The paradiddle-diddle is a particularly useful rudiment since it’s relatively easy to play within straight 16th and 16th-note-triplet subdivisions. Its repetition also maintains the same sticking without reversing the lead hand.

There are six inversions of the paradiddle-diddle within a straight 16th-note subdivision.

Also try playing these inversions using 16th-note triplets.

The previous variations are notated with a right-hand lead. Simply reverse the sticking to play another six inversions that lead with the left hand.

Next we’ll play the six inversions of the 16th-note paradiddle-diddle in a rock context. We’ll start the figures on the “&” of beat 3 in a 4/4 groove. The fifth and sixth inversions end with a right-hand stroke instead of the left, so try playing the downbeat of the first measure with your left hand when repeating the phrase.

Now try the inversions within a three-beat fill.

The bass drum is omitted in these examples, but you can play any kick pattern that you feel is appropriate and comfortable. Although these exercises are notated on the snare, try orchestrating the figures around the drumset, and experiment with different tempos.

Here are the six paradiddle-diddle inversions within a 16th-note-triplet fill over one beat.

And here they are within a two-beat fill.

Also try applying these same paradiddle-diddles to breaks within a jazz context. Have fun!

Joel Rothman is the author of nearly 100 drum and percussion books, which sell worldwide through his company, JR Publications. For more info, visit