The single stroke 4 has been used effectively by some of the greats such as Tony Williams, Neil Peart, and John Bonham (see the big drum fill in “Stairway to Heaven”). This rudiment seems plain enough but if we apply it to different drums, experiment with the phrasing, and work it up to speed, it can sound really impressive. Here are just a couple of applications.

 

Here is the single stroke 4 on the snare drum.

Apply the triplets to the toms and the last note to the snare.

Now let’s phrase it using the snare, tom, floor tom, and bass drum like this.

And now add an eight note bass drum in between each single stroke 4 (phrased as groupings of 3-3-2 in eighth note subdivisions). You can phrase it across the bar line into multiple measures.

These are just a couple of ways to use the Single Stroke 4. With a little experimentation, you can definitely come up with many more creative ways to use it.

 

 

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