Think Like A Drummer – The Paradiddle

The paradiddle is an amazing articulation.  It is extremely basic in its pattern, but playing it can be quite difficult.  Lucky for you, this is about programming a paradiddle!

So what is a paradiddle?  

From the drum rudiments wiki, it says that “A paradiddle consists of two single strokes followed by a double stroke, i.e., RLRR or LRLL.  When multiple paradiddles are played in succession, the first note always alternates between right and left. Therefore, a single paradiddle is often used to switch the "lead hand" in drumming music.”

There are many variations on the paradiddle but for the purpose of this blog, I will stick with the single paradiddle.  

In musical terms, this is what a paradiddle looks like.

It is four 16th notes with the first note being accented and the following three notes are unaccented.  When this rudiment is played by a drummer in succession it switches hands. This means that when programming this rudiment, we really need to keep that in mind.  A great drummer will be able to do this seamlessly, but there is a certain magic that happens when a drummer changes hands that we have to try and replicate. The hand change note when programmed should be slightly louder than the previous note, but not so much much that it also becomes accented.  Getting the velocities correct when programming is key to getting this to sound correct.

Let's take a look at how to program a paradiddle.  

Please make sure to use a treated room with good speakers or high-quality headphones when watching this video as some of the topics we discuss are subtle.   

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