How to Play a Double Paradiddle? – Simple Guide

November 15, 2023

Figuring out how to play a double paradiddle might initially seem like a tricky step up from its single cousin, but it’s an incredibly rhythmic journey that I’m excited to take you on. Like you, I once stood at this crossroads, sticks in hand, ready to tackle a new pattern.

Discovering the double paradiddle opens a world of rhythmic possibilities, and I’m confident it will enrich your drumming repertoire significantly.

For those in a hurry: A double paradiddle adds an extra pair of singles to the single paradiddle, making it a six-note pattern: RLRLRR LRLRLL.

Let’s embark on this rhythmic adventure and learn the double paradiddle.

What is a Double Paradiddle?

The double paradiddle is a percussive pattern that doubles the number of single strokes at the beginning of the traditional paradiddle, creating a longer and more flowing sequence. It consists of six notes instead of four, often notated as RLRLRR LRLRLL, and is favored for its smooth transition capability within various tempos and musical styles.

How to Play a Double Paradiddle

The execution of a double paradiddle builds upon the single paradiddle with an extra set of single strokes:

  • Begin with the pattern: Start by practicing the six-note sequence slowly: RLRLRR LRLRLL.
  • Focus on smooth transitions: Make sure the transition from the double strokes to the singles is seamless and maintains a steady flow.
  • Alternate the lead hand: Once you’re comfortable, practice leading with the opposite hand to develop evenness and balance in your playing.
  • Metronome practice: As always, practicing with a metronome is crucial. Start slow and gradually increase the tempo as you become more comfortable and your strokes more consistent.

This extended paradiddle pattern will challenge your coordination and timing but mastering it will undoubtedly expand your drumming capabilities.

Different Versions

Double Paradiddle Variations: The double paradiddle provides a broader canvas for variation due to its six-note cycle (RLRLRR LRLRLL). Here are some twists:

  • Accent Shifts: By moving the accent to different notes, you create new rhythmic feels: Rlrlrr Lrlrll, RlrlrR LrlrlL, etc.
  • Incorporating Flams: Insert a flam on the first note of each set for a heavier attack: (R)Lrlrr (L)Rlrll.
  • Swung Double Paradiddle: Swinging the notes gives a jazzier feel, changing the straight pattern to a triplet-based groove.

Exercises for Mastering Double Paradiddle

Exercise 1: Alternating Accents: Focus on dynamic control by accenting different strokes of the double paradiddle: RlRlRr LrLrLl. This will help in mastering the nuances of volume within the rudiment.

Exercise 2: Cymbal Integration: Distribute the double paradiddle between the snare and hi-hat or ride cymbal. Emphasize the ‘RR’ and ‘LL’ on the cymbals to create a more diverse sonic texture.

Exercise 3: Foot Coordination: Challenge your limb independence by including bass drum notes. For example, place a kick with every ‘R’ or ‘L’: (B)R(L)RLRR (B)L(R)LRL(L).

Exercise 4: Tempo Building: Start playing the double paradiddle at a slow pace, gradually speeding up while ensuring each stroke remains clean and even. This practice is key to mastering the rudiment at different tempos.

Wrap Up

Mastering the double paradiddle is an essential part of any drummer’s journey, enhancing versatility and control. The exercises presented extend beyond simple repetition, pushing you to integrate dynamics, incorporate melodic elements with cymbals, and develop coordination with foot patterns. 

As you delve into these practices, you’ll find the double paradiddle becoming an instinctive part of your playing, ready to be called upon whether you’re driving a groove or crafting a complex solo. Keep the rhythm flowing, and let the double paradiddle be a testament to your evolving drumming narrative.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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