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Single Paradiddle-Diddle

How To Play A Paradiddle-Diddle

The paradiddle-diddle is a simple and useful drum rudiment you can hear in jazz drumming, rock drumming and more. Whether you’re adding it to drum fills, beats or solos, it has a triplet feel and a great flow to it.

paradiddle-diddle drum rudiment notation
The paradiddle-diddle

What is a paradiddle-diddle?

The paradiddle-diddle consists of a single paradiddle followed by a double stroke (“diddle”). It’s played how it sounds!

You can sing it out loud: PAR-A-DI-DDLE-DI-DDLE.

This rudiment is a natural progression from the paradiddle and flows nicely as you alternate hands. You should master the paradiddle before learning the paradiddle-diddle.

Here’s what the paradiddle-diddle sounds like in 6/8:

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).

Click here if you want to learn how to read drum music

Tips for playing paradiddle-diddles

Your paradiddle-diddles should feel and sound smooth and consistent, and both hands should be able to execute them without issue. Your right and left hand should be just as strong and you should be able to lead with your non-dominant hand. 

Here are some tips for playing paradiddle-diddles.

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Practice with a metronome

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.

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Start slow

While it might be tempting to get up to speed as quickly as possible – especially if you’re feeling confident – make sure you’re really playing the paradiddle-diddle well before you increase the tempo.

Be honest with yourself and don’t move on until you’ve truly got it down. Don’t just say “it’s good enough”. Develop control first, and speed will come later. 

Try starting with your metronome set to 60 BPM and then slowly work your way up 5 BPM at a time.

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Alternate your lead hand

If you’re a right-handed drummer, you probably default to starting paradiddle-diddles with your right hand.

Even though this rudiment naturally alternates the lead hand, you’d be surprised how different it feels starting the whole run with the other side.

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Practice in front of a mirror

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.

Maybe your strokes don’t look even. Maybe the height of your right stick doesn’t match the height of your left. You might even notice you’re gripping your left hand too hard. Use your reflection as a window into how you’re doing. It’s like becoming your own drum teacher!

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Film yourself practicing

While playing in front of a mirror will help you fix issues on the fly, you might not realize when something is wrong during your practice session. 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:

How to play a paradiddle-diddle on the drums

Once you’re comfortable playing paradiddle-diddles on a practice pad or a single drum, try moving it over to the drum set. 

You can play this pattern on one drum or break it up between multiple surfaces. Here are some exercises you can try.


Once you’ve worked through these exercises, come up with your own ideas. Any surface can be part of the pattern! You could even try alternating paradiddle-diddles between your hands and your feet.

Songs that use the paradiddle-diddle

Learn these tunes to get comfortable with this rudiment in practice:

“Heart Of The Sunrise” – Yes

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“Heart Of The Sunrise” by Yes

Ghost notes on the snare add nice dynamics to this paradiddle-diddle section.

What’s next?

With enough solid practice, you should start feeling more confident in your playing. From drum beats, rolls and fills to solos, mastering the paradiddle-diddle will set you up for success as a well-rounded drummer.

If you’re enjoying this rudiment, you should also learn the double paradiddle or the triple paradiddle.


Download a free rudiments poster PDF here

Free Drum Rudiments PDF Poster Drumeo scaled

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