Rudiments in Russia

There is a fact in the history of the European states that drum served as a first "telephone" sending information over distance. In Russia signal drums started to be used in the 17th century. It gained wide popularity during the reign of the Russian Tsar Peter the 1st. In his time signal drummer was assigned to each unit exceeding 100 people. Of course, signals were similar to those existing in Europe at that time, which later became known as rudiments.

In the Russian Empire, mostly double or triple flams and different rolls, short and long, were played. Roll playing in Russia was different in that the number of strokes was not fixed. One person could play 9 strokes on a quarter note; the other one, having a better technique - 13 strokes, someone - 7, 8, 9 or 10 strokes, it did not matter; the main thing was to fill the note with sounds. Also, there were other patterns, in addition to the above.

Generally, signal service in the Army of the Russian Empire was performed mostly using signal horns. Later the flute was added. Drums played small signal patterns, and were not used as often as the signal horn. Drums were also used to play marching, consisting of constantly repeating 2 or 4 bar drum patterns. Thus, no rudimentary plays or marches existed.

Later, with the development of military arts, signal drums lost their significance, and were used in the army in the military marching music as accompaniment, or were used for playing marches. No signal system existed. Rudiments in the form in which they are usually perceived the U.S. appeared in Russia much later, it happened with the emergence of jazz in the USSR. In the 60s in Russia some notes appeared, published for drummers in America. They were circulating in almost illegal way, due to the influence of the "cold" war. There is information that Soviet soldiers who returned to the USSR after the service in the European socialist countries also played rudiments.

Currently many drummers use rudiments while playing, including pop and classical music performers. The majority of them limit themselves with a few, for example: buzz roll, single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddle; however, there are those who went beyond this limits and use the entire diversity of rudiments. Snare drum solos written by such authors as Pratt, Wilcoxon, Markovich, Schinstine have appeared quite lately in large quantities, which gave a great start for development of rudiments in Russia, as such solos were never written in the Russian Empire or in the Soviet Union. Now there are more and more teachers who are basing their lessons on rudiments, and rudiments are gradually gaining popularity in Russia.