When we think of rock and roll, we usually think of power and strength. The last word we would associate with rock and roll is a funny little word like paradiddle.
Keeping this in mind, it may surprise you to find that paradiddles are one of the most common rudiments found in rock and roll drumming.
What makes the paradiddle so appealing the rock and roll drummers?
The first note in a paradiddle is accented. In rock, this could mean the difference between a basic, boring verse or an attention grabbing, hard hitting verse that makes listeners inch themselves to the edge of their seats in anticipation.
Paradiddles are a bit difficult to learn at first, but they will help you to spice up your patterns and rhythms, causing musicians to not only take note, but also develop a jealousy for your technique.
To play a paradiddle, start off sitting with your practice pad on your lap instead of seating yourself at your kit. It is important that you get the form down first, as you are likely to injure your wrists if you start off on your snare, which offers far more resistance than a pad.
Hold your sticks with a comfortable grip. With your main hand, perform an accented stroke. Immediately afterwards follow up with a stroke from your off hand, and then finally two strokes from your right hand.
This should be a fluid motion with no pauses or rests in between notes. The paradiddle should have a powerful feel, the first note strong and noticeable, the following three prominent, yet noticeably less powerful.
When practicing paradiddles be sure to use a metronome. This is important because it will help you to develop a sense of rhythm, allowing your paradiddles to flow, which is of course what you will want them to do within the context of a song.
The second most common paradiddle used in rock drumming is the double paradiddle. This technique is substantially more difficult, so it is highly suggest that you start of slowly and take your time to learn proper form.
Start off with your main hand performing the accented note once more. This time, you will alternate immediately after the accent from off hand to main hand, back to off hand, ending with two notes from your main hand. If you are right hand your pattern should go:
Right, left, right, left, right, right.
Remember that the first note is accented, the other five notes being equally struck, average notes.
The best way to develop the use of the paradiddle within the context of your own music is to experiment with its application. Try adding it in places that you believe it would contribute extra dynamics. If you aren’t sure, play the piece for someone and ask their opinion. In the end if your listener doesn’t find it appealing then you know it doesn’t work.
Keep in mind that although drumming should be fun, love isn’t always easy, so expect some hard practice ahead to properly integrate this technique into your arsenal. Good luck to your online drum lessons!
Successful Drumming is a step-by-step program which builds on each lesson and holds you by your hand as you learn. You can easily track your progress and see the improvements you made overtime.