Thirteen Stroke Roll

Learn To Play The Thirteen Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!

The thirteen stroke roll incorporates six sets of double strokes and a single stroke. If you've worked through the lesson on the eleven stroke roll, you'll get through this one pretty fast. This is so, because the thirteen stroke roll is basically an eleven stroke roll with an extra set of doubles.

Thirteen Stroke Roll

When you get to practice drum rudiments with a great number of strokes like the thirteen stroke roll, courting each stroke becomes quite unbearable. This is so, because you have to count numbers with more than one syllable, like seven, eleven, and thirteen, which becomes harder to articulate at faster tempos. If you want to count out loud use 16th notes instead – 1 e and ah 2 e and ah 3 e and ah 4 e and ah.

Once you've learned how to play the thirteen stroke roll, it's time for you to learn how to apply it to the drum set through the following drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th drum beat. The thirteen stroke roll is scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The bass drum is played on all quarter notes. Once you can play the stroke sequence as written, add a metronome in to make sure you're playing everything accurately.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 has the same rhythmic structure as the previous one. The thirteen stroke roll is scattered between the hi-tom and the floor tom, instead of between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Orchestrating the same rhythmic pattern around different instruments is a great way of giving new life to your old drum beats. Remember that whenever you feel uninspired and without new ideas to work on.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. The transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom is a challenging one. The weaker hand has to cross over to play the mid-tom as the stronger hand gets out of the way after playing the hi-tom. This transition can lead to a full head-on collision between your hands. This is avoidable if you practice this pattern slowly at first.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill that incorporates the thirteen stroke roll and some bass drum action. The first eight strokes of the eleven stroke roll are played on the snare drum and the last five are moved around the toms. Just like we warned you on the previous exercise, watch out for the transition between the hi-tom and the mid-tom.

Thirteen Stroke Roll #4

Once you can play the hand pattern pretty effortlessly, add the bass drum on all quarter notes. If you're not used to playing the bass drum while executing hand–to-hand double strokes, this simple bass drum pattern will actually be quite challenging. Practice it slowly at first and you should have no problems in getting it to sound good.

Once you're able to play the thirteen stroke roll and the exercises herein accurately, you can keep challenging yourself by practicing the thirteen stroke roll with the single stroke placed at the beginning of the rudiment instead of at the end. If you'd rather learn how to play new drum rudiments, check the free drum lessons on the fifteen stroke roll and the seventeen stroke roll instead.