Single Stroke Four

Learn How To Play The Single Stroke Four Drum Rudiment!

In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you another of the 40 drum rudiments - the single stroke four, one of the three drum rudiments from the single stroke family of drum rudiments. If you’re brand new to the 40 drum rudiments we encourage you to take a look at the single stroke roll first, before attempting to learn the single stroke four.

Even if you’re an experienced drummer, we encourage you to go back to the free drum lesson on the single stroke roll to brush up on that drum rudiment and get ideas on how to apply it to the drum set.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see how this drum rudiment is just a variation on the single stroke roll. Instead of having a consecutive stream (roll) of alternating single strokes, the single stroke four has four consecutive alternating single strokes played as triplets - hence its name. It should be counted, 1 trip let 2 3 trip let 4. Practice the single stroke four leading with both hands. Strive for consistent sounding strokes.

Single Stroke Four

Once you feel competent playing the single stroke four drum rudiment on a single surface, it’s time to take your new knowledge and apply it to a couple of drum beats and drum fills.

To start learning the first drum beat from this 40 drum rudiments free video lesson, play a basic quarter note rock drum beat at first - bass drum on counts 1 and 3, snare drum on counts 2 and 4, hi-hat on all quarter notes - but without a hi-hat on count 4. When you can play it comfortably, add the single stroke four on count 3 of the quarter note rock beat.

In the video, Lionel plays the single stroke four with his left hand leading, ending it with the right hand on the snare. Lead with whatever hand feels more comfortable to you. What matters here is that you play the single stroke four accurately – consistent sounding and evenly spaced strokes.

IMGSingle Stroke Four #1

The next pattern in this 40 drum rudiments free video lesson is a tom-tom drum beat. The single stroke four is played twice, starting on counts 1 and 3, and ending on counts 2 and 4 on the snare drum respectively.

Single Stroke Four #2

Exercise #3 is the first drum fill on this 40 drum rudiments lesson. The pattern is mostly played on the toms. Since toms lack the rebound of a snare drum you’ll have a lot of trouble getting all strokes to have the same amount of volume as you get faster with this drum fill. Thus, you’ll have to develop your forearm muscles first, to be able to get consistent sounding strokes from surfaces with almost no bounce at all.

Practicing this exercise slowly at first and for long periods of time will do just that. Remember to always stay relaxed as you practice this drum fill, to avoid repeated stress related injuries.

Single Stroke Four #3

The next drum fill from this 40 drum rudiments free video lesson, is a variation of the previous one. Watch out for the single stroke four starting on the floor tom on count 3. This section has the same type of challenges we discussed earlier on because of the lack of bounce you get from toms.

Single Stroke Four #4

Once you’re able to play the single stroke four and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge of the 40 drum rudiments. If you want to keep studying single stroke based drum rudiments, we encourage you to move on to learn how to play the single stroke seven. In case you want to learn a new type of basic rudimental stroke, then the double stroke roll is the best next thing for you to learn about.