What Is a Paradiddle Drums and Their Importance in Music?

Newcomers quite often have a question about what is a paradiddle for drums. A Paradiddle is a simple drum rudiment comprised of four notes played in a specific order. Each note within a paradiddle rudiment is played on a different drum, within a single hand. As a result, a paradiddle is often thought of as a combination of four single strokes, where the hand switches from one drum to another, and back again (for a total of 8 strokes).

Drum rudiments are used to practice and play rhythm patterns. They can be used in any style of music, whether it’s rock, country, jazz, or even classical music. Drum rudiments are also used in drum set patterns and drum solos. That’s why it’s important for you to know how to play a paradiddle.

The paradiddle is the first rudiment that drummers learn, and is the foundation of many other rudiments; drummers typically learn the paradiddle first and then progress on to more difficult rudiments. Learning the paradiddle can be broken down into a few steps:

While the paradiddle drumming is a very simple rudiment, there are several ways to play them (as well as several variations of these basic paradiddles), and it is important to know the difference between them. This will ensure that you are using the proper technique, and are playing the correct paradiddle.

The Most Common Paradiddles

The paradiddle drum fills an important place in music. In my opinion, you should learn to play at least four of the most common pattern (RLL, LRL, RLRL, LRRR). Here’s a breakdown of how to play them on the drums:

RLL

RLL is the easiest paradiddle to play. There are no triplets in it, just simple single strokes.

To play RLL, start with the right hand on the floor tom (or a snare if you’re not using a double pedal). Then, play a single stroke on your ride cymbal. Then, bring your right hand back to the floor tom and play a single stroke again. Next, bring your right hand to the snare and play a single stroke.

After that, bring your right hand back to the ride cymbal and play a single stroke. And, then bring your right hand back to the floor tom and play a single stroke. In total, you’ll play five strokes with the right hand and one stroke with the left hand.

LRL

LRL is the same as the RLL paradiddle pattern except for the left-hand plays doubles instead of singles.

To play LRL, start with the left hand on the floor tom (or a snare if you’re not using a double pedal). Then, play a double stroke on your ride cymbal. Then, bring your left hand back to the floor tom and play a double stroke again. Next, bring your left hand to the snare and play a double stroke.

After that, bring your left hand back to the ride cymbal and play a double stroke. And, then bring your left hand back to the floor tom and play a double stroke. In total, you’ll play five strokes with the left hand and one stroke with the right hand.

RLRL

RLRL is a bit more difficult than the previous paradiddles drums because it has three notes in the right and left hand.

To play RLRL, start with the right hand on the floor tom (or a snare if you’re not using a double pedal). Then, play three single strokes on your ride cymbal. Then, bring your right hand back to the floor tom and play three single strokes again. Next, bring your right hand to the snare and play three single strokes.

After that, bring your right hand back to the ride cymbal and play three single strokes. And, then bring your right hand back to the floor tom and play three single strokes. In total, you’ll play nine strokes with the right hand and three strokes with the left hand.

LRRR

LRRR is the most difficult of the most common paradiddles. It has four notes in the right and left hand.

To play LRRR, start with the right hand on the floor tom (or a snare if you’re not using a double pedal). Then, play four single strokes on your ride cymbal. Then, bring your right hand back to the floor tom and play four single strokes again. Next, bring your right hand to the snare and play four single strokes.

After that, bring your right hand back to the ride cymbal and play four single strokes. And, then bring your right hand back to the floor tom and play four single strokes. In total, you’ll play 13 strokes with the right hand and four strokes with the left hand.

The most common paradiddle tap is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning how to play the drums.

Paradiddle Practice

Paradiddle Drums are the most common rudiments to be used in drum solos and drum fills. The paradiddle is an excellent rudiment to learn. As with many other things, it takes a lot of practice to play the paradiddle correctly. I hope I was able to answer the question of how to do a paradiddle and give some important tips. Do you know how to play the paradiddle? How long did it take you to learn? You’re welcome to ask questions in the comments if something is not clear enough.

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