Drum Exercise: The Paradiddle

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As a Sticking Exercise:   

The paradiddle is an essential exercise for every drummer and percussionist. Follow the sticking pattern (R=right, L=left) above slowly until you can repeat it at a steady speed comfortably (as with most exercises, use a metronome to ensure steady tempo). Often an accent is added the to first stroke of each paradiddle. 

Nearly everything we play as drummers can be broken down into a combination of singles or doubles. The paradiddle is one of the simplest structures; containing two single strokes and a double. If we think of the single and the double as words, the paradiddle is the first complete sentence most drummers memorize- now let's look at how we can apply it to our Drumset playing.

Drumset Application:

Applying rudiments to the Drumset can be as simple as deciding on a concept and practicing it. Here we'll look at a common application for the paradiddle: playing the hi-hat with our right hand and the snare with our left. 

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We've added an accent on the backbeat (2 & 4), and a bass drum on 1 & 3, but this beat is essentially nothing but paradiddles. Start by playing the hi-hat snare part until it feels smooth and steady- then try adding the bass drum and accents to create the phrase. 

More Resources:

Here's Dave Garibaldi (Tower of Power) showcasing an often used funk beat that makes use of paradiddles.

Percussive Arts Society International Drum Rudiments (PDF):