In The Pocket

Funk Drumming Training Camp

Part 5: Paradiddle-Based Grooves

by Mike Adamo

In this series we’ve focused on exercises that help develop a tight and steady groove. This month we’ll start by breaking up the four paradiddle variations between the bass drum and snare. However, instead of playing each pattern for the entire measure, we’ll play it only during the second half of the measure. We’ll begin with more basic patterns and then develop them as the lesson progresses.Here’s the first set of paradiddle exercises. Don’t forget to pay attention to the accents and ghost notes within the snare pattern; they add a lot of depth to the the pocket 1

Now play those in conjunction with the right-hand ride patterns from part four of this series. You don’t have to play the left-foot hi-hat patterns, but it’s a good idea to add them as you get more comfortable, to help keep you locked in and to improve your coordination.

Here’s the first set of right-hand patterns.

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After you’ve mastered each of the paradiddle variations (Examples 1–4) with the first set of right-hand patterns, move on to the next set, which is based on playing three 16th notes in a row.

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After you’ve mastered the second set, move on to the third. These patterns are based on instances of two 16th notes in a row starting on different subdivisions of the beat.

in the pocket 4The fourth set of right-hand patterns contains instances of single notes starting on the “e” and “a” of the beat.

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It’s important to be able to play steady 16th notes on the hi-hat or ride. This creates a grooving, driving feel for slow to mid-tempo songs (75–95 bpm). Practice Examples 1–4 in conjunction with this right-hand pattern.

in the pocket 6Now let’s move on to the next set of paradiddle exercises. These are a bit more complicated than the first set. Practice them in conjunction with each of the right-hand patterns, as you did with Examples 1–4.

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Here’s a third set of paradiddle exercises to practice with the different right-hand patterns.

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After you’ve mastered these examples, spend some time making up your own grooves based on the concepts from the lesson. Until next time!

Mike Adamo is the author of the critically acclaimed instructional book The Breakbeat Bible (Hudson Music). For more info, including how to sign up for lessons via Skype, visit and