How To Master The Single Ratamacue

single ratamacueNot many people learn all 40 drum rudiments. There are a few that go unnoticed, such as the single ratamacue. Some drummers don’t see the point in learning such techniques as they never think they will use them, however learning all 40 rudiments will increase your overall skills drastically.

The single ratamacue is mainly heard in drumlines, but can provide a great basis for decent fills and beats in any style of music.

The fact that drumline drummers use this stick technique provides a strong enough reason for anyone to learn it, as drumline drummers are known for having the best control, dynamics and speed out of any players.

I’ll be taking you through the steps that you should take in order to fully master this stick technique. I’ll also be explaining how you will be able to incorporate it into all aspects of your drumming, including; fills, drum rolls and beats.

The First Steps

The single ratamacue is simply a mix of the single stroke roll and the drag. Before you start to learn this rudiment it is important that you fully master both of these techniques on the entire drum kit.

Not only will this make you learn it faster, but will make you learn it properly without any bad habits. Too many drummers rush into learning the 40 rudiments to only a basic standard not realizing that it is far more effective to master fewer rudiments but to a better level.

The single stroke roll is the first rudiment you should learn, and it is the middle section of the ratamacue. The single stroke roll is very basic. All you need to do is hit the drums one after the other using the technique: R, L, R, L. Once you can play this with your wrists then you should try to play it with your fingers, using the fulcrum point of your hand as the rebound centre.

The other rudiment that is used in the ratamacue is the drag. The drag is again one of the first rudiments that you should learn. Drags are simply two ghost notes played with the same hand, followed by one standard hit on the drum. The stick technique is: (LL) R, (RR) L. A ghosted note is a very soft hit on the drum.

Combining The Two

If you have mastered both the single stroke roll and the drag on multiple drums and with good speed then you should move on to the ratamacue. You should practice this rudiment on either a practice pad or a snare drum, and only move on to other drums when you feel comfortable performing the actions.

The stick technique for the single ratamacue is: (LL) R, L, R, L, (RR) L, R, L, R. As you can see the drag is played at the beginning and then a short single stroke roll is played in between. Try playing this rudiment at a very slow speed to start with, and then gradually speed it up when you feel like you have mastered it at the given speed.



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