This drum lesson is going to look very briefly look at a famous variation of the Paradiddle-diddle (Para-diddle-diddle): the “Six Stroke Roll”. This hybrid drum rudiment variation is a very popular lick and is used by a vast majority of drummers thanks to its adaptability and cool sound!
In this free drum lesson we’re also going to look at extending the Six Stroke Roll into a nine note pattern and beyond. This will allow you to use the Six Stroke Roll in a multitude of musical situations such as whilst performing a drum solo or just a simple drum fill.
The lick itself lends well to soloing on the drums due to its simplicity and fast tempo once mastered.
The Six Stroke Roll
This is the Six Stroke Roll in all its glory.
This rudiment hybrid is a favourite amongst drummers mainly due to the way it flows effortlessly through triplets.
The sticking is R L L R R L with the first and last note accented (notes with little arrows written above them) and the doubles played smoothly and evenly.
All six notes must be played evenly, so if you are not too hot on doubles then you might find this drum rudiment a little hard to perform at faster tempos.
Orchestrating The Six Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment Around The Drum Kit
The next step, once you have the rudiment hybrid under control on one drum, is to move the accented notes (loud notes) onto other drums and cymbals.
Here are four drum orchestration for you to try out with the Six Stroke Roll.
This variation moves the Paradiddle-diddle hybrid rudiment accents to the high tom tom.
Here, the right hand plays on the floor tom tom and the left on the high tom tom.
The rudiment orchestration being used here is a combination of Low Tom, High Tom and Snare drum.
This example shows how the crash and bass drum can be used instead of the toms.
Extending The Six Stroke Roll (Paradiddle-diddle Rudiment Hybrid
Let’s now look at one of the ways the Six Stroke Roll rudiment can be extended.
By adding an extra three notes (played R L L), as shown at the end of this bar, the Six Stroke Roll turns into a nine stroke roll and now takes a whole beat and a half for it to repeat.
In other words, this means that the extended Six Stroke Roll, when started on a downbeat, ends up on the upbeat and vica versa. You can move the accents for the extended Paradiddle-diddle rudiment from the downbeats of the bar to the upbeats.
Pretty cool, huh?
Here’s an example of what I mean below…
The first use of the extra three notes on Beat 2 of the bar moves the second Six Stroke Roll to the “+” of Beat 2.
The second inclusion of the three notes move the next Six Stroke Roll back to the downbeat of Beat 4.
This little three note addition has created a rhythmic bridge that moves the Six Stroke Roll from the upbeats of the bar to the downbeats.
Moving the Six Stroke Roll Around The Drums
Lets now use this extended Six Stroke Roll and move the accents around the drums as we might during a drum fill or drum solo.
Using a different combination of extended and non extended Six Stroke Rolls, the accents move between the high tom and low tom.
In Context – Drum Fills
The final section of this lesson shows what the previous three variations might look and sound like when played as a drum fill after a typical drum beat.