Seventeen Stroke Roll

Learn To Play The Seventeen Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!

The seventeen stroke roll was not originally featured in the standard 26 American drum rudiments. The seventeen stroke roll was taken from the Swiss rudimental system and added to the 26 drum rudiments by the Percussive Arts Society (P.A.S.) in 1984, alongside 13 other drum rudiments, giving birth to the 40 international drum rudiments.

The seventeen stroke roll combines eight sets of double strokes with one single stroke. You can think of it as a fifteen stroke roll with an extra set of doubles. Thus, learning how to play the fifteen stroke roll will help you get through this lesson way faster, and with a better sounding seventeen stroke roll.

The first measure in the sheet music below is played in 4/4 while the second measure is played in 2/4. In the video, Lionel Duperron plays the doubles on the seventeen stroke roll as 32nd notes when he's on the practice pad, and as 16th notes when he's on the drum set. You can use whatever note values you want to with any rudiment, so don't worry too much about this.

Seventeen Stroke Roll

Due to the long stream of double stokes within the seventeen stroke roll, getting an even and smooth sounding roll is the main challenge you'll be faced with. Once you feel pretty good about your seventeen stroke roll, start practicing the next drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note two bar pattern. The doubles are played on the first measure. The single is performed on count 1 of the second measure as a unison figure between a crash cymbal and the bass drum. The first measure features a cool pattern that can be used as a build-up section between a drum beat and the 8th note drum fill on the second measure.

Seventeen Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is a two bar pattern that features a 16th note tom-tom drum beat on the first measure, and a single stroke roll 16th note drum fill on the second measure. Leading this pattern with the weaker hand avoids unnecessary crossovers. This is a quite challenging pattern to play if you've never practiced leading the seventeen and single stroke rolls with your weaker hand.

Seventeen Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note two bar drum fill. The seventeen stroke roll is scattered between the hi-tom, the mid-tom, the floor tom and the snare drum in the first measure. The weaker hand plays doubles on the snare drum while the stronger hand goes down the toms. The single stroke is played as a unison stroke between the bass drum and a crash cymbal on count 1.

Seventeen Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This drum fill is comprised of a 16th note rhythmic pattern that is actually one of the most used for playing drum fills. What makes it special here is the use of double strokes around the drums instead of single strokes. There are two sets of doubles per drum. The single stroke is played on count 1 of the following measure as a unison stroke between a crash cymbal and the bass drum.

Seventeen Stroke Roll #4

Once you're able to play the seventeen stroke roll and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the drum rudiments. We encourage you to check the free drum lessons on the single paradiddle, the flam, or the drag ruff next.