Ed's Paradiddle Cymbal Accents & Variations

Ed Shaughnessy is one of the greatest big band, show, jazz, and all-around drummers of all time. Featured as the drummer in The Tonight Show Orchestra for 30 years, His ability to make great music with anyone from virtually any genre is unparalleled. A must-watch video is his incredible Tonight Show featured duet with Buddy Rich.

One of the things I noticed about his playing was his amazing flourishes around the drums and cymbals at the end of a burning big band chart. It appeared as though he played paradiddles and accents between his two crash cymbals. Years ago, I copied this move, and still play it today.

Ex. 1 is a basic paradiddle. Ex. 2 illustrates the paradiddle accents. Ex. 3 adds the bass drum to the accents. Ex 4 adds the cymbals to the pattern. Ex. 5 is my variation, moving the right hand to the high and low toms. Ex. 6 is a two-bar pattern between the toms. Ex. 7 is this paradiddle pattern as a triplet. Ex. 8 adds the cymbal and bass drum accent to the pattern in triplets. I hope you will enjoy this Ed Shaughnessy—inspired set of exercises, and enjoy his many video, audio, and live appearances. Thanks, Ed, for so many years of your incredible playing and inspiration!

DRUM! Notation Guide

Danny Gottlieb