Regardless of where you are on your drumming journey, there are two things you’re constantly playing: basic eighth-note grooves and single paradiddles. Now that you can play with a solid foundation and deep pocket, you can incorporate a single paradiddle between the hi-hat or ride and snare drum to change up the groove.
Start oﬀ by placing your dominant hand on the hi-hat and non-dominate hand on the snare drum. Play two single paradiddles in a row and add a kick drum to the very first note. Rest on beats three and four so you can reset before trying the pattern again.
Since you’re playing the paradiddle in 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 a slight accent to the first note of each paradiddle. Rest for the second measure before trying the pattern again.
Now it’s time to put this into context. Play the groove in a four-measure loop and play a fill for beats three and four of the fourth measure. The goal is to have a fluid transition between the groove to the fill, then back into the groove.
Simply adding the single paradiddle to a basic eighth-note groove changes the groove without becoming a distraction. Try it for yourself by taking your favorite eighth-note groove and incorporating the single paradiddle. Check out the attached pdf for 40 variations of this concept to try as well!
Nick 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 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 PA Department of Education as they created and implemented the current state-wide “Modern Band” curriculum. Nick has written and recorded lessons for Modern Drummer magazine and Rhythm! Scene, and he is an active session musician engineering and recording drum tracks remotely from his studio. For more information, visit nickcostamusic.com.