Paradiddle Polyrhythms

By Matt Byrne Originally Published In DRUM! Magazine's February 2009 Issue

I would like to take the opportunity to turn all you aspiring drummers onto the concept of paradiddle polyrhythms. This is an exercise highlighted in the book Polyrhythmic Potential, written by Chris Pennie and Joe Bergamini. This is a killer book, and should be a new staple in your instructional book collection. The basic principle behind this concept is taking the single paradiddle rudiment as applied on a kick, snare, and hi-hat, and moving the accents around in the measure to create different polyrhythmic groupings. The sticking never changes, only the placement of accents. The following examples are four-, five-, six-, and seven-note groupings that play out in 4/4, 3/4, 5/4, 6/4, and 7/4 time. Just as the book says, “Each of these groupings creates the illusion that you are playing in a time signature other than the one you're actually playing in.” Check ’em out.

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