Thirteen Stroke Roll - Drum Rudiment

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

Thirteen Stroke Roll

In the video, the thirteen stroke roll is demonstrated on the practice pad with 32nd note doubles and an 8th note single. On the drum set, the eleven stroke roll is applied with 16th note doubles and a quarter note single. Practice leading the thirteen stroke roll with both hands separately.
Once you're able to play the thirteen stroke roll comfortably on a single surface, you can move on to learn how to apply the thirteen stroke roll to the drum set.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. The thirteen stroke roll is broken up between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The bass drum pattern featured in this drum beat is fairly simple. So once you can play the beat as written, try mixing things up by adding different bass drum patterns.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is another 16th note drum beat. This drum beat is a great example of how to give new life to a rhythmic pattern you've already mastered. Lionel came up with this one by keeping the same bass drum pattern as exercise #1 while scattering the thirteen stroke roll between the hi-tom and the floor tom instead.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. While transitioning between toms on count 1 the weaker hand has to cross over to play the mid-tom as the stronger hand gets out of the way after playing the hi-tom. This transition can lead to a collision between your hands. Practicing this pattern slowly at first will help work around this issue, especially when you get to higher tempos.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is another 16th note drum fill. You have to be careful when playing count 3 of this exercise since it shares the same type of issue we discussed in the previous exercise. Playing the bass drum while executing hand–to-hand double strokes can be a problem as well. So this simple bass drum pattern can actually be quite challenging. Practicing it slowly at first will enable you to get it under your control with time.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #4

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