The single paradiddle-diddle is the last pattern from the paradiddle family of drum rudiments and the main pattern featured in the “Motown drum fill” – one of the greatest drum fills of all time, which was made famous by the great late Motown house drummer “Benny” Benjamin. The single paradiddle-diddle incorporates features from the single paradiddle and the double paradiddle. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron takes the single paradiddle-diddle to the practice pad and breaks it down for you, so you can see exactly how to execute it. He then takes the single paradiddle-diddle to the drum set to demo a couple of drum beats and drum fills that make use of it.
The single paradiddle-diddle is a single paradiddle with an extra double stroke right after it – R(par) L(a) R(did) R(dle) L(did) L(dle). Like the double paradiddle, it’s mostly played as 8th note triplets and 16th note triplets. Therefore, learning how to play the single paradiddle and the double paradiddle before taking on the single paradiddle-diddle will do wonders for you.
The single paradiddle-diddle does not alternate naturally within itself. Practice this rudiment leading with both hands. Use a practice pad and a metronome to help you focus on technique and timing. Stay relaxed while practicing and take your time in learning the single paradiddle-diddle accurately.
Exercise #1 is an 8th note triplet half-time drum beat with a broken hi-hat shuffle pattern. The single paradiddle-diddle is scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The right hand plays the hi-hat, and a snare shot on count 3. The left hand is kept on the snare drum playing ghosted notes, while the bass drum is played on counts 1 and 3. This is a really cool pattern to spice up your shuffle playing.
Exercise #2 has the single paradiddle-diddle scattered between the bow of the ride cymbal, the hi-hat, and the snare drum. The right hand plays the bow of the ride cymbal and the snare drum on count 3, while the left hand stays on the hi-hat. Once you’ve mastered the hands, add the bass drum on count 1 and you’re set.
Exercise #3 is 12/8 time signature drum fill that incorporates the single paradiddle-diddle. The doubles are played on the hi-tom and on the snare drum, while the singles are spread between the mid-tom and the floor tom.
Exercise #4 is another single paradiddle-diddle based drum fill that’s played in 12/8 time signature. Mastering this pattern can be a bit of a challenge, since some of the doubles are played on the floor tom. You’ll have to work extra hard to get those doubles to sound even. This means you’ll have to put in the time to develop your forearm muscles and your fingers, to help compensate for the lack of rebound you get from a floor tom.
Once you’re done with the drum beats and drum fills from this free drum lesson, you can move on to learn how to play patterns from a different family of drum rudiments. We encourage you to learn how to play the flam and the drag ruff next.