Fifteen Stroke Roll - Drum Rudiment

The fifteen 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 fifteen stroke roll is a pattern from the drum roll family of drum rudiments. You can think of the fifteen stroke roll as a thirteen stroke roll with an extra double stroke added in. Therefore, learning how to play the thirteen stroke roll beforehand is a great idea. Mastering the thirteen stroke roll will make it a lot easier for you to develop the fifteen stroke roll properly.

In the video, the fifteen stroke roll is demonstrated on the practice pad with 32nd note doubles and a 16th note single. On the drum set, the fifteen stroke roll is applied with 16th note doubles and an 8th note single. The fifteen stroke roll is one of the longest patterns included in the 40 drum rudiments. Its number of strokes makes it challenging to play smoothly and consistently.

Fifteen Stroke Roll

Remember to practice the fifteen stroke roll leading with both hands since it does not alternate within itself.

Once you feel confident with the fifteen stroke roll, you can move on to learn how to use it in drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. The fifteen stroke roll is broken up between the hi-hat and the snare drum from count 1 to count 3, and between the hi-tom and the snare drum on count 4. Add the bass drum on all quarter notes once the hand pattern is mastered.

Fifteen Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note drum beat. This drum beat is a totally different pattern from the previous one, but curiously enough, has the same underlying rhythmic pattern. Stroke orchestration is a great tool for working on your own drum beat variations, as well as experimenting with different bass drum patterns. A cool idea is to take bass drum patterns from some of your favorite books and videos and use them with the exercises in this website.

Fifteen Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. Getting the double strokes that are on the toms to sound consistent is a great challenge, especially when you get to play them at faster tempos. We have included a bunch of tips in the lesson on the double stroke roll that are sure to help you out with this.

Fifteen Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This exercise shows a cool way of incorporating the hi-hat and crash cymbals into drum fills. If you dig this idea, move other double strokes to the hi-hat to see what you can come up with. After you're done with this drum fill, go back to the other drum rudiments and experiment moving some of the notes to the cymbals instead.

Fifteen Stroke Roll #4

Once you're able to play the fifteen 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 seventeen stroke roll next.