Mastering Single Paradiddle in Less Than 10 Minutes

November 15, 2023

How to play a single paradiddle may seem complex at first glance, but it’s truly a stepping stone to mastering your drum skills. I remember the initial struggle, the feeling of juggling sticks, but with patience and practice, it became second nature. And I’m here to guide you through it.

By the end of this article, you’ll appreciate how this simple rudiment can revolutionize your drumming technique and creativity.

Quick recap for the hurried: A single paradiddle is a pattern of four notes, typically notated as RLRR LRLL.

Stick with me, and let’s crack the code of the single paradiddle together.

What is a Single Paradiddle?

A single paradiddle is a percussion rudiment that is essential for developing fluid stick technique. It’s a combination of single and double strokes in a specific order, which allows for speed and versatility when playing various drumming patterns.

How to Play a Single Paradiddle

Playing a single paradiddle requires a mix of control and finesse:

  • Begin slowly: Focus on the RLRR LRLL sticking pattern, making sure each hit is deliberate and even.
  • Strive for consistency: The goal is to have all strokes sound the same in volume and tone.
  • Lead with both hands: Practice starting the pattern with your right hand (RLRR LRLL), then with your left (LRLL RLRR) to build symmetry.
  • Use a metronome: Consistently practice with a metronome, gradually increasing speed as you gain confidence and control.

This foundational pattern is a vital skill that, once mastered, will serve as a springboard to more complex drumming techniques.

Different Versions

Single Paradiddle Variations:
The single paradiddle is ripe for creative variations. While the traditional pattern (RLRR LRLL) serves as the backbone, you can mix it up:

  • Accented Paradiddle: Accent the first note of each set: Rlrr Lrll, adding emphasis and dynamic.
  • Flam Paradiddle: Add a flam on the first note: (R)Lrr (L)rll, for a more pronounced sound.

Exercises for Mastering Single Paradiddle

Exercise 1: Gradual Tempo Increase:
Start slowly, focusing on evenness and stick height. Gradually increase the tempo while maintaining control and clarity.

Exercise 2: Accent Shifting:
Move the accent through different notes of the paradiddle. Example: Rlrr Lrll, rLrr lRll, rlRr lrLl, etc.

Exercise 3: Hand Separation:
Practice the paradiddle between the snare and a tom or cymbal, separating the strokes to different voices for coordination development.

Exercise 4: Dynamics Play:
Perform the single paradiddle at various dynamics, from pianissimo (very soft) to fortissimo (very loud), to enhance control. Important notice, keep unaccented notes quiet at all time.

Exercise 5: Metronome Displacement:
Play along with a metronome, but displace the paradiddle by one note with each repeat. This tests and improves your timing and rhythmic understanding.

Wrap Up

To wrap up, the single paradiddle isn’t just a rudiment—it’s a rhythmic tool that opens doors to a plethora of drumming possibilities. From the solid foundation of the standard RLRR LRLL pattern, we’ve explored variations and exercises that can transform your playing style. 

By incorporating these techniques into your practice routine, you’ll not only master the single paradiddle but also enhance your overall drumming skills. So take these concepts, hit the practice room, and let every paradiddle pave the way to your drumming excellence.

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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