The Four Stroke Ruff Moving In Quarter Notes

A simple orchestration concept where on every quarter note the hands move to a new drum.

This lessons follows on from our Four Stroke Ruff Sticking and Four Stroke Ruff With Each Hand On A Different Drum lessons. It will be much easier to follow if you are familiar with the content from these lessons.

As discussed in previous lessons, grace note based rudiments require a different approach when applying to part construction. The important part of the rudiment is the three ghost notes before the accented note where as in other rudiments it was always the sticking for a roll that was the focus. So whilst these orchestrations may not be applied as fills as written, then are useful exercises in co ordination and do provide ideas that will be applied later on.

The patterns given on this page make very good exercises for getting you comfortable with the rudiment as they force the hands to move around the kit. I have added feet to each exercise also to increase the challenge. Feel free to remove the feet whilst you are learning the orchestration then adding them back in later. Experiment with using different feet patterns from our previous lessons and try different sticking variations also. In later exercises the orchestration switches part way through the bar. Both quarter and eighth note versions of the rudiment have been used.

Each pattern is notated for the standard sticking of the rudiment but it is always a good idea to use reversed and alternate sticking with these kind of patterns.

Exercise 1

A Four Stroke Ruff moving in quarter notes

Exercise 2

A Four Stroke Ruff moving in quarter notes

Exercise 3

A Four Stroke Ruff moving in quarter notes

Exercise 4

A Four Stroke Ruff moving in quarter notes

Exercise 5

A Four Stroke Ruff moving in quarter notes


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all exercises up to a tempo of 150bpm with good hand technique.
  2. Use all three sticking patterns with each exercise.
  3. Create your own feet patterns for the exercises.
  4. Create your own orchestrations of the rudiment using this idea.
  5. Play all 5 exercises as a continuous 5 bar pattern, then repeat.