Drag Ruff

Learn To Play The Drag Ruff Drum Rudiment!

The drag ruff (also known as drag and half drag) features two or more grace notes that are followed by a primary stroke. The grace notes can be played as two strokes, in which case you should use bounced double strokes, or as an undisclosed number of strokes using the multiple bounce roll (buzz roll) instead. Practice these two ways of playing the drag ruff with every drum beat, drum fill or drag based rudiment it's featured in. But before you give this lesson a try, make sure you know how to play the double stroke roll, the multiple bounce roll, and the single stroke roll drum rudiments.

Drag Ruff

Focus on playing consistent sounding drag ruffs as you move from hand to hand. This can be achieved by making sure you play very similar primary strokes, and buzzed or double stroked grace notes.

Exercise #1 is an 8th note drum beat. The drag ruffs are performed on the hi-hat on all the "ands", and between the hi-hat and the snare drum on counts 2 and 4. Once the hands are happening, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3.

Drag Ruff #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note drum beat. The hi-hat is played on all the 8th notes except for counts 2 and 4 where the hands play dragged snare shots. Once the hand pattern is mastered, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3, and on the "and" of count 2.

Drag Ruff #2

Exercise #3 is an 8th note drum fill. The grace notes are all played with the left hand on the snare drum, while the primary strokes are moved around the various drums. Don't forget to practice this drum fill with buzzed grace notes as well.

Drag Ruff #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This pattern features drag ruffs and a single paradiddle. The grace notes are played on the snare drum while the primary strokes are performed as unison strokes between the bass drum and a crash cymbal on the first two counts, and as a snare shot on count 3. A 16th note single paradiddle finishes this drum fill on count 4.

Drag Ruff #4

Before moving on, experiment adding drag ruffs to some of the drum fills and drum beats you've learned how to play with this website. When you feel you've got nothing more to learn from this free drum lesson, check the free drum lesson on the single drag tap next.