This next free drum lesson on the 40 drum rudiments teaches you how to play the single ratamacue, a drum rudiment from the drag family of drum rudiments. Lionel Duperron teaches you how to practice the single ratamacue on a single surface, and how to use it to come up with your own single ratamacue based drum beats and drum fills.
By removing the grace notes from the single ratamacue on the sheet music below, you can see that what we’re left with is a single stroke four played as 16th note triplets. Thus, the single ratamacue combines a single stroke four with a drag ruff. If you haven’t already, check the lessons on those two drum rudiments before tackling this one.
The single ratamacue naturally alternates within itself. Practice the single ratamacue slowly at first. Use a metronome once you’re comfortable with its sticking pattern. It’s a great tool for working on speed and in lining up the strokes perfectly. Focus on playing consistent sounding grace notes and single strokes, and in keeping your grip relaxed. If you get to a speed where you begin feeling any type of tension, discomfort, or find yourself gripping the sticks too tightly, slowdown the metronome.
Exercise #1 has the single ratamacue played between the hi-hat and the snare drum. You’ll learn how to play this drum beat way faster by taking a step-by-step approach.
Start by playing the single ratamacue on the closed hi-hat. Once you can play it comfortably, add the bass drum on all quarter notes. Line up each bass drum perfectly with the primary stroke on each drag ruff. When you have this combination happening, move the last stroke of the single ratamacues on counts 2 and 4 to the snare drum
For drum beat #2, we’ll use the same step-by-step approach we did for the previous single ratamacue based drum beat, so you can master it quickly and accurately. The single ratamacue is once again scattered between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Start things off by playing a single ratamacue on the hi-hat. Once you have that down, add the bass drum on count 1 and 3, and on their “ands”.
Work on having this combination sound and feel pretty solid, before moving to the last step on this single ratamacue drum beat – adding the snare drum. On counts 2 and 4 the last two notes of the single ratamacue should be moved from the hi-hat to the snare drum. Practice each one of these steps slowly at first, and you should have no problems in mastering this single ratamacue drum beat.
Exercise #3 is the first drum fill based around the single ratamacue. Most of this drum fill is played on the hi-tom. Only the last stroke of each single ratamacue is played on a different surface from the hi-tom – snare drum on the “and” of 1 and 3, and the floor tom on the “and” of 2 and 4. Start leading this drum fill with your left hand (left hand grace notes) to make this an easier pattern to move around the drum set.
Exercise #4 combines the single ratamacue with a single stroke roll played as 16th note triplets. The first two counts are mostly played on the snare drum - except for the “ands”, which are unison strokes between a crash cymbal and the bass drum. The last two counts are played as a 16th note triplet single stroke roll around the drums. On count 3 the roll is played entirely on the snare drum, while on count 4 it’s broken between the hi-tom and the mid-tom. This is a very cool sounding drum fill.
When you’re done with the single ratamacue, you can move on to learn the second rudiment from the ratamacue group of drum rudiments – the double ratamacue.
Drag Based Rudiments
|Drag Ruff||Single Dragadiddle||Single Ratamacue|
|Single Drag Tap||Dragadiddle #1||Double Ratamacue|
|Double Drag Tap||Dragadiddle #2||Triple Ratamacue|