Sticking For The Four Stroke Ruff

A development of the flam and drag rudiments where three grace notes are used as single strokes.

The Four Stroke Ruff is a development of The Flam and The Drag. In each of these rudiments grace notes were added before a beat to create rhythmic decoration, and that same principle is applied here by adding three grace notes before the main beat. There are a few different stickings for this idea but, because the rudiment has 'ruff' in its name, that tells you you will be playing single strokes in this case.

This rudiment provides more options for rhythmic decoration in both grooves and fills and as an exercise it is good for working on separation between ghosted and accented notes.

In this lesson I will show three stickings for this rudiment, one 'standard', one reversed and one alternating. Remember, the three grace notes don't count rhythmically, they are there to 'decorate' the main quarter note counts.


Exercise 1

A Four Stroke Ruff in standard sticking.

A Four Stroke Ruff in standard sticking.


Exercise 2

A Four Stroke Ruff in reversed sticking.

A Four Stroke Ruff in reversed sticking.


Exercise 2

A Four Stroke Ruff using alternate sticking.

A Four Stroke Ruff in alternate sticking.


TASK

  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all exercises up to a tempo of 150bpm.
  2. Play all three exercises in a row as a three bar pattern.