How to Use Drum Rudiments

Learning your rudiments are all well and good, but how does this help you on a drum set? For one, it gets your chops up to fighting strength. A 4/4 rock beat is like going back to preschool once you’ve mastered rudimental patterns. They also help you with limb independence, since you have to train your hands to work together in varying combinations at high speeds.

Finally, and this is the one you have to work at, they give you incredible tools for writing beats and playing solos. If you’ve got 20 rudiments under your belt, you have 20 weapons ready to unleash. By splitting up your hands across drums and adding in creative accents, you can play complex and funky beats with just these rudiments. Some rudiments, like the paradiddlediddle and six stroke roll, initiate with the same hand when played in succession. Others, like the paraddidle, flam tap, and flam accents, initiate with alternating hands. You can use the latter set of rudiments to switch hand dominance in the middle of successive “same hand” rudiments. For example, jam on some right-hand paradiddlediddles across the drums and use a single paradiddle to switch to left hand paradiddlediddles. Once you can move smoothly through rudiments strung together, you can play some seriously blistering beats. Add in tasteful rests and funky kick drum and you’ve got yourself a drum solo.

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