Let’s get creative with paradiddles! Like with anything else, it’s not about playing them as fast as possible. It’s about using them to make music and express ourselves on the drums.
In this Pdf and video we are going to learn 11 ways to play the inverted single paradiddle, which I found to be one of the most interesting ones.
We are going to apply many different concepts to it, using an approach that we can master and then extend to everything we are practicing.
I’ve dedicated a lot of time to trying to figure out what makes us drummers develop a unique style. I’ve come to the conclusion that besides having a personal time feel, a lot of it has to do with how we approach phrasing and the ways we use to transform the basic rudiments we all begin with.
That’s why I always recommend applying a number of solutions to modify any exercise.
I call them parameters: in practice it’s the ‘focusing on the how, not on the what’. Thus making things ours and finding musical variations to include in our vocabulary.
And doing that until we get to the point where we have a recognizable and personal style.
So let’s dive into this study and use the paradiddle to see how this method works.
We’ll learn how to transform it in the following ways:
1- Adding accents.
2- Orchestrating it on the drumset.
3- Using dynamics.
4- Playing it through different subdivisions.
5- Doubling some of the notes.
6- Replacing some notes of the sticking with the bass drum.
7- Adding some notes to the sticking.
8- Mixing it with other ideas.
9- Starting in different parts of the measure (permutation).
10- Playing it with a shuffle feel.
11- Combining some of the above solutions.
Here is the Pdf:
And here is the link to the YouTube video. You can also click on each example in the Pdf to open the video at its specific time:
It’s a challenging workout that I recommend you use to build a routine for all of your studies. It will make you really own the ideas you are working on.
It’s incredible how many variations we can achieve. Use the ones I gave you as a starting point and then experiment and create new ones, using your imagination.
What if you did this with every rudiment you know? That’s how you make music and develop a personal style in a powerful way.
Let’s also keep in mind that a very useful way of finding unique combinations is to improvise. Even record yourself as you do that, and then when you stumble on something interesting, stop, write it all down and work on it as shown above.
If you want to learn more about this approach to drumming and phrasing, these Confident Drummer methods may be helpful: