The Paradiddle. The most popular drum rudiment.
So dramatic! Could be the flam actually.
I’ll never look at the paradiddle in the same way, after a student asked a sporadic question “who created the paradiddle?”. I replied quickly with “Jerry Paraddidle”. After some chuckles at the name and then the rest of the lesson passing, I had to admit at the end that it was a joke! I still don’t know who did, but I’m sure there is info out there.
But is the paradiddle boring?
Well yes and no. It’s how you look at it really. Practicing paradiddles can be boring if you focus on just repeating RLRRLRLL for 10 minutes with a metronome. However, when you look at it as a pattern to unlock a different path to the regular RLRLRLRL, then it’s more interesting because you can move the left and right hands onto different drum voices and make some interesting sounds.
The popularity of the paradiddle can also be limiting in the sense that it’s the go to rudiment. It’s important to keep an open mind with composing and to remember that you can make up your own patterns, in a similar way to the paradiddle, but different. Let’s take the idea of the paradiddle and make new rudiments, new patterns, new standards. Surely there’s other patterns we can be playing. OK let’s give it a go. RRLLLRLRRRL. Any good? Maybe it’s amazing played in an 11/8 time signature. I’ve not tried it, but do you get what I mean?
So anyway, let’s get onto the point of the post. This exercise sheet works with the popular paradiddle and shows how you can make practicing it interesting by moving the accents to toms and cymbals and making up different exercises with it.
The first 3 exercises are all seperate ideas, and then the 4th exercise combines all 3.
The paradiddle features in most of the Rockschool drum grades, so it’s not going away any time soon. You can work on these exercise at any level really, which is why I’ve specified a non specific ’60 to 120bpm’ as the speed. Basically, practice these with or without a metronome at what ever speed seems manageable and then try to increase it each time you go through it, or do it faster next time.