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  #1  
Old 09-18-2012, 10:03 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Rudiment naming question

Hello, quick question on rudiment naming. I frequently see the notation:

rrL or llR

called the three-stroke ruff.

But!

I always thought that was a drag, and THIS is the three stroke ruff:

rlrR or lrlL

So if this second thing isn't a three stroke ruff ... what the heck is it?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2012, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Tommy Igoe specifically mentioned to me the confusion you are discussing.

The answer (according to Igoe) is that all ruffs are short single stroke rolls. Any notation of a double stroke such as you describe in the first example is not actually a ruff but a drag. You are correct.

Some authors simply have it wrong.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:14 AM
2xride-player 2xride-player is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken, do the uppercase letters of llR and rrL for example, just mean accent the note?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
The answer (according to Igoe) is that all ruffs are short single stroke rolls.
In that case, doesn't AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken also have it wrong? His examples of ruffs (lrlL and rlrR) are not single stroke rolls.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken View Post
Hello, quick question on rudiment naming. I frequently see the notation:

rrL or llR

called the three-stroke ruff.

But!

I always thought that was a drag, and THIS is the three stroke ruff:

rlrR or lrlL

So if this second thing isn't a three stroke ruff ... what the heck is it?

Thanks!
The way you wrote the pattern of the second one describe a Paradidlle to me, with an accent on the second double stroke.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken View Post
Hello, quick question on rudiment naming. I frequently see the notation:

rrL or llR

called the three-stroke ruff.

But!

I always thought that was a drag, and THIS is the three stroke ruff:

rlrR or lrlL

So if this second thing isn't a three stroke ruff ... what the heck is it?

Thanks!
Your first example is definitely a drag. Nobody would disagree with that. Some would argue it's also a ruff. Confused yet? :)

There's a bit of controversy going on in the drumming world about what a ruff is. I'm with Tommy Igoe on this: A ruff uses single stroke sticking. I have the orange Ken Mazur book and a four stroke ruff is written as a single-stroke rudiment ending with an accent = rlrL or lrlR. That's my bible.

Now, that being said, some really important drummers disagree and argue that ruff and drag are interchangeable terms and both refer to double sticking.

Your three stroke ruff example is not a three stroke ruff, though. It has four strokes and paradiddle sticking that ends with an accent. There's no name for that pattern that I know of.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:47 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Your first example is definitely a drag. Nobody would disagree with that. Some would argue it's also a ruff. Confused yet? :)

There's a bit of controversy going on in the drumming world about what a ruff is. I'm with Tommy Igoe on this: A ruff uses single stroke sticking. I have the orange Ken Mazur book and a four stroke ruff is written as a single-stroke rudiment ending with an accent = rlrL or lrlR. That's my bible.

Now, that being said, some really important drummers disagree and argue that ruff and drag are interchangeable terms and both refer to double sticking.

Your three stroke ruff example is not a three stroke ruff, though. It has four strokes and paradiddle sticking that ends with an accent. There's no name for that pattern that I know of.
I think the OP made a typo and meant your four stroke ruff from Mazur (rlrL lrlR). Alan Dawson also called that the four stroke ruff. He called llR rrL the three stroke ruff or "half drag" (as opposed to llR L, rrL R- the (full drag"). Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but when he did a rudimental breakdown with those half or full drags (that is slow-fast-slow), the speed of the double grace note was always quick and never varied, with the tempo of the main accented notes getting faster or slower. I also think he had a variation of three stroke ruffs with singles (rlR lrL).

Just to add to the confusion, pipe band drummers call llR rrL "open" drags. If you play them as a rudimental breakdown, the double grace notes start out as slow and closes down or opens up in speed in proportion to the main accented note. And if you replace that double grace note with a dead stick you have a "closed" drag, not to be confused with opening and closing an open drag. Clear as mud?!?

Pipe band drumming also has "Swiss ruffs", rllR lrrL. This Summer, we found out they have no name in Basel Drumming. They're just an introductory phrase to a piece called "the train(?)" or "the railway(?)"

I hope that clears everything up ;-)

-John
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2012, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Glad to see you chime in, John. I think you're probably right, the OP just made a typo. Makes a lot more sense.

I definitely learned to make the spacing of the double in a drag consistent, regardless of tempo, although I can't remember who taught me that. I didn't realize pipe drummers vary the note values of the double according to the tempo. That's interesting. I guess how you approach that all depends on whether you interpret the double grace note as a diddle (spacing varies with tempo) or flam (spacing is constant at all tempos).

I have to laugh at the whole open-close-open vernacular. It's funny, when you take a step back, how crazy all this must seem to the student. The language of rudimental drumming is a riddle!
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2012, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

'para-riddle', surely...TAXI!
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2012, 10:56 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Sorry, I'm a bit of an idiot because I checked that TWICE and still wrote it wrong.

JohnW is right: what I call a three-stroke ruff is:

rlrL and lrlR

It seems fair to call that a four-stroke ruff, since there are four strokes; what I call a drag (and what some call a half-drag) would then be the three-stroke ruff, and what I call a single drag tap would then be the single drag.

In the end I guess naming isn't that big a deal ... but sometimes when you're talking over a drum part with a friend and they say 'play a ruff' it's weird that we have all these terms and still can't be sure what other people mean.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Mr Mantalini Mr Mantalini is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken View Post
Sorry, I'm a bit of an idiot because I checked that TWICE and still wrote it wrong.

JohnW is right: what I call a three-stroke ruff is:

rlrL and lrlR

It seems fair to call that a four-stroke ruff, since there are four strokes; what I call a drag (and what some call a half-drag) would then be the three-stroke ruff, and what I call a single drag tap would then be the single drag.

In the end I guess naming isn't that big a deal ... but sometimes when you're talking over a drum part with a friend and they say 'play a ruff' it's weird that we have all these terms and still can't be sure what other people mean.
A three stroke ruff is still singles, ie rlR lrL. It differs from llR rrL, which (much like trying to sort through this mess of names) is a drag.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:22 AM
jackie k jackie k is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

A Three stroke ruff is a short roll. It does not matter about the sticking pattern. A ruff could be any of the following: RLR or LRL or LLR or RRR, any combination, it doesn't make a difference.

A drag has 2 grace notes before the root note. When you play a drag you stop on the root note. If you were to play LLRLR.... that would not be a drag, there is no drags in that sticking, its just a sticking pattern. Remember what makes a drag a drag is that the grace notes are not the same as the root note. eight eight quarter = LLR Examples: LLR or RRL

When doing rudiments its not just the sticking, but also the value of the notes in the sticking pattern.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:33 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Great thread guys......if not a little contentious.....interesting stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie k View Post
A Three stroke ruff is a short roll. It does not matter about the sticking pattern. A ruff could be any of the following: RLR or LRL or LLR or RRR, any combination, it doesn't make a difference.
Has this always been the case, or is it a relatively new interpretation? When using the that interpretation for 5 strokes, rrllR is still called a 5 stroke ruff. Whereas a ruff, as taught to me, was just single strokes. I remember being taught 5 stroke ruffs as singles (rlrlR) as opposed to 5 stroke rolls which are doubles (rrllR).

What do you guys think?
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:07 AM
Mr Mantalini Mr Mantalini is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Great thread guys......if not a little contentious.....interesting stuff.



Has this always been the case, or is it a relatively new interpretation? When using the that interpretation for 5 strokes, rrllR is still called a 5 stroke ruff. Whereas a ruff, as taught to me, was just single strokes. I remember being taught 5 stroke ruffs as singles (rlrlR) as opposed to 5 stroke rolls which are doubles (rrllR).

What do you guys think?
Yeah, that's exactly my understanding. I don't know why anyone would go with the alternative labels, that just seems to introduce confusion and ambiguities. And after all, a five stroke roll and a five stroke ruff sound exactly the same - it's only drummers who need to make a distinction between how they're played, so it makes sense that the names would reflect the stickings.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Hey, I want to add to the confusion!

Re: the three stroke ruff (usually just called a ruff)— the ¨“double” is played as a multiple bounce stroke— I'm not aware of a traditionally notated ruff (with the two beamed-together grace notes) being played as a double and an accent in any application. Well, John just hipped me to the pipe band thing, but other than that...

Any double before an accent would technically be an open ruff, but it would be written as a rhythm, not with the familiar notation. And I use the term drag only to refer to the double/multiple bounce stroke itself, not the complete ruff— that's been more or less common usage with the people I've been around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Has this always been the case, or is it a relatively new interpretation? When using the that interpretation for 5 strokes, rrllR is still called a 5 stroke ruff. Whereas a ruff, as taught to me, was just single strokes. I remember being taught 5 stroke ruffs as singles (rlrlR) as opposed to 5 stroke rolls which are doubles (rrllR).
I don't think I've been called upon to play a proper five stroke ruff since college, but I believe we played them alternating. I think the other, probably more important distinction I would make between a 5S roll and 5S ruff is that the roll would be metered and the ruff would be unmetered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie k View Post
A Three stroke ruff is a short roll. It does not matter about the sticking pattern. A ruff could be any of the following: RLR or LRL or LLR or RRR, any combination, it doesn't make a difference.
I guess so— in older books they'll call just about any 3-5 close-together notes a ruff— they seemed to be using rudiment names to express common rhythms. Maybe that usage is still correct, but to me it seems archaic. Even if those other stickings could technically be called ruffs, you would get a lot of, ah, significant looks if used them in place of the now-standard multiple bounce stroke+primary note thing while, say, performing a Cirone etude.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:15 AM
jackie k jackie k is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

A three stroke ruff, because its so, so short has the definition of: a short single stroke roll.

I deliberately left out the word, " alternating " from that definition, because in written music you will see a three stroke ruff written as, RRL or LLR.

Starting at the four stroke ruff and beyond, the definition changes slightly: A ruff (4,5,7,9, stroke ruffs, no more ruffs after 9) is a short ALTERNATING single stroke roll.

So I was incorrect about the sticking patterns at the 4,5,7,9, stroke ruffs, I was trying to make a distinction between the drag RRL and the three stroke RRL ruff.

Yes, the alternating doubles become the rolls, Examples: RRLLR = five stroke roll
RRLLRRL = seven stroke roll.

The drag has two grace notes, an what I call the root note, the note where you stop. The two grace notes are at a different value, an example: two 8th notes and a quarter note.

The reason that I mention the drag, is because now the four stroke ruff has three grace notes and the root note, the note where you stop. Even though the four stroke ruff has alternating single strokes, its played with the grace note flow. Example: three 8th notes and a quarter note, a better sticking and feel. After the four stroke ruff, the grace note thing stops and the 5, 7, 9 ruffs are just alternating single strokes.

I havent thought about this stuff in years.

Last edited by jackie k; 09-19-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken View Post
In the end I guess naming isn't that big a deal ... but sometimes when you're talking over a drum part with a friend and they say 'play a ruff' it's weird that we have all these terms and still can't be sure what other people mean.
This is exactly why Tommy Igoe has made it a mission to straighten it out. As he rightly points out, there's no confusion or interpretation over what a person means when he says to play a minor third, and neither should there be when we use terms in drumming.

I can't access Facebook from work, but do a Google search on Tommy Igoe John Wooton ruff. There's a great series of exchanges on a status on Tommy's FB page between Tommy, John Wooton and Jim Riley. It's worth reading all the comments.

Tommy has researched the history of documentation tracing back to the roots of the NARD. His conclusion is there was a typo in translation at some point that caused people to think a ruff was the same as a drag, when in fact the ruff uses single strokes. He's quite adamant that this confusion needs to be cleared up. For those with Tommy's Great Hands For A Lifetime, there is an ebook on the DVD in which he talks about this point in fair detail also.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment naming question

Interesting— I've only found the end of that discussion, so if you could post a link to the main thing... unfortunately the FB search engine is utterly worthless for anything but finding a person. They're talking about four stroke ruffs, right?

I'm interested to see what his research says about these things, but I also don't agree with this originalist thing of hundred year old names for things being more correct than the ones in current common usage— if that's where he's going with this.
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