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How to be creative with the 8-stroke roll

Hi, guys! My name is Andrea Gatti. I'm the drum and percussion instructor at Drum Arts. I’ve had the privilege of playing and teaching for over two decades. My heart is deeply invested in seeing my students and fellow drummers grow in their passion. In this video and article, I will inspire you on how to be creative with the eight-stroke roll. We will explore how to study it, make it fast and smooth, and showcase some inspiring applications on the drum kit. You can find all the examples in the downloadable PDF, and you can also check out the video lesson.” Feel free to ask if you need further assistance or have any other questions! 😊

Let's dive into it!


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Is the eight-stroke roll even a rudiment?

Although this roll is not incorporated in the 40 P.A.S. rudiments, I still consider it a rudiment since it could be part of the roll and also of the diddle family. Some drummers call it the "paradiddlediddlediddle" since it has three doubles.

Why I love it

  • It allows us to turn around our starting hand.

  • It's not too difficult to learn.

  • It has many applications.

  • It's very easy to use it as a linear.

Alternating accents

How to study the eight-stroke roll

If you have followed our blog or YouTube channel, you should know there is something I'm always stressing: we need to understand the mechanics first!

Here are the recommended steps to follow to be successful in studying the eight-stroke roll:

  1. Analyze the movements and know when to execute upstrokes to prepare the accents. The upstrokes are applied to the notes that precede the accents played with the same hand that will give the accents. (Check out the video for a visual explanation).

  2. Preferably use the Moeller technique for the upstrokes. In this way, we get used to preparing for the accents while playing smoothly and effectively.

  3. Execute the roll at a slow speed memorizing the movements. To strengthen our memory, I always suggest to my students to visualize the movement in our mind, thinking of each stroke we will execute.

  4. Start studying it with a metronome increasing no more than 5 BPM per time. Starting slow and doing baby steps is the fastest way to get fast.


Cool variation of the eight-stroke roll

I always like to see how to apply rudiments in all the variations. I also love to apply a modulation and play the rudiment in different subdivisions. In this way, we will gain more control of the movements, the tempo, and our timing.

  • Play the inverted version of the eight-stroke roll. R ll rr ll R - L rr ll rr L

  • Play the eight-stroke roll over triplets (Check out the PDF).

  • Play the inverted version over triplets (Check out the PDF).


How to be creative with the 8-stroke roll - Applying it to the kit

How. to. be creative with the 8-stroke roll -Practicing on the snare drum
Practice on the snare drum

  1. When moving from the pad to the drumset, the first step is always practicing it on the snare drum and raising the speed. We need to become confident with the different rebound while keeping the non-accented notes low in dynamic and ensuring our accents sound solid and secure.

  2. The next step is to substitute some of the notes (usually the notes of the strong hand) with the kick drum. The phrase is starting now to look like a linear fill.

  3. Try experimenting with moving the accents on the kit and creating cool melodies. Once an interesting melody has been found, work on it until it's been mastered.

My example is written in the PDF ;)

Create melodies on the drums

Download the free 8-stroke roll PDF


Final thoughts - How to be creative with the 8-stroke roll

As we saw, there are many cool and creative ways to use the 8-stroke roll. I'm sure that you will also create your own variations and find new applications on the kit. The most important thing that we need to remember is: never stop having fun! The purpose of our work and sacrifice is to finally be able to express ourselves freely through the instrument that we love.

Experiment on the kit & have fun!

If you have any questions or want to share your progress or variations, feel free to leave a message or comment below. Your contribution is valuable, and together, we can continue growing as a drumming community! I appreciate your dedication to drumming. Keep up the great work, and feel free to share more about your drumming journey whenever you’d like.

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Understand how to approach the study of rudiments, and find creative ways to apply them. Check out our article on: How To Learn And Apply The 6 Stroke Roll


Andrea Gatti

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2 commenti

13 mag

Thanks for sharing this. Why you apply the substitutions with the strong hand? Could you do the same thing substituting the left?

Mi piace
Risposta a

You could do it on either hand. Usually as a first step, it's better to substitute the stronger one since it's easier to control the movements. That is the only reason.

Thank you for your participation. Keep it up! ;)

Mi piace
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