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How To Approach The Rudiments - The Single Stroke Four

Updated: Apr 8

Hi guys, my name is Andrea Gatti, and I'm the drum and percussion instructor at Drum Arts. I have been playing and teaching for many years. I love to see my students and others growing in their passion. In this video and article, I explain how to approach the rudiments -- the single stroke four -- or any technical study on the drums. Without the correct motions, we will be very limited in speed and fluidity. I will also demonstrate different ways to execute the "single stroke four," as well as some cool applications on the drum set.


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How to approach the study of the rudiments

I always stress that to have fast and smooth playing we need to have our body machine working properly. What do I mean by our body machine? Our body structure is a combination of joints and articulations. Knowing how to work with our body and allowing it to move naturally is key for our fluidity. Another important aspect is knowing the physics behind the rebound of the stick, and understanding how to exploit the energy we are using in our strokes without becoming a restriction for the stick's movement.

Understand the motions of the rudiments & How to execute the Single Stroke Four -
Execution of an accent

To learn more about this topic, I encourage you to check out this post where I explain in detail the mechanics of the stick rebound:


Receive your free Single Stroke Four PDF exercise!


Understand the motions of the rudiments & How to execute the Single Stroke Four

All rudiments combine accents and single and multiple strokes. In the case of the Single Stroke Four, we only find single strokes, but like most of the rudiments, we do need to execute an accent.

Single Stroke Four
Single Stroke Four

The motions:

  1. Start with a Tap Stroke (a not accented note)

  2. Follow with an Up Stroke (a Tap that moves in preparation for the following accent). I prefer to use the Moeller technique.

  3. Follow with another Tap Stroke

  4. Execute the accent


Be creative and experiment!

Studying the rudiments and not applying them on the drumset won't give much result.

The purpose of studying on the pad is to:

  • learn the mechanics (the motions)

  • become fast

  • assimilate the movements as part of our vocabulary

Once the movements have been assimilated, move on to the kit!

If we limit our execution to the pad, it's like having a fancy vocabulary but without ever expressing our thoughts.

Snare drum & sticks -


Here are a few tips to stimulate creativity:

  • Move the accent by inverting the exercise (start with the accent)

  • Move the accents on the toms or the cymbals

  • Substitute a note with the kick drum

  • Create phrases by adding the Single Stroke Four or any other rudiment.

In the video, you will see me giving some practical examples.


Final thoughts on "How To Approach The Rudiments - The Single Stroke Four"

Studying the Single Stroke Four can open up our creativity and give us ideas to better express our emotions and ideas on the drumset. I encourage whoever wants to become a good drummer to study the rudiments, learn the mechanics and the experiment, and have fun! Having fun is always the final goal!

If you would like to share your progress with us, ask a question, or if you have created your own variation, please leave a message or comment below. Your contribution is precious so we can grow as a drumming community ;).

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We look forward to hearing from you!


Andrea Gatti

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Apr 06

Very cool. I have never seen these applications.


Apr 05

Thanks, your explanation is very detailed. Great job. How much of my study time should I dedicate to the rudiments?

Replying to

Thank you, I appreciate your support.

I usually divide my study time in sections:

  • Hand technique (drum pad)

  • Coordination

  • Drum set

  • Music styles

I would make a skedule that allows you to work in these different areas.

I hope this can help you. I wish you the best.


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