The triple paradiddle is a drum rudiment that builds on the single paradiddle. If you’re familiar with the double paradiddle, this one adds to the progression by adding one more ‘right left’ at the beginning. You can use this rudiment in drum fills, beats, solos and rolls.
The triple paradiddle consists of four alternating single strokes followed by a single paradiddle.
You can sing it out loud: PAR-A-PAR-A-PAR-A-DI-DDLE.
This rudiment is a natural progression from the single and double paradiddle and flows nicely as you alternate hands. If you master the other paradiddles first, the triple paradiddle will probably come quickly to you.
Here’s what the triple paradiddle 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).
You’ll know you’ve mastered the triple paradiddle when it feels and sounds smooth and consistent. Both hands should eventually be equal in skill and you should be able to lead with your non-dominant hand.
If you’re struggling to grasp the pattern, try breaking it up differently in your mind: six alternating strokes followed by a double stroke.
Here are some tips for playing triple paradiddles.
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 you’re really playing the triple paradiddle 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.
If you’re a right-handed drummer, you probably default to starting triple paradiddles 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.
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!
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.
Once you’re comfortable playing this rudiment on a practice pad or a single drum, try moving the triple paradiddle to the drum set.
You can play this pattern on one drum or break it up between multiple surfaces. Here are some exercises to try.
Once you’ve worked through these, come up with your own ideas. Any surface can be part of the pattern! You could even try alternating triple paradiddles between your hands and your feet.
With enough solid practice, you should start feeling more confident in your playing. Nailing the triple paradiddle will give you more ideas for beats and fills, help you become a more well-rounded drummer, and give you even more ways to express yourself on the drums.
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