Posts tagged paradiddles
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.

    Paradiddle Inversions

    As with accented paradiddles, paradiddle inversions are incredibly useful rudiments for grooves, fills and soloing. And they have an advantage over the standard paradiddle. They are less common! Once you start combining the paradiddle inversions you'll have a wealth of options when it comes to moving around the kit, allowing you to be more creative and original.  

    A couple of things to remember: a) Focus on how you are playing, not how fast you are playing. Speed is a byproduct of good technique, control, and being comfortable with what you are playing. The speed will come, so start slow. b) Dynamics make all the difference. Loud strokes should be loud and quiet strokes should be quiet!

    1. To start off, practice i-iv individually and at a steady speed. If these stickings are new to you ignore the accented strokes at first (the “>” indicates an accent). Once you feel comfortable with each exercise you can add them back in.

    2. Next, try switching between the different patterns. For example, play exercise ‘i’ four times before moving straight to ‘ii’ without stopping, then to ‘iii’ etc.

    3. 1A - 4C involve different combinations of i with ii-iv. In 1A-C the first beat changes, in 2A-C the second beat changes, etc — You get the idea!

    4. Get creative, combine the paradiddle inversions in new ways, try to apply the concepts from the Accented Paradiddle lesson or use them as grooves.

    PDF download: Paradiddle Inversions

    Paradiddle Grooves

    A heads up, the following grooves are fairly difficult. They are based on accented paradiddles and paradiddle inversions, so familiarise yourself with those before you attempt these. Otherwise you might struggle! It's also a good idea to use a metronome.

    1. Grooves 1-3 use the paradiddle (1), inverted paradiddle (2) and reverse paradiddle (3) for the snare and hi-hat parts. For the sake of simplicity I've used the same bass drum pattern in each groove. If you struggle with the coordination, simplify the grooves by ignoring the ghost note and accents. You can add them back in once the groove feels more natural to play.

    2. Grooves 4-6 combine half a bar of two different paradiddles. ‘4’ combines the paradiddle and inverted paradiddle, ‘5’ the paradiddle and reverse paradiddle, and ‘6’ the inverted paradiddle and reverse paradiddle. Again, I've used the same bass drum pattern in each groove.

    3. Grooves 7 & 8 feature the paradiddle, inverted paradiddle and reverse paradiddle in a random order. I have also changed the bass drum pattern in each example. It's a good idea to get comfortable with the groove's sticking pattern before adding the bass drums.

    4. Grooves 9-11 incorporate ideas from the Accented Paradiddles lesson, which results in displaced snare accents — accents that are no longer exclusively on the second and forth beat of the bar. These grooves are fun to play but technically challenging. As with the previous exercises, start with the sticking pattern before adding the bass drums.

    5. Once you can play 1-11 get creative. These grooves are just examples so try changing the bass drum patterns or moving the accents to different parts of the beat to make your own variations.

    PDF download: Paradiddle Grooves

    Accented Paradiddles

    Accented Paradiddles are some of my favourite exercises to play for improving stick control and technique. The paradiddle is a versatile rudiment that has many applications on the kit. Having the technique to accent the different notes that make up the paradiddle will give you the ability to play a ton of cool grooves, fills and a world of options when it comes to soloing. That makes them well worth practicing!

    1. To start off, practice exercises i-iv on a pad or snare at a slow tempo to a metronome. 

    2. Once you can play i-iv comfortably, try moving the accented notes around the toms whilst keeping the unaccented notes on the snare at a low volume.

    3. Next, try switching between the different patterns. For example, play exercise ‘i’ four times before moving straight to ‘ii’ without stopping, then to ‘iii’ etc. This a great way to become more familiar with each pattern. It also involves a bit of mental gymnastics to make sure your sticks are in the right position for each stroke!

    4. 1A - 4C involve different combinations of i-iv. In 1A-C beat 1 changes, in 2A-C, beat 2 changes, etc — You get the idea! These are great exercises for the pad and kit. Once mastered you can develop it further by combining the different exercises to form more complex phrases.

    5. Try applying these ideas to a different rudiment or sticking pattern, such as the reverse paradiddle (RRLR LLRL).

    PDF download: Accented Paradiddles