What? Me Play the Rudiments?!?
Imagine getting home from a gig around 4 a.m. You played well and feel good about how things went. You decide to tune in to your favorite drummer on YouTube and be dazzled by his playing for a while. You wonder: “What makes him such a great drummer? What is different about his playing? What is it about him that makes him so interesting to watch and listen to?” Then it occurs to you that he’s a soloist. He plays drum solos! They are dynamic and impressive solos. So you go to his page online and find that he is really into the rudiments and has downloadable charts from PAS (see JohnCarl.net).
A Very Brief History of the Rudiments: It all comes down to NARD (NO, not NERD, but NARD – although NARD is a place for drum nerds).
From the NARD website:
“The National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD), an organization established to promote rudimental drumming, put forward a list of 13 “essential” rudiments, and later a second set of thirteen to form the original 26. Finally, the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) reorganized the first 26 and added another 14 to form the current 40 International Drum Rudiments.”
Confusing? Well, that’s just the essence of life — but none-the-less, let’s eliminate the confusion. Simply put, there are 40 International rudiments and 26 American rudiments. The 40 International rudiments include the 26 American rudiments. The American rudiments are plenty enough, but I encourage students who want to pursue more advanced drumming to learn the 40 International Rudiments.
Rudiments are patterns that can be played on a single or combination of drums rhythmically. Where can I find them? There is plenty about the rudiments in articles and videos which can lead to information overload. There are the “40 International Rudiments”, the “26 American Rudiments”, hybrid rudiments, rudimental exercises and the topics go on. But here, we’re going to discuss the basics.
All of the rudiments are made up of single and double stroke rolls. There are plenty of articles and videos on the web about “LEARN YER PARADIDDLES!!!”. A paradiddle is 2 single strokes followed by 1 double stroke:
R-L-R-R L-R-L-L (Where R = right hand and L = left hand). Although the paradiddle contains both single and double strokes and is indeed a popular rudiment for that reason, learning as many of the rudiments as possible, if not all of them, is always advantageous.
The 40 International Rudiments (which also contain the 26 American rudiments) is available for download from https://JohnCarl.net.