The name assigned to each of the 40 drum rudiments is usually based on the way they sound, on how they are played or on their number of strokes. Lesson 25 is an interesting name to assign to a drum rudiment because it doesn’t appear to have a special meaning, nor does it tell us anything about the drum rudiment. Nonetheless, this is another pattern from the drag family of drum rudiments, and one you should definitely learn how to play correctly.
Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the underlying rhythmic structure of the lesson 25 is a three-note alternating 16th note single stroke roll. This short single stroke roll is known as a three-stroke ruff. Thus, lesson 25 is a three-stroke ruff with two or more grace notes added before the primary stroke. You should learn how to play the single stroke roll and the drag ruff drum rudiments before taking on the lesson 25 drum rudiment. Lesson 25 does not alternate, so practice leading it with both hands.
Practice the lesson 25 drum rudiment on a single surface first. Focus on getting evenly spaced 16th notes and consistent sounding drags. Once you can articulate a very clean sounding lesson 25 drum rudiment, take the next step in learning the lesson 25 by learning how to apply it to your drum beats and drum fills with the following exercises.
We’ll be teaching you the first lesson 25 drum beat in a step-by-step approach. Start by playing the lesson 25 on the hi-hat for all 4 counts. Once you feel comfortable alternate the leading hand for every other 2 counts – playing right hand lead on counts 1 and 2, and left hand lead on counts 3 and 4. Then, move the last tap on counts 1 and 2 to the snare, and the last tap on counts 3 and 4 to the hi-tom.
When you’re able to play the steps described so far, move the right hand to play the ride cymbal bow on counts 3 and 4. Once that is mastered, add the bass drum on all quarter notes.
For this next exercise we’ll be taking a similar step-by-step approach as that of the previous one. Start by playing the lesson 25 on the hi-hat for all 4 counts. On counts 2 and 4 play the last tap on the snare drum.
Once you have that covered, add the bass drum on all quarter notes. As you execute the quarter note bass drum pattern, add the 8th notes one-by-one. Add more 8th notes in when you feel comfortable playing the ones you’ve already added beforehand. This will ensure a very solid and evenly spaced 8th note bass drum pattern.
If you’re not getting it at first, don’t get frustrated. It’s hard to work on limb independence. Don’t give up and just keep at it. Practice hard and regularly. With time, working on independence will become easier.
Exercise #3 has the lesson 25 drum rudiment applied to a drum fill. All grace notes are executed on the snare drum with the left hand for the first two counts, and with the right hand for the last two counts. For each count, the primary stroke and the two taps are moved around the toms - one stroke per tom. As you move up and down the toms, you’ll have to be careful so you don’t end up clicking the sticks or hitting one hand unintentionally. This is especially true when going from the hi-tom to the mid-tom on counts 1 and 2. Practice this drum fill at a slow speed, so you can get used to taking the left hand out of the way of the right hand just in time.
The final exercise on this free drum lesson has the grace notes of the lesson 25 played on the snare drum with the left hand for the first two counts, and with the right hand for the last two counts. The right hand plays the floor tom and the left hand the snare drum on counts 1 and 2. The left hand plays the hi-tom on the last two counts, and the right hand the mid-tom on count 3 and the snare on count 4.
If you’d like to keep on learning how to play other drum rudiments, the lesson on the single dragadiddle is the next best thing for you.
Drag Based Rudiments
|Single Drag Tap
|Double Drag Tap