The Single Stroke Roll is one of the most fundamental and essential rudiments. It's simply alternating your hands between R and L. Don't underestimate the difficulty given its simplicity: Use this time to focus on your technique and rebound. This rudiment is also referred to simply as 'alternating'.
The Single Stroke Four is simply alternating four strokes, starting with your right or left hand. It's a quick rudiment to memorize, thus making it easy to incorporate into beats, fills, and solo ideas.
The Single Stroke Seven builds on the idea of the single stroke four and uses seven notes instead, as the name implies. Again, it is alternating your hands for seven strokes starting with either the R or L. It's also a great rudiment to memorize and add into fills.
The Multiple Bounce Roll, also called a 'buzz roll', is one of the most fun and useful rudiments. To play a buzz you need to drop your back fingers, making an 'OK' sign with your thumb and pointer finger, and use the pressure of the stick into the pad, to get a rapid bounce. This can be a tricky technique to get the feel for and requires the right pressure to get the stick to bounce freely. Watch the video for a visual understanding of how this works.
The Double Stroke Roll is simply playing 2 strokes on each hand, and one of the most powerful rudiments to master. Gaining speed and control with this will give you content to use in beats and fills, but also gives you a foundation for many other rudiments. Spend some extra time with the double stroke and make it a pillar of your warm ups and practice sessions. Watch the video below to learn how to use your fingers to properly play this rudiment.
The Triple Stroke Roll is simply playing 3 strokes on each hand, and is one of the more difficult rudiments to master. Both double and triple strokes require a fine control of your finger technique, thus need to be practiced slowly and with great attention to rebound. This rudiment is fantastic for cymbal work and is used frequently in advanced beats .
The Five Stroke Roll is the shortest in the series of double stroke roll rudiments. All of these rudiments are made up of singles and doubles. To play this rudiment, you will play a double on your R, a double on your L and then a single tap (RR LL R). This gives you 5 strokes! Like all rudiments this should be played with both the R and L hand leads (Starting). The key is getting clean doubles and a clean tap at the end. Out of all of the double stroke roll rudiments, the five stroke is by far the most common, so give some extra time mastering it.
The Six Stroke Roll is a bit of an odd rudiment out of the double stroke rolls. You play a single, two doubles and another single (R LL RR L). This isn't too conceptually difficult to understand, although it can be difficult to loop. Watch the video below to hear how it's played in succession.
The Seven Stroke Roll uses 3 doubles and a tap, giving you seven strokes. This can be a bit tricky because you'll tap on the opposite hand from which you started, so be careful! Since it fits within 1 beat of time, it's a great addition to your fills.
The Nine Stroke Roll uses 4 doubles and a tap. This may feel a bit easier then the seven stroke, as you'll tap on the hand you started on. This is also one of the most common roll combinations, so spend some extra time with this rudiment!
The Ten Stroke Roll uses 4 doubles (like the nine stroke) and but then ends with 2 taps. This and the six stroke roll are the only two double stroke roll rudiments that use 2 taps, so it's good to make note of them. Play this just like the nine stroke and add 2 taps at the end with each R and L.
The Eleven Stroke Roll uses 5 doubles and a tap. Since this is an odd number of doubles it can feel a bit strange, since you tap on the opposite hand you started on. Be careful to count the correct number of doubles and get a clean tap at the end.
The Thirteen Stroke Roll uses 6 doubles and a tap. Since it is an even number of doubles, you'll tap with the hand you started with. As we get into these higher numbered, double stroke rolls, be conscious of counting as it can be easy to add extra!
The Fifteen Stroke Roll uses 7 doubles and a tap. By this point you should have a good feeling for counting and playing these rolls so apply all the same concepts, getting the correct number of doubles and a clean tap.
The Seventeen Stroke Roll uses 8 doubles and a tap. This is the longest double stroke roll rudiments and feels very clean given the 8 doubles. Once you've mastered up to this point, try memorizing the roll numbers, and going all the way from a five stroke to a seventeen stroke. Mastering roll rudiments in this way will greatly open your ability to roll in beats, fills and solos!