The name of this rudiment explains it all: it’s a paradiddle that starts with a drag. However, take note that rather than playing two grace notes before the paradiddle kicks in, the drag replaces the first note of the paradiddle.
Bounce that first note and you’re off to the races.
Here’s what the dragadiddle sounds like:
You can use this tool to practice along at the tempo that’s best for you (it’s the one Drumeo members use when practicing with the 3000+ play-along tracks inside our members area).
The biggest challenge is getting the double bounce (drag) on the first note of every paradiddle. Make sure your paradiddles and drags are tight before working on this rudiment.
Here are some tips that’ll help you play smoother, more consistent dragadiddles.
When you’re first learning how to play something, it’s fine to test it out without a metronome as you get used to the pattern. But you shouldn’t go click-free for long. The metronome will help you develop a better internal clock and show you exactly where the timing of your strokes is inconsistent (or where it’s right on the grid).
You can buy a physical metronome at a music store or download a metronome app online.
While it might be tempting to get up to speed as quickly as possible – especially if you’re feeling confident – make sure each of your drags sounds like two separate notes and that your technique is solid.
Be honest with yourself and don’t increase the tempo until you’ve really got it down. Don’t just say “it’s good enough”. Develop control first, and speed will come later.
Try setting your metronome to 60 BPM, then slowly work your way up 5 BPM at a time.
If you’re a right-handed drummer, you probably default to starting everything with your right hand. Even though the dragadiddle alternates naturally, make sure you practice starting the whole pattern with your weaker side. This will give you more confidence and control when starting with either hand.
It’s easiest to correct your posture or grip immediately if you’re watching yourself in a mirror. Try to set up a practice pad and a snare stand in front of a full length mirror if you can.
You’ll be able to notice if you’re gripping your sticks too hard, or if your stick height doesn’t look right. Use your reflection as a window into how you’re doing. It’s like becoming your own drum teacher!
While playing in front of a mirror will help you fix issues on the fly, you might not realize during your practice when something is wrong. Sometimes we don’t notice issues while we’re in the middle of playing – especially if we’re concentrating hard.
Whether you’re propping your phone on your dresser or capturing it all with a camera and tripod, it’s helpful to watch your practice sessions and critique yourself from a ‘third party’ perspective.
We’ve put together a playlist with drumless tracks at different tempos so you can practice this rudiment over real music:
Once you’re comfortable playing it on a practice pad, try it around the drum set. Here are some exercises to get started.
Any surface can be part of the pattern!
With enough solid practice, you should start feeling more confident in your playing. The single dragadiddle sets you up nicely to learn drag paradiddle #1, which uses skills you’ve already developed.
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