Top Speed With The Single Paradiddle-Diddle

Mastering The Single Paradiddle Diddle

Ready to speed up your rudiments? This month we continue our series of building speed and applying rudiments around the drumset with the Single Paradiddle-Diddle. While it wasn't one of the original Standard 26 American Rudiments, it is now on the list of the 40 Percussive Arts Society International Drum Rudiments.

Practice the Sticking First

When executing Single Paradidle-Diddles, I've found that a combination of wrist and finger technique provides me with the maximum in speed, endurance, power, and precision. As shown in the written example below, I use my wrists for the first three strokes followed by a finger stroke for the second of the two right hand taps in a row, a wrist stroke for the first left hand tap, and a finger for the second left hand tap in a row- RLRRLL = WWWFWF. When working for maximum speed you should keep both sticks as close to the drum as possible. Practice the Single Paradiddle-Diddle very slowly at first, without accents, and repeat it until it becomes second nature. Once it becomes part of your muscle memory, you'll find it easier to add the accents and gradually increase the speed. You should also practice the Single Paradiddle-Diddle with the reverse sticking: LRLLRR.

Ideally the Single Paradiddle-Diddle should sound very clean and precise, like straight single strokes, so strive for that sound when practicing.

Then... Move it to the Drumset

Now you should practice applying what you've learned to the drumset in both groove and fill applications.

Exercise #1 (shown written below) is an example of the Single Paradiddle-Diddle 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 (opening the cymbals) when playing the open strokes (o). Exercise #2 shows the use of the Single Paradiddle-Diddle in a fill around the drumset. In this drill, note that your foot alone closes the hi-hats on the + and splashes the cymbals together on the o. Be sure to use only Single Paradiddle-Diddle sticking when applying this rudiment to the drumset.

Video Lesson

For best results and maximum speed, be sure to follow my wrist-finger suggestions written in the music notation and shown on the video.

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Tiger Bill Meligari Single Paradiddle Diddle

Play it Clean!

Once you become comfortable with the examples, I encourage you to get creative and experiment with the Single Paradiddile-Diddle sticking both in grooves and fills.

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

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