imagining what the drum part will be, it’s programming your drum part as if you are a drummer.

To watch this video, please use speakers in a treated room or high-quality headphones as some of the things we go over can be subtle.

Posted in Drum Programming, Rudiments, Tutorial and tagged , , .