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Boost Your Drum Grooves & Fills with Rudiments

Do you get tired of playing the same old drum grooves? Do your drum fills all sound the same? Do you wish there was a way to make your drumming better?


Well, you just need to apply rudiments to the drum set.


Sounds easy right? Well, yes and no. In this article, we will look at how to apply rudiments to your drumming. Specifically, we will look at how rudiments can enhance your grooves and fills on the drum set.  


As drummers, we spend a lot of time playing and perfecting grooves. Yet, these grooves can become stagnant, which means it is boring for both the player and listener. To add some variety to your grooves and create your own unique variations, you can use rudiments. For example, adding flams to bring out accents or double-paradiddles to change up the feel.


Here are some examples of how to use rudiments to boost your drum set grooves, which include 5 stroke rolls, Swiss triplets, and paradiddles.

Using the 5 stroke roll as part of the groove.

Making a groove with a Swiss Army triplet.

Playing a Paradiddle Funk pattern.



Scrolling through YouTube videos or even looking in drum method books, the same old drum fills and patterns are commonplace. However, you can take these mundane fills and breath new life into them by applying rudiments. For example, changing the sticking to a paradiddle, adding a five-stroke roll, or throwing in a few flams can change the sound and feel of the fill. Plus, it will make your fills sound more professional.


Here are a few videos that demonstrate this idea.

Using the hybrid herta rudiment to change up your fills.

Using 6 stroke rolls for power and speed in just about every style.

One More Thought

I have had students and even read articles about how people do not want to spend the time to get stronger and faster at playing rudiments. Basically, they just want to play grooves. But, the drum rudiments are the foundation of drumming. Yes, it requires a time each day to get better. To apply these ideas, you must increase your speed, power, and control of each rudiment.


Of course, mastery of every rudiment does not need to happen all at once, as this takes time. To start, I recommend focusing on one or two rudiments and applying them to the drum set. Once you become comfortable with them and they are part of your vocabulary (can be played with ease), add one or two more.


I hope these ideas are helpful and keep drumming.



For more drum grooves, check out Tactical Drumming: Groove Survival Guide, which will show you a number of shuffle variations and other grooves. This can be found at or on Amazon at

By John Owens, Ph.D (Author, Drummer Educator). For John's bio go to


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