Do you want to make your drumming resonate with a signature sound? The ratamacue series—single, double, and triple—could be the key.
Not only are they incredibly fun to play, but they also carry the unique distinction of mirroring the rhythm they produce, making them a percussive echo of their own onomatopoeic name.
With a stick in each hand and a beat in your heart, let’s embark on the rhythmic journey of mastering these compelling rudiments.
What is a Ratamacue?
A ratamacue is a rudiment that combines a drag or a diddle with at the beginning of four note single. Its name is derived from the sound it produces, mimicking the rhythm it creates: “rat-a-ma-cue.” The single ratamacue consists of a a drag followed by 3 note singles, last one usually accented.
How to Play Ratamacues
The best way to learn a ratamacue is to split it.
LLR LRL or LL RLRL
Begin with the triplet drag: Start with a double stroke (LL) leading into 4 single strokes
Accent the last note.
The sticking for the single ratamacue looks like this: LLRLRL RRLRLR
Double ratamacue adds another drag LLR so instead of playing LLRLRL you will play LLR LLRLRL.
It’s same with triple ratamacue you will add one more drag. You will end up with this.
LLR LLR LLRLRL
Experimenting with Accents
Once comfortable, start moving the accents around within the ratamacue structure. Accent different notes to discover new sounds and rhythms. Start the accent on the downbeat to change the feel, offering numerous creative possibilities for drum set applications.
Exercises for Mastering Ratamacues
Practice slowly: Work through each ratamacue variation methodically at a slow tempo to ensure clarity.
Use a metronome: As you gain confidence, increase the tempo while keeping the drags and accents clean.
Accent variations: Experiment with accenting different notes to personalize the rudiment.
The ratamacue series comprises the single, double, and triple ratamacues, each building on a pattern of drags followed by 3 note roll, echoing their onomatopoeic name. These rudiments are not just fun to play but are also versatile tools for adding rhythmic character to your drumming.
To master them, start with slow, precise practice, gradually increase speed, and experiment with accent placements, eventually incorporating these patterns into your unique drumming style with creativity and flair.