Morello Speed Paradiddles

My teacher, Joe Morello, studied with Stick Control author George Lawrence Stone, and over the years has developed an incredible variety of variations based on the book. I have adapted one of my favorites to work on a specific jazz problem: the ability to play fast tempos on the ride cymbal. Joe basically takes the first three pages of Stick Control, and for every eighth-note of the exercise, has students play a paradiddle with that hand.

Ex. 1 illustrates a repeated right-handed paradiddle, Ex. 2 a repeated left-handed paradiddle. When you have a stick-control exercise like Ex. 3 – four rights and four lefts – you play it as in Ex. 4: four right-handed paradiddles and four left. While Joe designed it for the pad, if you move the right hand to the cymbal, there’s your ride cymbal pattern. Ex 5 illustrates moving the right hand to the cymbal. And, if you start slowly and develop speed and control, you can really use this exercise to develop a ride-cymbal beat that can be played at fast tempos, as well as develop control of the ride cymbal at all tempos. I have found it incredibly helpful. Good luck and for more info please refer to Joe’s book, Master Studies II: More Exercises For The Development Of Control And Technique.