Single Dragadiddle Up To Speed

Tiger Bill: The Single Dragadiddle

Gladstone Approach To Single Dragadiddle-Off And On The Drumset

Over the last few lessons we've been working some of the drum rudiments for speed and control, then applying them to the drumset in groove and fill patterns. This month we continue the series with the Single Dragadiddle. While not one of the original Standard 26 American Rudiments, the Single Dragadiddle is now on the list of the 40 Percussive Arts Society International Drum Rudiments.

The drag is one of those rudiments that can be played open or closed depending upon the sound you want and the musical context. In orchestral playing, the drag is usually played closed where it is produced using a short buzz. In drum corps style, it is played open with two single taps on the same hand using a wrist followed by a finger stroke. Refer to the video for a demonstration of both styles. As shown in the written example below, I use my wrists to produce the drag (when playing the orchestral buzz version) along with the next two strokes and a finger for the final stroke. This is then repeated with the sticking reversed. When practicing slowly it's OK to play with the sticks a bit higher from the drum but when going for speed, keep the sticks as close to the drum as possible. Practice very slowly at first and repeat it until it becomes second nature. This helps to build it into your muscle memory.

On the second half of the video, I give you an example of how you can apply Single Dragadiddle sticking to produce both grooves and fill patterns on the drumset. The first exercise (shown written below) uses the Single Dragadiddle as a groove. Note that playing the hi-hat closed requires your foot to be held down on the hi-hat pedal when playing the closed strokes (+) and your foot lets the pedal up when playing the open strokes (o). The second exercise shows the use of the Single Dragadiddle in a fill around the drumset. Be sure to use only Single Dragadiddle sticking when applying this rudiment to the drumset.

Video Lesson

When practicing the Single Dragadiddle, be sure to follow my wrist-finger suggestions written below and, in more depth, on the video itself. Also, strive to get the same sound from both right and left hand drags.

Single Dragadiddle Music

Drag Both Ways and Combine Grooves with Fills

Practice the Single Dragadiddle two ways: open, as if the drag itself was made up of two distinct taps, and closed by playing the drag as a short buzz or crush roll.

Once you have perfected my example groove and fill exercises separately, simulate an actual musical situation by playing the groove for three bars followed by the fill for one bar. Then mix it up and practice playing one bar of groove followed by one bar of fill, etc. Once you feel comfortable playing my patterns, feel free to make up your own but be sure to use Single Dragadiddle sticking only. If you come up with something that you really like, write it down in your notebook for future use.

If you have questions on this month's lesson or would like more info on my Tension Free Drumming methods, visit me at

Until next time, have fun and stay loose!

Tiger Bill Meligari

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