What are the drum set rudiments?

Author: Simon DasGupta.
September 15, 2022

In this article

The drum set rudiments are 26 sticking patterns that give us a comprehensive range of musical options on the drum set. Practicing them can help build good technique, and understanding how and when to use them can take your drumming to the next level.

  • Why are the drum set rudiments important?
  • What are the most useful drum set rudiments?
  • Why single strokes, double strokes, flams and drags are all you need to transform your drumming.

Should I learn the drum set rudiments straight away?

How important are the rudiments for beginner drummers at the start of their journey? As your early days as a drummer will involve practicing drum beats, drum fills, and working on other essential fundamentals, don't be surprised if you don't get introduced to them immediately.

Are old-school teaching methods still valid?

Conventional drum wisdom will tell you that studying the drum set rudiments should be your starting point. Many drum instructors like to start on them straight away, and it's not uncommon to focus entirely on this area in the first few weeks or even months of drumming.

While we certainly see the value in practicing them and the benefit of improving fledgling drum stick control, many beginner drummers find them boring. The early days of drumming must be fun if this is to be a successful endeavor, and learning cool beats and fills and playing along with songs is more of a priority for hobbyist drummers. At Drum Ambition, we wholeheartedly support this.

How is the Drum Ambition approach to rudiments different?

Our approach is to introduce you to the fun of playing the drums and then show you how the rudiments can embellish your playing once you have a little more experience.

We show you how to play basic drum beats and fills, read music, understand basic non-rudimental sticking concepts, and then demonstrate how the rudiments can further embellish and transform your drumming. At this point, they become fun to practice and even more fun to implement.

When will the rudiments become important?

We like to use a car analogy here. When learning to drive a stick shift or manual car, you must first understand how to go from first gear to second gear and then gradually move through all of the gears.

In drumming, the first gear is the basic drum beats, the second gear is drum fills, the third gear is reading music and understanding non-rudimental sticking, and the fourth is playing along with songs. The fifth gear (and nowadays 6th gear) that further enhances our musicianship is a culmination of the previous gears and the rudiments' practical application.

You must go methodically through all the gears to get from gear one to six. You can't jump from one to six, or you will stall. Many teachers believe that the rudiments should be the first gear, and we respect this view but have found that it doesn't work for most beginner drummers.

Which rudiments are covered first?

Some rudiments will come up during our curriculum's first few months, mainly single and double strokes.

At Drum Ambition, our focus is on the core four rudiments: single strokes, double strokes, flams, and drags. The remaining twenty-two rudiments are all made up of one or a combination of these core four. Plus, you can do a lot with the core four alone.

We'll also eventually introduce you to other valuable rudiments like the paradiddle and flam-accent and are careful to focus only on the ones you will use in your day-to-day playing.

In summary.

It will be life-changing when you eventually turn your focus to rudiments after becoming competent with beats, fills, music reading, and non-rudimental sticking.

We will show you how to apply these patterns to beats and fills, opening up a whole new world and making you a controlled and musical drummer. But, they are not something that should stress you out in the early days of drumming. Your attention is best focused elsewhere, and you will get to this study area in good time. Enjoy the ride, keep it fun, and follow a structured plan.

Our FREE guide answers many questions you may have on beginning drums.

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