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Groove of the Month: Paradiddle Grooves: Variation 2 by Nick Costa

Nov 19, 2022, 08:00 AM by Rhythm Scene Staff

Regardless of where you are on your drumming journey, there are two things you’re constantly playing: basic eighth-note grooves and single paradiddles. In the July Groove of the Month, you learned how to incorporate the single paradiddle into basic eighth-note grooves. Now that you can play with a solid foundation and deep pocket, you can incorporate a variation of the single to change up the groove even more.

Begin by placing your dominant hand on the hi-hat and non-dominant hand on the snare drum. Play two paradiddle variations in a row and add a kick drum to the very first note. Rest on beats 3 and 4 so you can reset before trying the pattern again.


Since you’re playing the paradiddle variation using a sixteenth-note subdivision, play the pattern two times in a row to complete the measure. To make it sound more like a groove, add an accent to the first note of each paradiddle variation. Rest for the second measure before trying the pattern again.


Now it’s time to put this pattern into context. Play the groove in a four-measure loop, and play a fill for beats 3 and 4 of the fourth measure. The goal is to have a fluid transition from groove to the fill and back into the groove again.


Simply adding the paradiddle variation to a basic eighth-note pattern changes the groove without becoming a distraction. Try it for yourself by taking your favorite eighth-note groove and incorporating this paradiddle variation. Below you’ll find lots of examples to get you started!


Paradiddle Grooves: Variation 2 by Nick Costa from Percussive Arts Society on Vimeo.

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Nick CostaNick Costa is an educator based out of Philadelphia, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) candidate, and a member of the PAS Drum Set Committee. He is also an independent drummer, clinician, and drum technician, with both national and international touring experience. Nick’s primary focus as an educator is in drum set, and he teaches over 150 students weekly throughout the greater Philadelphia region. He has provided ways to integrate drum set studies into K–12 music curriculum for the School District of Philadelphia, and was a consultant for the PAS Education Committee as they created and implemented the current state-wide “Modern Band” curriculum. Nick has written and recorded lessons for Modern Drummer magazine, PAS Rhythm! Scene, and is an active session musician engineering and recording drum tracks remotely from his studio. For more information, visit

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