Rock Drumming System

Learn How To Play A Single Paradiddle

One of the essential rudiments that most drummers have heard about is the Paradiddle. The single paradiddle can be one of the hardest rudiments to master. Once you figure this drum rudiment out, you will be amazed at all the doors it opens to new solos, beats, and grooves. Practicing the single paradiddle will teach you stick independence like no other rudiment will. At first, this pattern will not feel “normal” to play – that is what sets this drum rudiment apart from the others. When you have this figured out, try playing the double paradiddle.

The Single Paradiddle is different to the others, because it takes 8 strokes before the pattern repeats. Unlike the single stroke roll, where it only takes 2 strokes, or the double stroke roll, where it takes 4 strokes to repeat. The single paradiddle is a combination of the single stroke roll, and double stroke roll. As you will notice, it is harder to go fast with this pattern, so take your time, and master the basics first. Again, try to make it sound like a fluent roll, left and right hands alike.

With all drum rudiments, we will start with proper stick grip. Without proper stick grip, you will have uneven strokes that sound more like a flam than a roll. Also, you will find you have more endurance and control when you are holding the sticks right. The principle is the same either way you hold your sticks. If you are using matched grip, you will want to try and make your weaker hand copy your dominant hand exactly – this is the same with the French grip. If you are using the traditional grip, you may notice your left hand must move in a different way then your right. Stick independence will come in time, and that is why you are practicing the single paradiddle.

The Single Paradiddle

So how do you do the single paradiddle? It’s very simple if you start out slow and with a metronome. I mentioned before that it is a combination of the single and double stroke roll. RLRL and RRLL. It is done like this,

R L R R or L R L L

When played together, you will get a continuous sound on the drum, almost like a roll. This would look like this:

Drum Notation

Lets try the single paradiddle with some accents.

Drum Notation

Here is a quick video example of a single paradiddle on a practice pad:

The single paradiddle is played like the word is said. Try saying the word as you play the pattern. This will help you out drastically if you are just beginning to learn this drum ruiment. Do not limit yourself to playing this on one drum. The beauty of the paradiddle is the different rhythmic feel you get by playing it on different toms and cymbals. Try incorporating the pattern in a drum beat:

Drum Notation

Mike Michalkow has developed this rudiment to such a point that he can do a 4 minute drum solo just using the single paradiddle. You can watch his drum solo on his Moeller Method Secrets DVD. The moeller method is a great technique for creating more speed, power and control for each motion that you make.

Once you get the feel of the single paradiddle you will feel a lot more comfortable on the drum set. You will feel more independent and loose, and be able to do more. Practice this drum rudiment lots, for it is one of the top essential patterns every drummer must know. Remember, use proper stick technique, and make sure that you tune your drums before applying this to your kit. When you have learned this, and want to move on, try the flam stroke.

If you are looking for a video training tool to help you learn your drum rudiments. Check out Drum Rudiment Secrets.

This drum rudiment is used alot in latin drumming. For more information make sure that you check out the Latin Drumming System. Its due to be released Spring 2007 and will cover all of the concepts necessary to master latin drumming methods. This beginner to advanced training pack will be everything you will ever need to play latin drum beats and grooves.

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