Drum rudiment


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Drum rudiment
Figure: drum rudiment

drum rudiment plays drum rudiments, fundamental drum patterns, on a room drum kit. The drum rudiment figure shows the score. The first four bars consist of two versions of a flam paradiddle, and the last four bars contain two versions of a single ratamacue.

A drum rudiment or drum fundamental or drum roll is a basic rhythm pattern for drums.

A drum rudiment is written by combining drum strokes together. An individual drum stroke is a single beat played with either the left hand (L) or the right hand (R). A double stroke is two sounds played with the same hand, LL or RR. Drum rudiments differ according to the number of strokes they contain, whether the strokes are played by the left or right hand, and where the accents are placed.

A Flam Paradiddle is a drum rudiment. It is a paradiddle with a flam on the first note. The paradiddle has two single strokes followed by a double stroke and is played LRLL or RLRR. The flam is two single strokes played almost instantaneously LR or RL in which the first stroke is a grace beat, a quiet unaccented beat that immediately precedes a louder beat. A grace beat has no rhythmic value, it is left to the performer to judge its duration.

The Single Ratamacue is another drum rudiment. It is a drag grace beat followed by four beats. A drag is a double stroke played at twice tempo. The first three of the four main beats are played as a triplet and the fourth beat is accented. A triplet is a group of three notes that has the same duration as two notes at the prevailing tempo.

Drum rudiments are aimed at drummers who wish to co-ordinate their hands, play slow and fast tempos, and improve their live performance skills. They are also helpful to music writers as they enable an interesting rhythm to be assembled from simple ingredients.

The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) identifies 40 drum rudiments. Flam paradiddle and single ratamacue are two of the basic patterns in the PAS list and the rest of the rudiments have equally mysterious and intriguing names.