Lessons

Paradiddle-diddle Fills

By Wally Schnalle Originally Published in DRUM! Magazine's May 2005 Issue

Wally Schnalle is the Music Editor for DRUM! Magazine as well as a drummer, composer, and teacher based in the San Francisco bay area. He has released three solo albums, and has performed with Eddie Gale, Francis Wong, Ernie Watts, and the San Jose Symphony Orchestra.

Paradiddle-diddles are a handy little pattern. The main reason is that, as you can see in Ex. 1, the paradiddle-diddle ends with two double strokes. When executed cleanly, it’s actually less work than all singles and you get new melodic content. They can of course be played right- or left-hand lead, but here we are using them with a right-hand lead.

The fills contained here are just some starter ideas. Play your own groove for the first part of these four-bar phrases, then as you play the written fill, don’t forget to keep your hi-hat going and keep the time solid. Once you’ve learned the paradiddle-diddle pattern you should re-orchestrate it in as many as possible ways and in a variety of rhythmic environments.

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