Thirteen Stroke Roll

With this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to practice and play the thirteen stroke roll, a pattern from the drum roll family of drum rudiments. This lesson includes drum set applications for the thirteen stroke roll that you can use on your everyday playing, or as inspiration for coming up with your own thirteen stroke roll drum beats and drum fills.

The structure of the thirteen stroke roll is quite similar to the ones of the nine stroke roll and eleven stroke roll. If you’ve practiced any of those drum rudiments beforehand, you should have no problems in mastering the thirteen stroke roll.

It gets quite unbearable to count each stroke on some of the drum rudiments from the drum roll family, like the eleven stroke roll, the thirteen stroke roll, the fifteen stroke roll, and the seventeen stroke roll for instance, especially when playing them as 32nd notes. If you want to count them use 16th notes instead.

Drum Beats

Exercise #1 has the thirteen stroke roll played as a 16th note pattern between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The bass drum is played on all quarter notes. Once you can play this drum beat, add a metronome in to make sure you’re lining everything up perfectly.

Exercise #2 is just like the previous one. The thirteen stroke roll is scattered between the hi-tom, which takes the place of the hi-hat; and the floor tom, which takes the place of the snare drum. The only note that is played exactly on the same spot is the snare drum shot on count 4. The bass drum is performed on all quarter notes. By orchestrating the notes differently, Lionel came up with a totally different drum beat. This is a great way of giving new life to your old drum beats.

Drum Fills

Exercise #3 is a very cool sounding 16th note drum fill. The first three sets of doubles travel down the toms – one set per drum. This pattern is repeated starting on the “and” of count 2. The drum fill ends with a unison stroke between the snare and the bass drum on count 4.

The transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom is a challenging one. The left hand has to cross over to play the mid-tom, as the right hand gets out of the way after playing the hi-tom. This transition can lead to a full head-on collision between your hands. This is avoidable if you practice this pattern slowly at first.

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill that incorporates the thirteen stroke roll and some bass drum action. Start by learning the hand pattern. The first eight strokes are played on the snare drum and the last five go around the toms. Watch out for the transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom.

Once you can play the hand pattern pretty effortlessly, add the bass drum on all quarter notes. If you’re not used to playing the bass drum while executing hand–to-hand double strokes, this simple bass drum pattern will actually be quite challenging. Start practicing this thirteen stroke roll drum fill slowly and you should have no problems.

Once you’re done with the drum beats and drum fills herein, you can keep on challenging yourself. Practice the thirteen 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 fifteen stroke roll and the seventeen stroke roll next.