By Danny Gottlieb Originally Published In DRUM! Magazine's October 2009 Issue
One of my favorite rudimental variations for jazz is playing a paradiddle as a triplet. I first discovered this in Joe Morello’s long out-of-print masterpiece, Rudimental Jazz (which I hope he will revise and reissue in the near future!) Ex. 1 shows the paradiddle as a triplet, with standard paradiddle sticking. A fun coordination variation, shown to me by the brilliant Dutch percussionist Martin Verdonk, is illustrated in Ex. 2, which adds the clave pattern under the paradiddle, which is played by the bass drum (Martin plays this on congas, with the left foot playing the clave on a cow bell with a pedal).
Another jazz hero, Jack DeJohnette often plays paradiddle as triplet variations as well, and the following are two of my exercises inspired by Jack. Ex. 3 illustrates the same paradiddle, but with the bass drum playing the accents, and the snare sticking for the other notes remaining the same. In Ex. 4 we keep the same pattern, but move the hands between the toms. These fun examples can be used for both soloing and comping, and I hope you will use them as a basis for your own creative experimentation.
Danny Gottlieb has played with Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, the NDR Big Band, and is currently a member of Gary Sinise’s Lt Dan Band (ltdanband.com). He is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University Of North Florida. dannygottlieb.org