Nine Stroke Roll

Learn How To Play The Nine Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!

The next drum roll rudiment in our list is the nine stroke roll. The nine stroke roll has a grand total of nine strokes – four doubles and one single. So, if you haven’t already, check the lessons on the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll drum rudiments before trying this one out. You should also learn how to play the five stroke roll and the seven stroke roll drum rudiments before this one. Since they have less double strokes, it lets you focus more on the transition between the doubles and the single. You can think of the five stroke roll and the seven stroke roll drum rudiments as great preliminary exercises for the nine stroke roll.

Much like the five stroke roll, the nine stroke roll is one of the 40 drum rudiments than can naturally alternate. As you can see on the sheet music below, after playing the quarter note single stroke on count 3 there’s a quarter note rest. This will give you plenty of time to play the nine stroke roll leading with your weaker hand on the next measure.

Nine Stroke Roll

In the video, Lionel Duperron plays the nine stroke roll on the practice pad with 32nd note doubles, while on the drum set he plays them as 16th notes. Don’t get confused by this. As we have stated before drum rudiments can be played with whichever note values you want to. Once you feel confident playing the nine stroke roll on the practice pad you can move on to play the nine stroke roll drum fills and drum beats Lionel Duperron wrote especially for you.

Exercise #1 is a half-time drum beat. The bass drum pattern is played on all quarter notes. The doubles on the nine stroke roll are executed on the hi-hat and the single is moved to the snare drum on count 3. Add a unison stroke between the hi-tom and the floor tom and you’re good to go.

Nine Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is another half-time drum beat. The bass drum pattern is once again played on all quarter notes. The kick patterns are kept fairly simple in some of the drum beats on these 40 drum rudiments free drum lessons, because the idea is to make you focus on your hands first and foremost. Master these exercises and later on you can add more complicated bass drum patterns, if you so desire.

Nine Stroke Roll #2

The nine stroke roll is broken up between the ride and the closed hi-hat – right hand doubles on the ride and left hand doubles on the hi-hat. The single is moved to the snare on count 3. After the snare shot, an alternating 8th note pattern is kept between the ride and the hi-hat. This pattern is more challenging than it first looks to be.

The third drum fill on this free drum lesson is pretty straight forward. The first and third sets of doubles are kept on the floor tom while the second and forth sets are placed on the mid-tom. The single is played on the snare drum on count 3. Remember to focus on sound quality and in having a very clean sounding drum fill.

Nine Stroke Roll #3

The cleaner you play this drum fill the faster it will sound. It’s better to play a pattern perfectly at slower speeds than to play it sloppily at a faster tempo. Take your time with each exercise. Learning to play drums is not a race; you have your whole life to play them. Remember that what may take one week for one guy to learn, may take you more or less time. This type of thing varies from person to person, so take it easy on you.

The last drum fill on this free drum lesson is a quite interesting one. At first, it may look like a half-bar drum fill, because of the nine stroke roll starting on count 3. But this pattern is actually a one bar drum fill that has rests on the first two counts. It also may look like the single stroke on the nine stroke roll is missing. One again, looks can be deceiving. From count 3 to the “ah” of count 4 we have eight 16th notes. Lionel played the ninth stroke of the nine stroke roll on count 1 of the next measure by combining a cymbal shot with a bass drum stroke. This can be seen on the video.

Nine Stroke Roll #4

After you’re done with the exercises in this free drum lesson, you can keep challenging yourself by shifting the placement of the single stroke inside of the nine stroke roll. If you’re more interested in moving on, check the free drum lessons on the ten stroke roll and eleven stroke roll drum rudiments.