As I established in my first article (September 2021 R!S), there are four forms of the single paradiddle:
Root Position: R L R R – L R L L
First Inversion: R R L R – L L R L
Second Inversion: R L L R – L R R L
Third Inversion: R L R L – L R L R
For obvious reasons, most of us tend to practice each form starting directly on the downbeat. The following exercises demonstrate how to play each form starting at various positions along the beat with sixteenth notes as well as eighth-note triplets.
Root Position Sixteenth Notes
Root Position Triplets
First Inversion Sixteenth Notes
First Inversion Triplets
Second Inversion Sixteenth Notes
Second Inversion Triplets
Third Inversion Sixteenth Notes
Third Inversion Triplets
If you’ve never tried practicing the paradiddles as notated here, you may find the exercises quite awkward, but like any new and unfamiliar exercise, comfort comes with practice and time. I assure you, overcoming the problems associated with these exercises will allow you to gain much greater control in the use of each of the four forms of the single paradiddle.
Joel Rothman is the writer and publisher of almost 100 drum and percussion books. They can all be found on his website (www.joelrothman.com), or you can contact Joel at email@example.com.