This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the March 2016 issue, which is available here.


The Tap Nine

Embellishing Backbeats With a Modified 9-Stroke Roll

The traditional nine-stroke roll consists of four alternating double strokes followed by a single stroke. It can be played open (clearly articulated) or closed (buzzed). This is a popular rudiment in marching and concert percussion idioms, and I’ve found a practical way to apply it to the drumset.

The world dances, sings, and claps along to music largely because of the drummer’s backbeat. By beginning and ending the nine-stroke roll with a single stroke, you can embellish your backbeats. I call this variation a “tap nine.”

Play the tap nine after backbeats to add length to the groove or glue phrases together. You can also apply it to the hi-hat to create feels that work well in funk, fusion, techno, dance, or rock. Adding the tap nine to accent patterns on the snare with common bass drum patterns creates grooves that straddle the line between traditional marches and New Orleans funk. Crafty drummers can apply these in singer-songwriter or commercial studio situations. I use this figure often to set up a Motown phrase on beat 3 or a classic-rock fill on beat 4.

Check out the video lesson below.

Rich Redmond
For the complete lessons with transcriptions, check out the March 2016 issue, which is available here.

Learn about the March 16 issue featuring Barry Kerch