Seven Stroke Roll - Drum Rudiment
The seven 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. The seven stroke roll was also featured in the 13 Essential Drum Rudiments. This was a subgroup of the 26 drum rudiments that encompassed the essential drum rudiments any drummer should know how to play. In 1984, the 26 drum rudiments were joined by 14 other drum rudiments, giving birth to the 40 International Drum Rudiments.
The seven stroke roll is another pattern from the drum roll family of drum rudiments. It's basically a five stroke roll with an extra double stroke added in. You can also think of it as a six stroke roll where one of the singles is played as a double instead. So, if you haven't already, check the free drum lessons on the five stroke roll and the six stroke roll before giving the seven stroke roll a whirl.
The seven stroke roll is one of the 40 drum rudiments than does not naturally alternate within itself. You can however make it do so by manipulating the sticking pattern. Keep in mind that as you go faster this will be harder to accomplish. The doubles are to be bounced as you get to higher tempos.
Once you're able to play the seven stroke roll comfortably on a single surface, you can move on to learn how to apply the seven stroke roll to the drum set.
Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. The seven stroke roll is broken up between the hi-hat and the snare drum on counts 1 and 2. The remaining counts are kept relatively simple. You can add sections from other drum beats to counts 3 and 4 to come up with other great sounding variations while keeping the seven stroke roll in.
Exercise #2 is a 16th note half-time drum beat. The seven stroke roll is once again broken up between the snare drum and the hi-hat. This time however, the seven stroke roll is displaced by an 8th note – it starts on the "and" of count 1. Displacing drum rudiments is a great way of spicing up the drum beats and drum fills featured in this website.
Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. There are two seven stroke rolls in this drum fill. Learning how to play the seven stroke roll tom-tom pattern featured on counts 1 and 2 is enough to master the whole pattern, since it repeats for the following counts. Leading this drum fill with the stronger hand will make it a lot easier to perform. Doing so will enable you to avoid clicking your sticks, hitting rims or worst, your own hand. This is due to the numerous times you have to quickly move the stronger hand out of the way of the weaker hand.
Exercise #4 is another 16th note drum fill. Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that this drum fill shares the same rhythmic idea as the previous one. What changes here is the stroke orchestration. This is a fine way to develop fresh ideas from rhythmic patterns you may have taken a while to get under your belt. It's important to learn how to play all of these patterns as written, but it's even more important for you to use them as blueprints afterwards. This is a great way of developing your own voice on the drum set.
Once you're able to play the seven 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 nine stroke roll and the ten stroke roll next.