Learn to Play Drums/Lessons/Single strokes and double strokes

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Learn how to perform and practice (properly) single and double strokes.

Single strokes and double strokes[edit]

Single Strokes[edit]

A technique mainly used in fills, this comprises of you hitting drums with your alternate hands. Oh, I'll just put tab...

CR|----------------|
HH|----------------|
T1|--RLRL----------|
Sn|RL----RLRL------|
T2|----------RL----|
T3|------------RL--|
BD|----------------|

This is a simple fill, using single strokes. If you remember, in our description of tab L means hit it with your left stick and R means hit it with your right stick.

Double strokes[edit]

The same, but two hits with each hand! Ok then, more tab...

CR|----------------|
HH|----------------|
T1|----------------|
Sn|LLRRLLRRLLRRLL--|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|----------------|

I use this technique for convienience and if I find it impractical in one instance to hit a certain drum. You'll see what we mean...

Practicing strokes[edit]

When you first start drumming, your strokes might be fast, but they are nothing compared to your potential maximum. To achieve your potential maximum all you need to do is practice the stroke techniques once a day for a long as you want (longer = faster strokes!). You'll need to practice properly, too.

Step-by-step guide to practicing strokes:

  1. Starting with the single stroke, start very slow and build up speed.
  2. When you begin to feel tension in your arms, slow down back to your original speed.
  3. Repeat with double stroke.

If you continue playing either of the strokes after beginning to feel tension, you could cause some serious damage - repetetive strain injury could force you to abandon your drumming career, besides being a nuisance, sometimes making everyday tasks unbearably painful.

Want to see the coolness of playing with single and double strokes? Then play this...

CR|----------------|
HH|----------------|
T1|--RLRL----------|
Sn|LL----RLRL------|
T2|----------RL----|
T3|------------RL--|
BD|----------------| 

(Ok, that doesn't really prove my point so anyone who can think up a better fill as this example, feel free to put it in).


Back to Starting Out

Learn to Play Drums
Previous: Lesson 4: Lots of 8/8 Beats Lesson 5: Single Strokes and Double Strokes Next: Lesson 6: More Advanced Beats