As a student, I always try to seek out new ways to use rudiments on the drumset, and as a teacher, I encourage my students to do the same. The following ideas came about when my teacher, Ray Fransen, showed me the following beat:
I was intrigued with the feel of this beat and started looking for different ways to play it. This led to the application of the paradiddle-diddle.
What follows is the paradiddle-diddle, which should be practiced with and without accents:
In working up speed on this rudiment, try to feel the motion of the paradiddle-diddle in order to obtain a smooth flow and fast execution. In other words, try not so much to think, “RLRRLL,” but use physical memory to think of what it feels like to play a paradiddle-diddle.
Once a nominal tempo is achieved, try the following accent pattern to “set up” for the beat:
Now, simply play the same part on the closed hi-hat and accent on the snare drum:
Once you become comfortable with the basic hand pattern, add the following bass drum patterns:
By permutating the sticking of the paradiddle-diddle and applying it to the set, an upbeat feel can be achieved:
The upbeat can be switched to the hi-hat, as follows:
By keeping the same sticking and switching to a jazz beat, the snare acts as a “filler” to the ride-cymbal pattern:
The original sticking pattern can serve as a variation to the jazz- ride rhythm, as follows:
This pattern could also be used as a fill:
Returning to a rock feel, the following combination using the paradiddle-diddle can be used on either the ride cymbal or hi-hat:
The paradiddle-diddle is not just limited to beat patterns. It can be used for some excellent fills. Here are just a few ideas:
Of course, all of this just scratches the surface. I haven’t even mentioned the possibilities of starting the paradiddle-diddle with the left hand or using the flamadiddle-diddle. As I tell my students, the rudiments are only limited by your imagination!