The Top 15 Drum Rudiments For Beginners

 What are the best drum rudiments to learn for beginners?  With 40 drum rudiments to choose from, where should a young drummer start?  I’ve always been someone who tries to break things down so that practical application is achieved.  In my years of playing, I’ve found these 15 drum rudiments to be of the utmost importance.  Now, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t learn all 40, but in the beginning focus on these 15.  They’ll really set the tone and help build a strong foundation for your playing.  I’ve included the video so you can see how each rudiment is played.  So let’s begin!

Is it 40 or 26? How Many Drum Rudiments Are There Exactly?

First thing first –let me clear out any confusion you may have. You might see that there are 26 and on some other blogs 40. Traditionally, there are 26 standard drum rudiments recognized by organizations like the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). These rudiments encompass a wide range of sticking patterns, rolls, flams, drags, and other essential techniques for drummers.

However, it's worth noting that in recent years, the number of recognized rudiments has expanded beyond the traditional 26. Some drummers and educators have introduced additional rudiments, bringing the total count to 40 or more. These additional hybrid rudiments often include variations, and extended techniques that build upon the core principles of the original 26.

As I always say in my articles and to my students, always start slow. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with trying to learn it all. Get the basics done, and everything else will just flow. With this, just remember that the choice of how many rudiments to learn and incorporate into your drumming style is up to you as a drummer.

The 15 Best Drum Rudiments To Learn For Beginners 

(Download My Free Printable 15 Drum Rudiments PDF here)

Learning drum rudiments is a journey. With dedication, practice, and a solid foundation, you'll soon be ready to tackle the entire arsenal of drum rudiments and take your drumming to new heights. For now, focus on these 15 rudiments and practice them. 

As a teacher, I believe mastering these 15 drum rudiments will unlock a world of possibilities in your drumming. They'll enhance your coordination, develop your stick control, and build a solid sense of rhythm. Plus, they serve as building blocks for more complex patterns and techniques down the road.

1. Single Stroke Roll

The single stroke roll is the gold standard of drum rudiments.  It is the simplest in its execution, but among the most difficult to play clean and fast.

2. Long Buzz Roll

The long roll is the quintessential drum rudiment.  Try to work on this until you get very fine, clean sounding strokes.

Long Buzz Roll

3. 5-Stroke Roll

The 5-stroke roll is a great rudiment for short quick bursts of speed when mastered.

5-stroke roll

4. 6-Stroke Roll 

The 6-stroke roll, or better known as the paradiddle diddle is one of my favorite rudiments to use around the drums for speed.  there are several stickings that can be used, but I prefer the one below.

5. 7-Stroke Roll

The 7-Stroke Roll is a nifty rudiment that once mastered can have a really nice affect on your playing.

7-stroke roll

6. 9-Stroke Roll

The 9-Stroke Roll is used all the time in modern music.  It's a core rudiment and highly effective when played clean.

9-stroke roll

7. Paradiddle

Everyone's favorite rudiment, and one of the best.  The signature RLRR LRLL sticking makes it flow like water at speed.


8. Double Paradiddle

Similar to the paradiddle, the double paradiddle ads an additional 2 notes to give it a more robust feel.  

double paradiddle

9. Ruff

The ruff uses grace notes to achieve its unique accented sound.  I use these all the time in my playing.


10. Flam

One of the king's of drum rudiments.  The flam is essential to your playing, and can be tricky to perfect.


11. Flam Accent

The flam accent has a lovely triplet flow to it.  It's an excellent drum rudiment to practice warming up. Can also be referred to as the "flam triplet." 

flam accent

12. Flam Paradiddle

Once you are comfortable playing the flam, and the paradiddle-you can combine the two to make this drum rudiment.

flam paradiddle

13. Triple Ratamacue

Ratamacues are neat little drum rudiments that are great for finesse playing and leading into solos.

triple ratamacue

14. Single Ratamacue

The single ratamacue is essential to your playing.  Work on getting the grace notes clean.


15. Flam Tap

The flam tap is tricky to play, but feels awesome once you work it up to speed.

Flam Tap

(Download My Free Printable 15 Drum Rudiments PDF here)

How long should I practice drum rudiments a day?

Learning these rudiments differs for each person. If you are starting out from scratch, sticking to a consistent plan is what I would recommend. Whether it’s 10 or 15 minutes a day, find what works best for you and just continue with it. For sure, within the first week, you’ll see results.

So there you have it folks, my 15 top drum rudiments for beginners. Remember to tune into the video to watch the execution of each drum rudiment. If you wish to take your hands to the next level, The Better Hands Video and eBook  is perfect to get you started. For more advanced players, the Fast Hands eBook will certainly increase your chops. In addition, my signature Freddy Charles Practice Pad is the perfect tool to get your hands in order. 

If you are interested in working on your traditional grip

I highly recommend checking out my course on mastering the traditional grip.