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The single ratamacue is one of the ten drum rudiments from the drag family and a very common pattern in old war movies and soundtracks. In the video, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to practice the single ratamacue on a single surface, and shows you a couple of drum beats and drum fills based around the single ratamacue.
Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the single ratamacue is nothing more than a dragged 16th note triplet single stroke four. Since the single ratamacue is the combination of the drag ruff with the single stroke four, learning how to play both drum rudiments before going through this free drum lesson is a must. Doing so will make your life a lot easier.
Practice the single ratamacue slowly at first. Use a metronome once you’re comfortable with its sticking pattern. Focus on playing consistent sounding grace notes and single stroke fours, while keeping a very relaxed grip. If you get to a speed where you start feeling any type of tension, discomfort, or find yourself gripping the sticks too tightly, slowdown the metronome.
Exercise #1 is a 16th note triplet drum beat where the single ratamacue is broken up between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Start by playing the single ratamacue on the closed hi-hat for all four counts. When this feels comfortable to you, move the last stroke on counts 2 and 4 to the snare drum. Finally, add the bass drum on all quarter notes. Line up each bass drum stroke with the primary stroke of each drag ruff.
Exercise #2 is another 16th note triplet drum beat where the single ratamacue is scattered between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Start things off by playing the single ratamacue on the hi-hat on all counts. When this feels, and sounds pretty good to you, move the last two strokes on counts 2 and 4 from the hi-hat to the snare drum. Once you have that down, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3, and on the “ands” of those counts.
Exercise #3 is a 16th note triplet drum fill built around the single ratamacue. Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the drum fill is mostly played on the hi-tom. The only exceptions are the strokes on the “and” of each count, which are played on the snare drum on counts 1 and 3, and on the floor tom on counts 2 and 4. Leading this drum fill with your right hand will make it easier to move around the drum set.
Exercise #4 is a very cool sounding 16th note triplet drum fill that combines the single ratamacue with a 16th note triplet single stroke roll. Except for the “ands”, which are played as unison strokes between a crash cymbal and the bass drum, the single ratamacue on the first two counts are mostly performed on the snare drum. The 16th note triplet single stroke roll is played on counts 3 and 4 – going from the snare drum to the hi-tom, and from the hi-tom to the mid-tom.
Once you’re done with the single ratamacue, you can move on to learn how to play the double ratamacue next.
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