By Tiger Bill Meligari
In the previous lesson, our workout consisted of permutating both single and double accents across the single paradiddle. If you missed it, please go back and work on Single Paradiddle Accent Grid — Part 1 before attempting this one.
This time, we’re taking our single paradiddle accent grid to the drum set where it takes on a whole new dynamic. It also brings a higher level of difficulty, due to the fact that we now have to move around the drums while executing paradiddle sticking and maintaining two distinct dynamic levels. While you may be able to reach a certain speed on your practice pad or on a single drum, maintaining that speed while moving around the drum set is entirely different. Don’t be discouraged if you have to slow down a bit when moving your practice pad drills over to the drum set. Eventually, you will be able to negotiate both a single surface and drum set with equal speed and dexterity.
Study the notation below before viewing the demo. Note that all accents are played on the toms while all unaccented notes are played on the snare. When you watch the video, you’ll see that I move around the drums with the same freedom from tension as when I play on a single surface. Moving around the kit with ease requires a lot of regular practice. I suggest using a metronome and starting at a slow tempo. Write your starting tempo in a notebook. Every time you raise the tempo, update your notebook. The problem with many drummers is that they are in a rush to play fast and end up playing fast but sloppy. The key to playing fast and clean, while remaining loose and relaxed, is to start very slowly and gradually increase the tempo. Stop at any sign of tension, shake your muscles out, and start again at a notch or two slower until you can finish your exercises without developing tension. This will very likely take a number of months to accomplish but, trust me, it will be well worth your time and effort!
Reverse Sticking For Additional Practice
Once you can perform these exercises cleanly and up to speed around the drum set, work on them with the stickings reversed. The key is to become as comfortable and relaxed while moving around the drum set and with either hand lead, as you are when playing on a single surface. Beware of falling into the habit of over-practicing on a pad and under-practicing on your drum set. I know a lot of drummers who can play a great pad but not such a great drum set!
If you have any questions or comments on this lesson, please leave them for me below. I’ll be sure to get back to you.
Until next time: Have fun and stay loose!
Tiger Bill Meligari