Seventeen Stroke Roll
Learn How To Play The Seventeen Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!
The seventeen stroke roll is the last pattern of the drum roll family of drum rudiments. It combines eight sets of double strokes with one single stroke. The single stroke can be played at the end of the pattern, like on the sheet music below, or at the beginning. Much like the majority of the drum rudiments from this family, it’s imperative you learn how to execute the double stroke roll and the single stroke roll before you start working on the seventeen stroke roll.
Having worked on drum rudiments like the five stroke roll, seven stroke roll, nine stroke roll, eleven stroke roll, thirteen stroke roll, or the fifteen stroke roll, will also help you getting through this lesson way faster. This is so because all of these drum rudiments encompass the same basic technical aspects in what regards execution - playing a stream of doubles and a single stroke after a double. In the sheet music below the second bar is played in 2/4 and the first one in 4/4.
Having these two time signatures can be a problem when practicing with a metronome. To work around this issue remove the option of having an accented click sound on count 1 of your metronome. This way, you’ll always listen to a constant click that will enable you to decide for yourself what click is the first count on each bar. In this case you could count like so: 1 2 3 4 1 2 1 2 3 4… etc. If you can’t remove the accented click on count 1 of your metronome, then count each bar as being played in 4/4.
The seventeen stroke roll easily alternates within itself, much like the five stroke roll, for instance. Lionel Duperron plays the doubles on the seventeen stroke roll as 32nd notes when he’s on the practice pad, and as 16th notes on the drum set. The note values you choose to use are of no concern here. You can use whatever note values you want to.
Due to the long stream of doubles you have to focus on getting an even sounding roll from the seventeen stroke roll. After you’re able to play a very solid sounding seventeen stroke roll on a single surface, you can move to your drum set to learn how to apply the seventeen stroke roll to drum beats and drum fills.
The first pattern we have here is a two bar drum beat, with the bass drum being played on all quarter notes. The seventeen stroke roll is played throughout the first bar. It ends on count 1 of the second bar, with a unison figure between the crash cymbal and the bass drum. The second bar works more as a preparatory drum fill for the main pattern, which is the one on the first bar.
Drum beat #2 is a tom-tom based two bar pattern played with left hand lead. This is a quite challenging pattern if you haven’t practiced the seventeen stroke roll leading with your left hand. Knowing how to play the seventeen stroke roll with left hand lead will avoid the unnecessary crossing of your arms to play certain notes. Most of this pattern is played around the toms. Hence, it’s important you work on strengthening your wrists or in using a snap of the fingers on the stick, so you can produce an even sounding second stroke on the double.
The second bar of the exercise, much like the one on the previous one, works more as a preparatory drum fill for the main pattern, which is the one on the first bar. Try playing the drum fill leading with your left hand. This is a great workout for strengthening your weaker hand and to stretch your ambidexterity.
Exercise #3 is a two bar drum fill. In the video, Lionel Duperron keeps his left hand on the snare drum to play four sets of double strokes. The right hand plays two sets of doubles on the hi-tom on the first two counts. On count 3 Lionel moves to the mid-tom and on count 4 to the floor tom. The seventeen stroke roll ends on count 1 of the next bar, with a unison stroke between the cymbal and the bass drum. The second bar of the fill has two quarter note rests followed by two 8th notes played in unison between the hi-tom and the floor tom.
The last exercise in this lesson is a very interesting one. Taking a look at the pattern below, you’ll notice its similarities with the first drum fill on the single stroke roll free drum lesson on this website. The only thing that is different here is that instead of playing a 16th note single stroke roll for a full measure, Lionel plays 16th note double stroke roll for a full measure.
To check if you’re playing a consistent double stroke roll all over the drums, you can use the 16th note single stroke roll drum fill we just mentioned, as a check pattern. This will let you check if the sound of the doubles is consistent with the sound you’re getting from playing the same fill pattern with a single stroke roll.