Single Ratamacue - Drum Rudiment

The single ratamacue 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 single ratamacue 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.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the single ratamacue is basically a dragged 16th note triplet single stroke four. Therefore, learning how to play the drag ruff and the single stroke four, before going through this free drum lesson, will do wonders for your single ratamacues.

Single Ratamacue

Once you're able to play the single ratamacue with control and consistent sounding strokes, you can move on to learn how to apply the single ratamacue to the following drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note triplet drum beat. Start by playing the single ratamacue on the closed hi-hat on all counts. When this feels natural to you, move the last stroke from the single ratamacue on counts 2 and 4 to the snare drum. Once the hand pattern is under your belt, add the bass drum on all quarter notes. Remember to line up each bass drum stroke with the primary stroke on the drag ruffs and not with the grace notes.

Single Ratamacue #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note triplet drum beat. Start by playing exercise #1. As you're playing it, move the "let" on the 16th note triplet on counts 2 and 4 to the snare drum. Once you have that down, add extra bass drum strokes to the "and" of counts 1 and 3, and remove the ones on counts 2 and 4.

Single Ratamacue #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note triplet drum fill. Except for the strokes on the "and" of each count, this drum fill is mostly played on the hi-tom. Lead this drum fill with your stronger hand. Doing so will make it easier to perform the "and" of counts 1 and 3 on the snare drum, and the "and" of counts 2 and 4 on the floor tom.

Single Ratamacue #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note triplet drum fill. This pattern combines two single ratamacues with a 16th note triplet single stroke roll. Most of the drum fills and drum beats featured on this website include only one drum rudiment. This exercise is a great example of how to spice up these patterns by adding more drum rudiments to the mix.

Single Ratamacue #4

Once you're able to play the single ratamacue 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 double ratamacue next.