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Single Paradiddle

The single paradiddle is one of the most popular drum rudiments. It opens a lot of cool possibilities on the drum set, since it enables you to alternate easily between leading hands. The single paradiddle is one of the few drum rudiments that almost every drummer on the planet knows how to play. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to play the single paradiddle, and how to apply it to the drum set through a couple of creative drum beats and drum fills.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the single paradiddle combines single strokes with double strokes. Therefore, learning how to play the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll beforehand will have you mastering the single paradiddle a lot faster.

The word “paradiddle” in the name of a rudiment means that that particular pattern has two single strokes (para) followed by one set of doubles (diddle). The word “single” conveys the existence of one set of singles for each set of doubles. Thus, you can count the single paradiddle as 16th notes, or like so: R(par) L(a) R(did) R(dle) L(par) R(a) L(did) L(dle).

Drum Beats

Exercise #1 is a cool 16th note funk drum beat. The single paradiddle is played between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The left hand plays snare shots on counts 2 and 4, and ghost notes, while the right hand plays normal volume strokes on the hi-hat. Once you have the hands happening, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3.

Exercise #2 is a 16th note broken hi-hat/ride drum beat. For the most part, the single paradiddle is spread between the bow of the ride cymbal and the hi-hat. The only exceptions to that can be found on counts 2 and 4 when the left hand moves to the snare drum to play some shots. Once you have the hands happening, add the bass drum on all quarter notes.

The bass drum patterns on these single paradiddle drum beats are fairly simple. Once you’ve mastered these drum beats as notated, use some of your favorite bass drum patterns instead.

Drum Fills

Exercise #3 is a very typical single paradiddle 16th note drum fill. The majority of strokes are played on the snare drum. The only exceptions are the ones on counts 1 and 3, which are performed on the floor tom; and the ones on counts 2 and 4, which are played on the hi-tom.

Exercise #4 is another single paradiddle 16th note drum fill. In this exercise, the single strokes are scattered around the drums – snare and hi-tom on counts 1 and 3, and snare and floor tom on counts 2 and 4. The double strokes are kept on the same surface for each count – floor tom on counts 1 and 3, and hi-tom on counts 2 and 4.

Stay on this free drum lesson as long as you want to, and most importantly, as long as you need to. If you’d like to keep working on new patterns that include the single paradiddle, check the free drum lesson “Single Paradiddle Applications” to learn how Jared Falk’s twisted mind works when it comes to applying the single paradiddle around the drum set. If you’d like to keep on learning more about the paradiddle family of drum rudiments, then go to the free drum lesson on the double paradiddle next.