Sticking For The Double Stroke Roll In 7/8

Applying this simple sticking to various note values within the new time signature.

The double stroke roll is a straight forward rudiment that involves playing two even strokes with each hand over a set note value. This has been applied as crotchets, quavers and semi quavers within the time signature of 4/4, 5/4 and 5/8 and in this lesson you will be switching this to 7/8. If you have covered the 4/4, 5/4 and 5/8 versions of this lesson the exercises given here will be much easier and you can find these linked at the bottom of the page. The intention with this lesson is more about familiarizing you with the new time signature and how the double stroke sticking feels within it.

Unlike 4/4 and 5/4, the time signature of 7/8 can be described as 'compound' and it is the 8 at the bottom that tells you this. That means that all notes are most commonly grouped into blocks of 3, or 6 and you get seven quavers worth of note values for every bar. I have included links to more detailed lessons on this subject at the bottom of the page. A double stroke roll is a four stroke pattern, so fits quite nicely into even numbered time signatures, but 7/8 is obviously an odd numbered time signature. If you scan through the list of stickings below, you will notice that in some cases I have shown multiple bars worth of the rudiment and often each bar starts with a different hand. This represents the minimum number of times the rudiment can be played so that it starts again on the first right hand of the rudiments sticking. Once you start playing through the exercises this will make more sense.

Listed below are two versions of the double stroke roll applied to the time signature of 7/8 played across two different rhythms. Both standard and reverse sticking has been applied, be sure to practice both.

Exercise 1

A Double Stroke Roll in 7/8 as quavers. The pattern needs to be played over four bars to end comfortably. Notice that from the first to second and third to fourth bars there is a double stroke that is split over a bar line.

A Double Stroke Roll in 7/8 as quavers.

Exercise 2

A Double Stroke Roll in 7/8 as semi quavers. The pattern needs to be played over two bars to fall back in line again.

A Double Stroke Roll in 5/8 as semi quavers.


  • Learn the three patterns up to a temp of at least 130bpm.
  • Add feet to the parts.
  • Orchestrate the parts.
  • Apply the sticking to other time signatures.
  • Apply different rudiment stickings in 7/8.