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Single Stroke Seven

Drum Rudiment Master Class & Rudiment Guide

The single stroke seven is the third and last pattern from the single stroke family of drum rudiments. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to play the single stroke seven, and how to apply it to the drum set through a couple of drum beats and drum fills.

Whether you’re brand new to the 40 drum rudiments or a more seasoned drummer, we encourage you to take a look at the free drum lessons on the single stroke roll and the single stroke four drum rudiments, before going any further. Knowing how to accurately play the single stroke roll and the single stroke four drum rudiments, will enhance the way you learn the material in this free drum lesson.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the single stroke seven is basically a single stroke four with three extra notes. Thus, while with the single stroke four you played four consecutive and alternating single strokes, with the single stroke seven you play seven.

Much like the single stroke four, the single stroke seven is usually played as 8th note triplets and as 16th note triplets. The single stroke seven can be counted as 1 trip let 2 trip let 3, when played as 8th note triplets, and as 1 trip let and trip let 2 3 trip let and trip let 4, when played as 16th note triplets. Since the single stroke seven does not naturally alternate within itself, practice leading with both hands. Strive for playing consistent sounding strokes.

Drum Beats

Exercise #1 is an 8th note triplet half-time drum beat. Start practicing this drum beat by playing the single stroke seven on the hi-hat between counts 1 and 3. Once you feel comfortable, move the seventh stroke to the snare drum. Finally, add the bass drum on count 1 and the floor tom on count 4. If you want to be further challenged here, experiment with different bass drums patterns, different dynamics, add some open hi-hats or just move one of the hands to other surfaces on the drum set.

Exercise #2 is a great example of what happens when you use one of the tips we gave you for coming up with new drum beat variations, on the previous exercise. The rhythmic pattern in this exercise is the same as the one on exercise #1; the only thing that changes here is the stroke orchestration. The initial six strokes of the single stroke seven are scattered between the hi-hat and the bow of the ride cymbal. The bell of the ride cymbal replaces the floor tom on count 4. You can use this kind of tactic with all the drum beats and drum fills on this website, for coming up with new patterns of your own.

Drum Fills

Exercise #3 is an 8th note triplet drum fill. The single stroke seven is played between counts 1 and 3, and a single stroke four is played between count 4, and count 1 on the following bar. Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the leading hand switches as you move from one tom to the other. This can cause you some issues when going from the hi-tom to the mid-tom. You’ll have to quickly move the right hand out of the way of the left hand, as the left hand makes way to the mid-tom to hit it on count 2. If you don’t, you may end up clicking your sticks, hitting rims or worst, your own hand.

Practicing slowly at first will get you used to making a clean transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom. Leading this drum fill with the left hand instead is also a great way of avoiding the issue we’ve discussed, and of working on left hand strength and coordination.

Exercise #4 is based around the same rhythmic idea proposed on the previous exercise, and it’s a great way of showing you the importance of practicing drum rudiments leading with both hands. Focus on memorizing the hand sequence first. Once you can play the fill accurately, add the metronome to the mix and work on playing consistent sounding and evenly spaced strokes.

Once you’re done with this free drum lesson, you can move on to further expand your knowledge of the 40 drum rudiments. If you want to keep studying single stroke based drum rudiments, we encourage you to move on to learn how to play the hybrid drum rudiment herta. If you’d rather learn how to play drum rudiments from a different family, we encourage you to take on the multiple bounce roll and the double stroke roll next.


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