Welcome to Drumdog! Today, we’re going to explore the four-stroke rough, a rudiment that may seem boring at first glance but has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. While it may appear similar to a single stroke roll, the four-stroke rough stands out due to its subdivisions and dynamics.

Unlike a single stroke roll, which consists of evenly spaced notes, the four-stroke rough incorporates different subdivisions. The first three notes are played as sixteenth note triplets, while the last note is a quarter note. This uneven spacing gives the rudiment its distinct sound. Additionally, the dynamics play a crucial role in distinguishing the four-stroke rough from a single stroke roll. The first three notes are meant to be played as grace notes or ghost notes, which are quieter, while the last note is accented. This combination of dynamics and subdivisions brings the rudiment to life.

Playing the four-stroke rough can be challenging because it requires accenting with the hand that did not start leading the phrase. For example, if you lead with your right hand, the accent will be played with your left hand, and vice versa. This puts your weaker hand to the test and forces it to play the rudiment with authority. To improve your weaker hand’s performance, focus on moeller strokes, such as tap strokes, upstrokes, and downstrokes. Practice leading with your weaker hand and accenting with your stronger hand to develop a smooth and controlled sound.

Once you’ve mastered the basic technique, you can explore different applications of the four-stroke rough on the drum kit. One option is to incorporate the three grace notes as ghost notes within a groove. By starting the rough with your weaker hand and emphasizing the accent with your stronger hand, you can create a musical and dynamic fill. Another variation is to change the accent from the quarter note to the eighth note offbeat. This adds a different flavour to the rudiment and allows for more versatility in your playing.

In conclusion, the four-stroke rough may seem simple at first, but by understanding its subdivisions and dynamics, you can unlock its full potential. Experiment with different applications on the drum kit and incorporate it into your playing to add depth and creativity to your drumming. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and encourage you to subscribe to our channel for more drumming content. See you soon!