Basic pattern[edit | edit source]
This article is about the different permutations or variations of a drum rudiment called the Paradiddle. The paradiddle is one of the 40 Essential Drum Rudiments. The sticking for a paradiddle is: RLRRLRLL, where R=right hand, and L=left hand. It can be repeated as many times as needed. There are three permutations of the original paradiddle for a total of four permutations of the paradiddle. The term variation is used interchangeably with the word permutation. Click here to see a visual presentation of 9 common paradiddle variations
1st Permutation[edit | edit source]
The 1st permutation or variation starts with the diddle, or the double stroke. For example: RRLRLLRL. Whereas the original paradiddle is played with a single stroke on each hand followed by a double stroke, the 1st permutation starts with a double stroke on the right hand followed a single stroke on each hand, then, as you might notice after studying and playing the paradiddle long enough, it switches hands and the second half is a double stroke on the left hand followed by a single stroke on each hand. As with the original paradiddle, any permutation can be played over and over as long as necessary. Feel free to accent the first note of each four-note grouping. That should help with feeling the important quarter-note pulse.
2nd Permutation[edit | edit source]
As you may have guessed, the 2nd permutation or variation is made by just moving the double stroke to the 2nd and 3rd notes, such as: RLLRLRRL. In this variation the double stroke is in the middle of the four-note grouping. It starts with a single stroke played by the right hand and then a double stroke on the left hand, followed by another single stroke on the right hand. Then the second half of the permutation is just a mirror of the first half. So, the second half starts with a left-handed single stroke, then a right-handed double stroke followed by another single stroke on the left hand. Repeat it as many times as necessary. Again, accenting the first note of each four-note grouping will help solidify each variation.
3rd Permutation[edit | edit source]
The 3rd and last permutation is made by, you guessed it, moving the double stroke to the right one place. Whereas in the 2nd permutation the double stroke was on the 2nd and 3rd notes of each four-note grouping, the double strokes in this permutation are on the 1st and 4th notes of each four note grouping. For example: RLRLLRLR. It's not as easy to see how the double strokes land on the 1st and 4th notes of each four note grouping without repeating it. So, in order to see the double strokes let's repeat it two times: RLRLLRLRRLRLLRLR.
This permutation starts with three single strokes and then a double stroke on the left hand. That first four-note grouping is the only time where there are three single strokes in a row. If you look at the sticking you'll notice that after the first double stroke on the left hand there are only two single strokes in between each hand's double strokes. Once again, repeat as many times as necessary and try accenting the first note of each four-note grouping.
The best way to master these four different stickings is to start slow and then increase the tempo, but not before every note is perfectly even. If the tempo is increased before evenness is achieved then it probably will never sound even. All four sticking variations should also be started on the left hand. Just reverse the sticking. It's very important to do this. It will strengthen your left hand. If you are a left-handed drummer then it's important for you to practice each variation by starting it on the right hand, as shown in each variation.