The single paradiddle is one of the most basic drumming concepts. It is one of the most common rudiments used in music, and it is also a great tool to make your playing stand out from the pack of single stroke drummers who dominate today’s music.
The single paradiddle is one of the easiest rudiments to learn, as it is basically a drum roll with two double strokes implemented within it. Compared to the many more dynamic drum rudiments, this rudiment can seem fairly basic.
The key of the single paradiddle is simply usage.
Unlike many other rudiments which have a distinctive sound, the single paradiddle can take a variety of flavors, and is extremely versatile.
Before we get into the specifics of how to play the single paradiddle, it is important that you take some time to go over a few things.
The single paradiddle, as stated earlier in this article, is somewhat of a hybrid technique. This means that you need to be fully comfortable with both of the involved rudiments. If you aren’t yet comfortable with alternating single strokes, it is best that you take some time to practice along with a metronome so that you are able to play more efficiently when it comes to learning the single paradiddle.
The single paradiddle employs a double stroke on both of your hands, which means that you need to be fluent and fluid with your double strokes using both your off hand and your main hand. If you aren’t, just like with the single stroke, take some time to practice with a metronome. This will prevent your basic mechanics from being clunky and unseemly.
Once you are comfortable with both the alternating single stroke and the double stroke using both hands, we can get into the single paradiddle.
The pattern of a single paradiddle is as follows.
Right Left Right Right Left Right Left Left
This pattern refers to the order in which your strokes will fall. Your first stroke will be a right handed single stroke, followed up by an alternate left handed stroke. After this, you will perform a double stroke with your right hand. Next, you will alternate single strokes between your left and right hand, and then perform a second double stroke, this time with your left hand.
The trick to learning this pattern fluidly is to practice along with a metronome when learning drums. This will help you to keep a steady rhythm, which is extremely important when you are playing a technique with odd alternations.
Pay close attention to your note values, as they should all be perfectly even.
At no point should you be tensing your forearms; keep your body relaxed, and allow your wrists to do all of the work. Remember, all stroking is done with the wrist and fingers, and there should be no vulgar power driving any of your strokes.
Take a block of time each day to practice, and in no time you will have the single paradiddle down. Good luck!
Drum Rudiment System gives you all the tools and tips you’ll ever need to improvise fills and rudiments for any given occasion. On top of that, you will also have great fun playing along to new beats and broadening your drumming “vocabulary”.