Triple Stroke Roll

Learn To Play The Triple Stroke Roll Drum Rudiment!

The triple stroke roll was not originally featured in the standard 26 American drum rudiments. The triple stroke roll was 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 triple stroke roll is also known as French roll.

The triple stroke roll is an alternating roll that encompasses three strokes per hand. The triple stroke roll is mostly played as 8th note triplets or as 16th note triplets, and is one of the more advanced drum rudiments. Make sure you've learned how to play basic drum rudiments first like the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll drum rudiments, before moving on to the triple stroke roll.

Triple Stroke Roll

Focus on playing consistent sounding triple strokes. Stroke evenness can be checked by watching stick heights and listening carefully to the sound you're producing. Use full wrist turns to play each stroke of the triple stroke roll at slower speeds. As you start speeding up the triple stroke roll, you'll naturally start bouncing the second and third strokes off of the practice pad.

The biggest challenge here is in controlling the stick so you can get three strokes per hand instead of four or five. Once you're able to perform the triple stroke roll with quality, move on to the next section to learn how to apply it to drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note triplet drum beat. The triple stroke roll is played between the bow of the ride cymbal and the hi-hat on counts 1 and 3. Once you have the triple stroke roll happening, add the snare drum on counts 2 and 4. When you can perform the hand pattern pretty accurately, play the bass drum on count 1 and on the "and" of count 2. Playing this exercise at high speeds is not easy because of the 16th note triplets. Start slowly to make sure everything feels good. Only then should you increase the tempo on your metronome.

Triple Stroke Roll #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. The triple stroke roll is broken up between the floor tom and the hi-hat on counts 1 and 2. Playing the first three strokes of the triple stroke roll consistently on the floor tom makes this a more challenging drum beat to get up to speed.

Triple Stroke Roll #2

Exercise #3 is an 8th note triplet drum fill. Going from the mid-tom to the hi-tom may give you some headaches. You'll have to quickly move the weaker hand out of the way of the stronger hand, as it makes way to hit the hi-tom on count 3, to avoid clicking your sticks, hitting rims or worst, your own hand. You can work around this issue by practicing the drum fill slowly at first. Increase the speed on your metronome as you get comfortable making a clean transition between the two drums.

Triple Stroke Roll #3

Exercise #4 is an 8th note triplet drum fill. You'll have to alternate between different hand techniques to play the triple stroke roll on the drum set, as you move around the different drums. This change is required due to the very different levels of rebound you'll find as you go down the drums.

Triple Stroke Roll #4

Once you're able to play the triple stroke roll and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the drum rudiments. We encourage you to learn how to play the multiple bounce roll next. If you've done that already, then check the free drum lessons on drum rudiments like the single paradiddle, the flam or the drag ruff.