Eleven Stroke Roll - Drum Rudiment

The eleven stroke roll was one of the patterns chosen to take part in the 26 American Drum Rudiments by members of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (N.A.R.D.) in 1936. In 1984, the 26 drum rudiments were joined by 14 other drum rudiments, giving birth to the 40 International Drum Rudiments.

The eleven stroke roll is a pattern from the drum roll family of drum rudiments. You can think of the eleven stroke roll as a nine stroke roll with an extra double stroke added in, or as a ten stroke roll where one of the singles is doubled. Therefore, learning how to play the nine stroke roll and the ten stroke roll beforehand is a great idea. Mastering the two of them will make it a lot easier for you to develop the eleven stroke roll properly.

In the video, the eleven stroke roll is demonstrated on the practice pad with 32nd note doubles and a 16th note single. On the drum set, the eleven stroke roll is applied with 16th note doubles and an 8th note single. The important thing here is to keep the same relation between the doubles and the single, no matter the note values used – the single is played at half the speed of the doubles. Practice leading the eleven stroke roll with both hands separately.

Counting drum rudiments with a great number of strokes like the eleven stroke roll can become quite challenging. This is the result of having to count numbers with more than one syllable, like seven and eleven, which becomes harder to articulate at faster tempos. We advise you to use 16th notes instead – 1 e and ah 2 e and ah 3 e and ah 4 e and ah.

Eleven Stroke Roll

Once you're able to play the eleven stroke roll comfortably on a single surface, you can move on to learn how to apply the eleven stroke roll to the drum set.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. This is a very cool drum beat to play since the eleven stroke roll is broken up between various instruments instead of only between the hi-hat and the snare drum. This adds a totally different feel to the drum beat. You can use this idea with all the other free drum lessons on this website. This is a very cool tool for coming up with creative drum beats of your own.

Eleven Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note drum beat. This is a great example of how to use the concept discussed on exercise #1. Here, we came up with a totally different drum beat by moving the strokes of the underlying rhythmic structure of beat #1 around different instruments.

Eleven Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. The eleven stroke roll is scattered around the drums. The weaker hand is kept on the snare drum while the stronger hand moves around the toms playing double strokes. Getting the doubles on the mid- and floor tom to sound consistent is a great challenge. Check the lesson on the double stroke roll for tips on how to achieve that.

Eleven Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is another 16th note drum fill. Just like with exercise #3, the weaker hand is kept on the snare drum. The stronger hand also keeps the same pattern going, but does so by going around the toms in the opposite direction.

Eleven Stroke Roll #4

Every drum fill featured in this website has a stock drum beat preceding it. Once you're able to play the beat-fill-beat combination with the provided stock drum beat, play it with your favorite drum beats instead.

Once you're able to play the eleven stroke roll and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the 40 drum rudiments. We encourage you to learn how to play the thirteen stroke roll and the fifteen stroke roll next.