Nine Stroke Roll - Drum Rudiment

The nine 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 nine stroke roll is a pattern from the drum roll family of drum rudiments. The nine stroke roll is basically a seven stroke roll with an extra double stroke added in. So, if you haven't already, check the free drum lesson on the seven stroke roll before going through this one. The nine stroke roll naturally alternates within itself.

Nine Stroke Roll

In the video, the nine stroke roll is demonstrated on the practice pad as a 32nd note pattern, while on the drum set it's played as 16th notes. Drum rudiments can be performed with whichever note values you want to. Once you're able to play the nine stroke roll comfortably on a single surface, you can move on to learn how to apply the nine stroke roll to the drum set.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note half-time drum beat. The nine stroke roll is scattered between the hi-hat and the snare drum on counts 1, 2, and 3. Once you've mastered this pattern as written, add different bass drum patterns to mix things up a little bit. This is a great way of getting more millage out of a single drum beat while working on independence at the same time.

Nine Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note half-time drum beat. The doubles on the nine stroke roll are scattered between the hi-hat and the bow of the ride cymbal on counts 1 and 2. The single stroke on the nine stroke roll is moved to the snare drum on count 3. The hi-hat/ride pattern on counts 3 and 4 is more challenging than it first looks to be. Remember to start slowly and work your way up as you attain more control over this drum beat.

Nine Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. Playing consistent sounding doubles on the floor tom is the most challenging bit of this drum fill. To get around this issue, check the free drum lesson on the double stroke roll. There, you'll find cool tips to help you improve the way you play doubles on surfaces with little rebound.

Nine Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This exercise looks like a half-bar drum fill but it's actually a one-bar drum fill that has rests on the first two counts. The ninth stroke seems to be missing from this drum fill. Nevertheless, it's actually played as a unison stroke between the bass drum and a crash cymbal on the first count of the next measure of music.

Nine Stroke Roll #4

Once you're able to play the nine 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 ten stroke roll and the eleven stroke roll next.