Nine Stroke Roll

In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron takes you to the practice pad to show you exactly how to play and practice the nine stroke roll – one of the drum rudiments from the drum roll family. He then moves to the drum set, unveiling the nine stroke roll’s hidden potential as the main inspiration for designing drum beats and drum fills.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the nine stroke roll is comprised of nine strokes – four doubles and one single. Thus, you can think of the nine stroke roll as a seven stroke roll with an extra double stroke added in. Be sure to go through the free drum lesson on the seven stroke roll before going any further with this one. Doing so will help you master the nine stroke roll way faster. You can actually think of the seven stroke roll as a great preliminary exercise for the nine stroke roll. Much like the five stroke roll, the nine stroke roll is of great use for the tango, and is one of the 40 drum rudiments that can naturally alternate within itself.

In the video, Lionel Duperron plays the nine stroke roll on the practice pad with 32nd note doubles while on the drum set he plays them as 16th notes. Don’t get confused by this. As we’ve stated before, drum rudiments can be played with whichever note values you want to.

Drum Beats

Exercise #1 is a half-time drum beat where the nine stroke roll is played on the hi-hat and on the snare drum between counts 1 and 3. The bass drum pattern is played on all quarter notes. Add a unison stroke between the hi-tom and the floor tom on count 4, and you’re golden.

Exercise #2 is another half-time drum beat. The doubles are broken up between the ride and the closed hi-hat – right hand doubles on the ride and left hand doubles on the hi-hat. The single is moved to the snare on count 3. After the snare shot, an alternating 8th note pattern is kept between the ride and the hi-hat. This pattern is more challenging than it first looks to be. Practice the hand pattern first before adding the bass drum in.

The bass drum patterns are kept fairly simple in some of the drum beats on these free drum lessons on the 40 drum rudiments. This is so, because the main focus here is to have you playing the various drum rudiments around the drum set. After mastering the exercises as written, you can add different bass drum patterns.

Drum Fills

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. The first and third sets of doubles of the nine stroke roll are kept on the floor tom, while the second and forth sets are placed on the mid-tom. The single is played on the snare drum on count 3.

Take your time with each exercise. Learning to play drums is not a race; you have your whole life to play them. Remember that what may take one week for one guy to learn, may take you more, or even less time. This type of thing varies from person to person so take it easy on you. It’s better to play a pattern perfectly at slower speeds than to play it badly at a faster tempo.

Exercise #4 looks like a half-bar drum fill, but it’s not. It’s actually a one bar drum fill that has rests on the first two counts. Also, the single stroke on the nine stroke roll looks to be missing here. Looks can be deceiving. From count 3 to the “ah” of count 4 we have eight of the nine strokes on the nine stroke roll. The ninth stroke is actually played as a unison stroke between the bass drum and a crash cymbal on the first count of the next measure.

After you’re done with the drum beats and drum fills herein, you can keep on challenging yourself. Practice the nine stroke roll with the single stroke placed at the beginning of the rudiment, instead of at the end. If you’d like to further your knowledge on the drum rudiments, we encourage you to learn how to play the ten stroke roll and the eleven stroke roll next.




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