Thirteen Stroke Roll

Learn How To Play The Thirteen Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!

In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron shows you how to play the thirteen stroke roll, and how to incorporate it into a couple of drum beats and drum fills. The thirteen stroke roll incorporates six sets of double strokes and a single stroke at the end – hence thirteen strokes.

It’s imperative you work through the free drum lessons on the single stroke roll and double stroke roll drum rudiments, before trying to learn the thirteen stroke roll. If you’ve been through other odd-numbered drum roll drum rudiments like the five stroke roll, seven stroke roll, nine stroke roll, and eleven stroke roll drum rudiments, you should find yourself working through this lesson pretty fast.

Thirteen Stroke Roll

As you learn how to play this entire collection of double stroke based drum rudiments, like the thirteen stroke roll, the fifteen stroke roll, and the seventeen stroke roll, just to name a few, it gets quite unbearable to count each stroke out loud, especially when playing them as 32nd notes. If you want to count them on your head or even out loud, use 16th notes instead.

Counting a thirteen stroke roll played as 16th notes, like the one on the sheet music below, would sound like so: 1 e and ah 2 e and ah 3 e and ah 4. If the thirteen stroke roll was played as 32nd notes, then you’d have two notes per 16th note. Thus, the counting would be like so: 1 e and ah 2 e and. As you can see, it’s way easier to count this way than to count all the way to thirteen.

After you’ve learned how to play the thirteen stroke roll accurately, it’s time for you to learn how to apply it to the drum set through the drum beats and drum fills below. Let’s take a look at the first one.

In the first pattern, Lionel Duperron plays the thirteen stroke roll as a 16th note pattern between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The bass drum is played on all quarter notes. Once you can play this drum beat pretty accurately, add a metronome to line things up perfectly.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #1

Taking a closer look at the next exercise, you can see that its rhythmic structure is just like the one on the previous drum beat. However, Lionel chose to use the hi-tom instead of the hi-hat and the floor tom instead of the snare drum for playing a 16th note thirteen stroke roll. The only note that is played on exactly the same place is the snare drum shot on count 4.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #2

The bass drum is played on all quarter notes. Placing the notes on other drum voices creates a totally different drum pattern from one you’ve already mastered. Here, Lionel created a brand new tom-tom drum beat from what was initially a broken 16th note hi-hat drum beat. This is a great way of giving new life to your old drum beats.

The pattern played around the toms on exercise #3 is a very cool sounding one. The first three sets of doubles travel down the toms, with Lionel playing two per drum. After this first set, Lionel repeats the last three sets of doubles in the same fashion as the initial ones. The drum fill ends with a unison stroke between the snare and bass drum on count 4.
The first transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom is a very challenging one, since the left hand will have to cross over to play the mid-tom as the right hand gets out of the way after playing the hi-tom.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #3

This transition can lead to a full head on collision between your hands. This is possible to avoid if you work on this pattern slowly at first. Focus on playing consistent strokes without clicking your sticks, hitting rims or worst, your hands.

In this next drum fill the thirteen stroke roll played with the hands is accompanied by a quarter note foot pattern on the bass drum. To make sure you can play this pattern flawlessly, start by learning the hand pattern first. The initial eight strokes are played on the snare drum while the last five go around the toms. The transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom shares the same issue discussed on the previous exercise, so watch out for that.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #4

Once you can play the hand pattern pretty effortlessly, add the bass drum in. On paper, this may look like a very simple bass drum pattern to play. But if you’re not used to playing your bass drum while executing hand–to-hand double strokes, this will actually be challenging. Start practicing this slowly and you should have no problems.

If you’ve learned how to play the thirteen stroke roll and have become very competent in applying it to the previous drum beats and drum fills, you can move on to learn how to play a new patterns from the 40 drum rudiments, like the fifteen stroke roll and the seventeen stroke roll drum rudiments.