Single Paradiddle - Drum Rudiment

The single paradiddle was one of the patterns chosen to take part in the 26 American Drum Rudiments by members of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (N.A.R.D.) in 1936. In 1984, the 26 drum rudiments were joined by 14 other drum rudiments, giving birth to the 40 International Drum Rudiments.

The single paradiddle opens a lot of cool possibilities when applied to the drum set, since it enables you to easily alternate between hands. The word "paradiddle" in the name of a rudiment means that that particular pattern has two single strokes (para) followed by one set of doubles (diddle). The word "single" in this case, means there's one set of singles for each set of doubles. Thus, you can count the single paradiddle as such: R (par) L (a) R (did) R (dle) L (par) R (a) L (did) L (dle). Since the single paradiddle is a combination of single strokes and doubles strokes, it's essential for you to learn how to play the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll before going through this lesson.

Single Paradiddle

Once you feel confident with the single paradiddle, you can move on to learn how to apply it to drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. The single paradiddle is broken up between the snare drum and the hi-hat here. The weaker hand is kept on the snare drum while the stronger hand plays the hi-hat. Once you've been through this beat as written, move the weaker hand to the hi-hat and the stronger hand to the snare drum, while keeping the same sticking pattern going. Play an accent on the snare drum on count 3 to make this a 16th note half-time drum beat instead. This is a great way of mixing things up.

Single Paradiddle #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note broken hi-hat/ride drum beat. This beat is very similar to the previous one. The snare drum pattern on exercise #1 was moved to the hi-hat here, while the hi-hat pattern was moved to the bow of the ride cymbal. The only thing that was kept the same were the snare shots on counts 2 and 4.

Single Paradiddle #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. This fill is mostly played on the snare drum. The only time that doesn't happen is when the first stroke on counts 2 and 4 is played on the hi-tom, and the first stroke on counts 1 and 3 is played on the floor tom. A cool way of changing things up a little bit is playing the double strokes on the bass drum instead.

Single Paradiddle #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note single paradiddle drum fill. This time around the first stroke of each single paradiddle is kept on the snare drum while the remaining ones are moved around the drums. As we've warned you on numerous other drum rudiments, playing consistent sounding double strokes on the floor tom is a great challenge. Check the lesson on the double stroke roll to learn some techniques that will enable you to play double strokes on soggy surfaces like the ones from toms.

Single Paradiddle #4

As you keep working through these drum rudiments, you'll find that all drum rudiments have the potential to become great sounding drum fills and drum beats. It all depends on how creative you can be with the drum rudiments. Drum rudiments are very useful for spicing up your drum solos as well. Adding drum rudiments to your drum solos is definitely a great idea.

Once you're able to play the single paradiddle and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the 40 drum rudiments. We encourage you to learn how to play the double paradiddle next.