Accented Paradiddles / by Ross Farley

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).

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.

PDF download: Accented Paradiddles