Single Paradiddle

Learn To Play The Single Paradiddle Drum Rudiment!

The single paradiddle is one of the most popular drum rudiments. It opens a lot of cool possibilities on the drum set since it enables you to alternate easily between leading hands. The single paradiddle combines single strokes with double strokes. So learning how to play the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll drum rudiments before taking on the single paradiddle is essential.

Single Paradiddle

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, conveys the existence of one set of singles for each set of doubles. Thus, you can count the single paradiddle as 16th notes, or like so: R(par) L(a) R(did) R(dle) L(par) R(a) L(did) L(dle).

Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. The single paradiddle is scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The single paradiddle is started on the hi-hat so you can hit the backbeat on the snare drum. Each hand is assigned to a specific instrument. Once you have the hands happening, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3.

Single Paradiddle #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note broken hi-hat/ride drum beat. The single paradiddle is mainly spread between the bow of the ride cymbal and the hi-hat. The only exceptions to that can be found on counts 2 and 4, when the weaker hand moves to the snare drum to play two shots. Once you have the hands happening, add the bass drum on all quarter notes.

Single Paradiddle #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. There's a single paradiddle for each count. 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. Once you've mastered this drum fill as written, you can change it up a little bit by playing the double strokes on the bass drum with the foot instead.

Single Paradiddle #3

Exercise #4 is another single paradiddle 16th note drum fill. The single strokes are spread between the snare drum and hi-tom on counts 1 and 3, and between the snare drum and the floor tom on counts 2 and 4. The doubles are kept on the same surface for each count – floor tom on counts 1 and 3, and hi-tom on counts 2 and 4.

Single Paradiddle #4

Once you're able to play the single paradiddle and the exercises herein accurately, you can keep challenging yourself by learning how to play new drum rudiments. We encourage you to check the free drum lesson on the double paradiddle next.