I am currently learning the Seven Stroke Roll ,

Drum tune : Right , Right , Left Left ....

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Will playing the above tune : Right , Left , Right , Left instead of Right , Right , Left , Left result in a different tune being played or there is no difference???

  • If you play them on different heads, then sure it will. Apr 1, 2014 at 11:52
  • At the risk of being absurd: if your left and right hands have any difference in attack speed or strength, there will be some difference in the perceived cadence. Apr 1, 2014 at 11:52
  • @TimSeguine different head?? Apr 1, 2014 at 12:01
  • I mean each hand on a different drum Apr 1, 2014 at 12:10

4 Answers 4


At this stage, it's learning how to control the bounce of the stick - the second hit comes straight after the first, same hand, but after a bounce. Doing it this way also frees up the right hand after the roll, to maybe hit a crash. Alternating puts the last hit with right hand, so cuts down on time to reach a cymbal.

However, every roll or fill you learn should be learnt in several different ways, so that you could, if you want, finish it with a cymbal played by either hand.If you can get each hand to play a drum and the sound is the same, that's got to be a bonus, hasn't it ? Because most people will make a slightly different sound with l/r stick.


The indicated sticking (RRLLRRL) can be played at a higher speed by utilizing stick bounce, like you would in the standard double-stroke roll, than could you could easily achieve with single strokes (RLRLRLR) This is just a set length. This Seven Stroke Roll is just a double-stroke roll of finite length with a single stroke at the end.

The other thing that's nice about this sticking is that it can easily accommodate added musicalilty. For instance, in set drumming, you might use a rudiment like this as a small fill or flourish. You might then want to shape the rudiment to put an emphasis on that last stroke. diga-diga-diga-DAH! The fact that there are two right hand strokes before the last stroke gives your left hand time to wind up a harder stroke or rimshot, or move to another drum or crash cymbal.

In theory there is no difference between (RRLLRRL) and (RLRLRLR), but in practice there always will be. They may not even sound different, but they will feel different to you. It's good to practice both. (RRLLRRL) I think is easier to play quickly and easier to shape, but it's difficult to play quickly on drums that don't bounce well (like toms). (RLRLRLR) is easier to play on drums that don't bounce well or to play slowly, where bouncing is cumbersome. It's also easier to play the whole thing at max volume, like if you wanted all seven strokes to be rimshots. So ideally you want to practice until both styles come completely natural to you, and you can easily transition from one to the other. That way you can choose which one you think better fits the context of what you're playing.

So to explicitly answer your question, you aren't really playing a different tune when you play (RRLLRRL) vs (RLRLRLR) if they are both played in exactly the same way. But the two different ways lend themselves more easily to playing different tunes.


Theoretically if you master this roll, there should be no difference between the two versions you mention, so it's of course good to practice both versions. However, as others already have indicated there are other considerations. I'll add another: from what I know, this exercise, among others similar, is also an introduction to playing tremolo with double strokes. Double strokes make handling and exploiting the bouncing effect easier.


That depends on what you mean with "different tune". It will sound different for sure, which you probably have noticed, and it will not be the intended exercise.

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