Gladstone Triple-Stroke Speed Lesson 2

Last month we learned to work the triple-stroke roll on one surface for maximum speed and control. This time we’re going to apply it to the drum set in both groove and solo patterns.

The first exercise (refer to the music notation) uses the triple stroke in a favorite groove of mine. The only difference between the first and second groove, is the addition of the hi-hat playing eighth-notes with your foot. Note that moving your foot to open and close the hi-hat gives you a cool splash sound if you time it so that the cymbals open on the third note of each triplet, as you’ll see in the video demo. The third exercise is an example of using the triple-stroke roll as a fill around the drum set. These exercises all use triple-stroke roll sticking starting with the right hand for each of the three exercises – RRRLLL.

Video Lesson
In the video I demonstrate each of the three exercises separately at slow speed and then up to speed. At first, I suggest that you practice the same way until you can play them precisely. Later, try going from one exercise to the next without stopping.

HH = Hi-Hat (played with hands)
STT = Small Mounted Tom
SD = Snare Drum
FTT = Floor Tom
BD — Bass Drum
BD/HH = Bass Drum and Hi-Hat (played with foot)

Apply the triple stroke roll sticking shown in Exercise 1 to the hand part in all exercises.

Just The Beginning!
After you have learned the examples I’ve shown here and can play them easily up to speed, you should turn on your creativity and make up some patterns of your own. The challenge will be to maintain the triple-stroke roll sticking throughout. You’ll be surprised at the cool and useful patterns you can create.

If you have questions on this month's lesson or would like more information on Tension Free Drumming techniques, visit

Until next time, have fun and stay loose!