Posts in practice pad workouts
Practice Pad Workout: Paradiddle-diddle vs Paradiddle

Here's a fun set of exercises that I've been playing around with on my practice pad. They consist of two paradiddle-diddles with a paradiddle at the end. The sticking stays the same in each exercise, but the accent pattern varies.

In 1-3 the accents are on the 1st, 2nd or 1st and 2nd notes of the paradiddle-diddle and paradiddle. A-D then combine those accent patterns to come up with more interesting phrases.

First off, just get comfortable with the sticking (don't worry about the accents) and once you have a feel for it add the accents back in and focus on the dynamics. 

The accents should be loud and (unsurprisingly) the unaccented strokes should be quiet — The greater the contrast between your loud and quiet strokes, the better it'll sound.

The next step is to make these ideas your own. Here are some suggestions:

    1. Try combining the exercises to make longer (and more interesting!) phrases.

    2. Swap the order of the paradiddle-diddles and paradiddle.

    3. Accent the sticking in a different way. There are so many options here. If you want a challenge, try accenting the first or second note of the RR or LL.

    4. Play them around the kit. Accents on the toms, unaccented notes on the snare.

    5. Try to incorporate them into your playing. They can easily be adapted to make interesting fills, solos or even grooves.

    Singles And Doubles

    Single strokes and double strokes are the two main options we have when it comes to moving around the drum kit. Each hand plays either once or twice. 

    Three or four strokes per hand is definitely possible (as well as useful) but not as important. So for now we are going to focus on singles and doubles. Plus, once you have nailed doubles, playing triples becomes a lot easier!

    There are a ton of exercises you could use to get better at playing double strokes but the exercises below are some of my favourites. They are also straight forward to play and easy to remember.

    The “A” column contains the right handed exercises and “B” the left — don't neglect starting with your left hand! In each exercise the doubles start one 16th note (or semi-quaver if you prefer) earlier. Play each pattern individually at first and once you've got the hang of that try moving between the exercises. For example, play ‘1a’ four times, then ‘2a’ four times and then ‘3a’ etc. 

    As I said, pretty straight forward!

    PDF download: Singles And Doubles

    Practice Pad Workout: Fives

    A few quintuplet stickings (five notes per beat) that I've been playing around with on my practice pad for the last few weeks. 

    Try playing the exercises with an accent on the beat as well as without. Both will be useful once played on the kit. 

    As always, I recommend practicing to a metronome — beware, if you haven't played quintuplets before they will sound strange at first!

    To develop the exercises further try playing them around the kit or try reinterpreting them as 16th notes.

    Enjoy!