Chromatone logo
Back to main
Drum rudiments
Basic patterns played with drum sticks

Practice drum rudiments online

Historical organization

(NARD Standard 26 American Drum Rudiments of 1933)

Thirteen "essential" rudiments

  • The double stroke open roll
  • The five stroke roll
  • The seven stroke roll
  • The flam
  • The flam accent
  • The flam paradiddle
  • The flamacue
  • The drag (half drag or ruff)
  • The single drag tap
  • The double drag tap
  • The double paradiddle
  • The single ratamacue
  • The triple ratamacue

Second thirteen rudiments

  • The single stroke roll
  • The nine stroke roll
  • The ten stroke roll
  • The eleven stroke roll
  • The thirteen stroke roll
  • The fifteen stroke roll
  • The flam tap
  • The single paradiddle
  • The drag paradiddle No. 1
  • The drag paradiddle No. 2
  • The flam paradiddle-diddle
  • The lesson 25
  • The double ratamacue

Last fourteen rudiments

In 1984, the Percussive Arts Society added 14 more rudiments to extend the list to the current 40 International Snare Drum Rudiments. The ordering was completely changed during this last re-organization.

  • The single stroke four
  • The single stroke seven
  • The multiple bounce roll
  • The triple stroke roll
  • The six stroke roll
  • The seventeen stroke roll
  • The triple paradiddle
  • The single paradiddle-diddle
  • The single flammed mill
  • The pataflafla
  • The Swiss Army triplet
  • The inverted flam tap
  • The flam drag
  • The single dragadiddle


Single stroke

A stroke performs a single percussive note. There are four basic single strokes.

Double stroke

A double stroke consists of two single strokes played by the same hand (either RR or LL).


A diddle is a double stroke played at the current prevailing speed of the piece. For example, if a sixteenth-note passage is being played then any diddles in that passage would consist of sixteenth notes.


A paradiddle consists of two single strokes followed by a double stroke, i.e., RLRR or LRLL. When multiple paradiddles are played in succession, the first note always alternates between right and left. Therefore, a single paradiddle is often used to switch the "lead hand" in drumming music. Mill Stroke

A mill stroke is essentially a reversed paradiddle with the sticking RRLR or LLRL with an accent on the first note. The single flammed mill is the most common mill stroke variant in American playing.


A drag is a double stroke played at twice the speed of the context in which it is placed. For example, if a sixteenth-note passage is being played then any drags in that passage would consist of thirty-second notes. Drags can also be notated as grace notes, in which case the spacing between the notes can be interpreted by the player. On timpani, drags are often played with alternating sticking (lrL or rlR).

In Scottish pipe band snare drumming, a drag consists of a flam where the gracenote is played as a "deadstick" (staccato note).[citation needed]


Historically, the modern Drag was known as a Ruff (or Rough) if played closed and a Half Drag when played open. Ruff can also refer to a single stroked set of grace notes preceding a regular note. In American playing the 3 Stroke Ruff has 2 single stroked grace notes before the primary or full note and a 4 Stroke Ruff has 3 singles before the primary note. Other rudimental systems have differing sticking methods and names for similar notation figures. Though still used and taught by drummers and drum teachers in practice, the 3 Stroke Ruff and 4 Stroke Ruff are not officially listed on the NARD or PAS rudiment sheets and the term Drag has eclipsed Ruff (or Rough) for the double stroked rudiments, in both open or closed execution, according to the current PAS standard terminology.


A flam consists of two single strokes played by alternating hands (rL or lR). The first stroke is a quieter grace note followed by a louder primary stroke on the opposite hand. The two notes are played almost simultaneously, and are intended to sound like a single, broader note. The temporal distance between the grace note and the primary note can vary depending on the style and context of the piece being played. In the past, or in some European systems, open flams and closed flams were listed as separate rudiments.

Charge Stroke

A charge stroke is a special variation on an open flam in which one or both of the notes are accented to provide a driving feel that can create the illusion that the downbeat has moved earlier in time. The two major types are French Lr or Rl and Swiss LR or RL with the first note preceding the downbeat, which falls on the second note, in both types. Charge strokes can be combined with flams or drags to create complex grace note figures preceding a downbeat.


Drum rolls are various techniques employed to produce a sustained, continuous sound.

Practice drum rudiments online