Triple Stroke Roll - Drum Rudiment

The triple stroke roll is one of the 40 International Drum Rudiments since 1984. The Percussive Arts Society (P.A.S.) was responsible for its inclusion, after settling on the expansion of the 26 American Drum Rudiments with orchestral, drum corps, European, and contemporary drum rudiments. The triple stroke roll is also known as a French roll.

Much like the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll, the triple stroke roll is an alternating roll. Nevertheless, with a triple stroke roll each hand plays three strokes instead of one or two. The triple stroke roll is mostly played as 8th note triplets and 16th note triplets. Make sure you've learned how to play essential drum rudiments like the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll before going through this free drum lesson on to the triple stroke roll.

At slower speeds the triple stroke roll is played with full wrist turns. As the tempo at what you play the triple stroke roll increases, you'll wrist turn the first stroke and bounce the second and third strokes off of the drum. The biggest challenge with this technique is in getting the stick to play two bounces instead of four or five. You can also use the fingers to play the second and third strokes.

Triple Stroke Roll

Once you're able to play the triple stroke roll comfortably on a single surface, you can move on to learn how to apply the triple stroke roll to the drum set.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note triplet drum beat. The triple stroke roll is scattered between the bow of the ride cymbal and the hi-hat on counts 1 and 3. In the video, Lionel plays the triple stroke roll by using the wrist to play the first stroke on each hand and by bouncing the other strokes. Playing this exercise at high speeds is not easy because of the 16th note triplets. Think of the speed at what Lionel plays the beat as a future goal. Start out slowly and go from there.

Triple Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. The triple stroke roll is broken up between the floor tom and the hi-hat on counts 1 and 2. Playing the first three strokes of the triple stroke roll consistently makes this a more challenging drum beat to get up to speed. This is so because you'll only be able to play the first stroke with the wrist and the second and third strokes with the fingers, or play wristed strokes only. Don't get discouraged if you aren't able to play this drum fill consistently at faster tempos. Keep working on it and with time you'll eventually get it.

Triple Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is an 8th note triplet drum fill. While transitioning from the mid-tom to the hi-tom you'll have to quickly move the weaker hand out of the way of the stronger hand as it makes way to hit the hi-tom on count 3. Doing so will enable you to avoid clicking your sticks, hitting rims or worst, your own hand. Practicing the drum fill slowly at first will help you make a clean transition between the two drums. Increase the speed on your metronome only when you get comfortable at a given speed.

Triple Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is another 8th note triplet drum fill. This exercise features the same challenges we discussed on exercise #2. Use the tips we gave you there to get around those issues.

Triple Stroke Roll #4

After you're done with this lesson, you can move on to learn how to play the multiple bounce roll. If you have already learned how to play the multiple bounce roll, then the five stroke roll is the next best thing for you. If you're not interested in none of the above, then move on to learn how to play the single paradiddle, the flam, or the drag ruff.