Rudiments: lesson plan

Here's the method I came up with to learn all the rudiments. The idea here is to learn all the rudiments quickly and efficiently. We know that there are 5 different types of rudiments: Single stroke, rolls, paradiddles, flams and drags. The idea is that we practice the rudiments from each group. In addition, we are working on what I call the Vestige of the hour, the vestige of the day, and the vestige of the week. For ease of understanding, here are a few rudiments from each group.

Single Stroke


Single Stroke Roll

Single Stroke Four

Single Stroke Seven



Double Stroke Roll

Triple Stroke Roll

Five Stroke Roll




Flam Accent

Flam Tap



Single Paradiddle

Double Paradiddle

Triple Paradiddle




Single Drag Tap

Double Drag Tap

It takes at least 45 minutes to complete this cycle.

Rudiments of the hour


Play 1 rudiment of each of the 5 groups daily for at least 5 minutes each, so that's a minimum of 25 minutes. They change every day and you don't repeat the rudiment until you've lost everything, for example on day 1 you practice Single Stroke, Double Stroke, Flam, Single Paradiddle and Ruff. On Day 2 you play Single Stroke 4, Triple Stroke Roll, Flam Accent, Double Paradiddle and Single Drag Tap. In this way, you progress daily through the rudiments of all 5 groups.

The idea is not to lose the feel of playing previous rudiments while working on new ones. I've heard of people doing 1 rudiment per week, which means it takes 40 weeks to play them all, and by the time you get back to the first rudiment, you'll probably have lost some of the technique for it. This plan will help you master all the rudiments relatively quickly.

Rudiment of the day


This gives you a daily focus on one of the rudiments. You practice this rudiment for at least 10 minutes a day, but change the group of the rudiment daily and never repeat the same rudiment until you have worked all the rudiments of that group. For example:

Day 1: Single Stroke

Day 2: Double Stroke Roll

Day 3: Flam

Day 4: Single Paradiddle

Day 5: Ruff

Day 6: Single Stroke Four

Day 7: Triple Stroke Roll


This allows you to focus on a new vestige each day.

Rudiment of the week


This is very similar to the rudiment of the day, only the rudiment changes once a week. So you practice the same rudiment every day for at least 10 minutes, and a week later you change it to another rudiment from another group, just like the rudiment of the day. This gives you a lot more focus as you practice eg single stroke roll every day for a week before moving on to double stroke roll.

This way you get 45 minutes of doing rudiments every day. Just don't get confused - "Rudiment of the Week" exists in order to practice it daily, not once a week! You only change the rudiment once a week. I write down the rudiments on the board so that I don't lose consistency.