Applying Paradiddles To The Drum-Set

Applying Paradiddles To The Drum-Set


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92 comments on “Applying Paradiddles To The Drum-Set

  1. Kevin Haigh says:

    I’m a beginner no kit yet ..
    I’d like an Roland td30 but can’t strech there do td25itll have to be!!

    Help me here .. I’m 58 years old and
    Wanting to drum

  2. Jason says:

    I have a hard time playing a paradiddle and NOT accenting the quarter notes.

    • Stephen says:

      That’s so hard isn’t it!?!? I had a hard time with that myself back in the day. It took me focusing on accenting the other notes in the pattern for a while.

  3. Jay Penland says:

    This tutorial you did entirely sold me. I plan on joining. Would like to ask some questions

  4. Izzy says:

    Awesome video, Stephen! Learned a lot. The way you teach is so good, it leaves me feeling as though, I can at least try that, and work on it! I love the idea of ‘zones!’ That’s a totally new term for me, but I can see it being very useful.

  5. Catherine says:

    Hi Steve,
    I am a beginner and only play on a rubber mat. I find it hard to hear the paradiddles when drummers play them so fast and also because the beats come on different drums.
    I’d like you to do a video on you saying ParaDiddle or paRadiDdle while you are playing fairly fast so that I can begin to identify where they are. When the RLK come in I get lost or I am a quarter note or more out.

    Can I also ask you if you always end on beat 1?


    • Stephen says:

      Hey Catherine…Yes, they get harder to hear at higher tempos. The more you practice them and allow your ear to “hear” them while you practice at slow tempos, the better you will become at hearing them at higher tempos. If you need a video some help with something specific, send an email to Happy to make whatever video you need to help.

      And no, I don’t always end on beat 1. But while you’re first learning this, I would keep it simple.

  6. Catherine says:

    This lesson on paradiddles was brilliant but at my stage I only got to 33:14 after which it was too fact to follow even at your slow speed!
    Great lesson though. Thank you very much.

    • Stephen says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Catherine! And just cut the lesson off before it starts getting confusing. You can come back to it later once you’ve mastered some other things. It will make better sense then.

  7. Eric says:

    This great stuff! I’ve trying to move paradiddles around the kit, with difficulty. Maybe because my basic single surface paradiddles aren’t very smooth. On 7/2/18, Jason commented on having difficulty not accenting the quarter notes,a nd I think accenting the other notes is good advice. Will anything besides the offbeat partial accenting help my problem?,which is the diddles timing gets “squished”, shortened, making them uneven.

    • Stephen says:

      Yea, so the main thing that will help those diddles getting squashed is improving your doubles. Sounds like you don’t have a particular issue with the paradiddle…sounds like you have an issue with doubles. I would troubleshoot that first. If you smooth those doubles out by themselves, the paradiddle issue will almost take care of itself. I know because I had the same struggle back in the day. Sorry for the delay in answer…Thanksgiving has me scrambling to catch up!

    • Doha Fahmy says:

      Thank you so much. Great lesson. I wonder if you can please help us with how strengthen the left hand. Thanks in advance.

  8. Chris says:

    Thank you Stephen for the worksheet on paradiddles. I love paradiddles, but I too find the accents a little difficult. I really have to slow the tempo down quite a bit so that I can feel the beat and slowly build up. The worksheets are great and very, very helpful. Where you have “Bonham Triplet,” what does the “K” stand for?

    • Stephen says:

      Sorry, I’m just now getting caught up from the holidays. My apologies it took so long to get back to you…You’re more than welcome Chris! The K stands for kick drum. Hope that helps!

  9. Jose Monnar says:

    You are a great drummer, and a great professor too!!!

  10. Jimmy says:

    Steve…..Great lesson!!! Thanks so much for doing this for us. So I downloaded the sheet music which is great and learned the fills no problem. But you know what’s REALLY sweet?? It’s that awesome little 2 bar Grove you throw in before the fill your teaching!!!! It starts at 23:45 into the video and rolls for 2 bars until you hit the fill. I tried to learn it by ear, but it’s too fast. I learn best with sheet music anyway.

    Would be amazing and awesome if you could transcribe that cool 2 bar Grove for us and post it so I can learn the Grove and then go right into the fill just the way you do. Assuming you have the time to do it.

    Thanks in advance for your help

    • Jimmy says:

      Ok. I captured your video and edited it down to that Grove and fill I liked. Then I slowed it down and worked on it for a few hours and learned it all by ear. It’s a very cool little rhythm. No need for the sheet music transcript anymore.

  11. Dana says:

    I have been searching for good online instruction, these free vids are super helpful with my inconsistencies as a drummer.
    Keep em coming sir!!

  12. Tsigbey Samuel says:

    I am a beginner drummer and trying to buy a drum pad for now.
    But learning drum notes especially the 30second notes is quite confusing to me and pls I would like you to help me

  13. william says:

    I could spend a lifetime on just this lesson. And at my age, I probably will.

  14. Brent Mandolph says:

    Great stuff. You are breaking down what we are hearing with all of these great drummers. You are literally giving us the vocabulary of drum playing….keep it up.

  15. Steve Wall says:

    You are a brilliant ambassador for the art, if only I didnt have 3 kids to feed then I could afford to be a student. The elite are lucky to have you, me Ill still learn but the hard way on the free u tube

  16. Gabriel says:

    Man this is fantastic! I watched like 10 times now, thank you very much for this Stephen! It’s a really great way to study, practice and create!

  17. Gaylyn Aitken says:

    I like your methodical style of teaching, it’s how we learn best and you’ve tapped into that. I’ve learn a lot, thank you. What I don’t like is your self answering questions. To me it feels patronising like your audience is slightly stupid…..where do you think we go next?

  18. Anne Astill says:

    Hi Stephen just wanted to say i am only just learning but i am absolutely enjoying your lessons, thank you

  19. Peter Herman says:

    Stephen, Great video and lesson. You recommended the Prometrnomeapp. Great app. No support anymore, no new releases since 4 (FOUR) years. The developer’s website is non existing and when you go there I got a warning that the website is possibly bad/not trustworthy. I have send the developer and email with some questions. No response at all.

  20. Dennis Smith says:

    Great lesson.

  21. Nick Ferrence says:

    Hey Stephen another very intriguing video. A few questions.

    1. Do I need to know all the rudiments to do this exercise?
    2. I guess I can have more than 5 zones if I have a larger kit?

    3. Can I learn songs easier by using this method? (Complex drum fills) .

    Thanks so much Nick

    • Stephen says:

      Good questions…
      1. No
      2. Absolutely…as many as you want. Mine are just examples
      3. Yes, a system like this will absolutely make it easier to learn songs and fills

  22. This pattern is so much fun, Steve! Shall share directly with my own students! Question: I can’t hear my metronome over drums! Thoughts?

    • Stephen says:

      I would get some isolation headphones or a pair of cheap earbuds and then grab a set of isolation ear muffs in the sporting goods dept. of wal mart

  23. Sandy says:

    Thanks for the great lesson! I recently had to quit drum lessons for financial reasons, and I can’t tell you how greatful I am to be able to keep learning with your lessons! You’re the best!

  24. Preston Sumler says:

    That’s awesome and it help me alot thanks

  25. MIKE Rhoads says:

    when I print out sheet music DBD logo comes out dark and covers music. Can anyone help with this/

  26. Doug says:

    Stephen, I found your drum lessons by chance, just browsing YouTube. I have been trying to find the comment box ever since, and today I found it by going to your site for the free sheet music. I have played with the drums off and on for a number of years, but never made time to become proficient at them. I enjoyed playing and even did gigs, but nothing big. I am a Vietnam veteran with PTSD, I only say that because I want to tell you that your video’s are some of the best therapy I have had, and on top of that I am learning things that I should have learned 50 years ago. At this point in my life (70 yrs old) all I am trying to do is be a little better drummer tomorrow than I am today, and I am seeing progress. I have heard that when a person is confronted with trauma that sometimes they will no longer mature, maybe there is enough kid left in me to get some enjoyment from this.

    I greatly appreciate your teaching skills, and that you have chosen to give back by offering free lessons, Thank you Stephen!

  27. you’re a great teacher, I respect you

  28. Tony Suk says:

    Hi Stephen. Just finished watching “Applying Paradiddles To The Drum-Set”. Possible stupid beginner question. Why do you use a paradiddle instead of 1/16th notes. Easy sticking with the 1/16th notes, no doubles and same number of drum hits.

    Thanks in advance

    • Stephen says:

      There are no dumb questions! SO you can use a paradiddle with 16th notes. It would just be RLRR LRLL RLRR LRLL instead of RLRL RLRL RLRL RLRL. It has to do with the sound you’re wanting (a double on a tom) or the following sticking (so if you needed to crash with your left hand, you could put a right handed paradiddle in there so you could end the sticking on that left). Does that make sense?

  29. Larry Chavis says:

    Hey, Stephen,

    I’m a 67-yr-old guy who was fairly decent (not great) on drums back when I was 19 and 20. Now retired, after all these years of not drumming, I’m trying to learn and/or relearn some of what I knew (or not) back then. No gigs, just for myself. Your stuff is a great help to this old man, thanks.

  30. Kenny says:

    Enjoy all the videos!
    Thanks for sending them

  31. Chris says:

    I like how you use the 4,3,2 pyramid to build your sticking pattern. I wonder if you could do a lesson on that, assuming you haven’t already, I saw another online instructor explain this and it really changed the way I construct my fills. Thanks your videos are great ?

  32. Rob says:

    Steve, you are very American, as I am British, but your methods are very methodical, and that is amazing to hear from a fellow logical thinker. Maybe you should have studied Math at School (as you like to say over there).

    If you had a cheaper way for amateurs to sign up, I would do it in an instant.
    30 USD per month is too much of a comitment for us old fogies.

    But, thank you.


  33. kevin walsh says:

    I have an electronic kit and i’m a beginner. I cant get past how the sound does not seem genuine. Any thoughts on how to get past that?

  34. Tom Jackson says:

    I have to say, it really sounds cool Stephen, especially when you speed it up and start improvising in a random pattern.
    Thank you for providing this tutorial!

  35. David says:

    Hey Steve. I really appreciate your lessons. This was the best one yet with the 4-4-3-2 breakdown. Sounds amazing, especially as a groove. What I struggle with is fills and solos with drum rolls around the kit like it sounds like the pros do all the time. Do you have a lesson on that?

  36. Jake Bradley says:

    Just wanted to drop a thank you and word of encouragement. Very cool to see a two-year old video that you and your staff are still replying to comments on. I’m a trombone player at heart (HS and College / Marching and Concert), just got into drums to be able to jam with my teenage son… he plays guitar and loves rock and heavy metal, so the trombone doesn’t really fit. Your videos are very helpful and just make easy sense of things.

    Do you have any specific suggestions for counting exercises? Learning in a traditional concert setting on trombone, counting was everything, but I’m having a hard time translating that over to drums where both hands and feet are all moving! I find that I’m learning patterns w/o really being able to count them…works fine until I miss the start of a fill or get lost and have to wait for a new bar to pick the beat back up.

    Thanks again for everything! Keep up the great work!

  37. Thank You Stephen I wi to learn to play drums I have a brand new Ludwig Six piece set plus I bought A nother nes Mapex 400.00 snare drum and got Five total of zildjan I series cymbils and a nes motor cycle seat with. Ack rest on it and a Big as DB90 metronome drum .I will to learn to play Praise and worship songs and hyms on drums I can see hear You go thru in detail on teaching .Thank You I just got Mysocurity approved last month suppose to get a check in Bank deposit 2 ND or third in a daY or to so I can pay for You to teach Me .what You show how to on YouTube You post is easey to under stand but I thank I need You to help Me Tobe able to play Praise and Worship songs I’m practicing with You You real great teacher I can tell.Thank You.

  38. Vince says:

    Thanks for your time & teaching of this great foundational drumming!

  39. Jeffrey McDonald says:

    Stephen, you are the man! Just love your passion for drums and teaching. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  40. Adeniji Taiwo Adeyinka says:

    Found this video very helpful for my students, I really appreciate it……

  41. Thorsten Busan says:

    Exactly the stuff I was looking for – for nearly 25 years. Great! Many concepts I got to know didn’t really work for me. But this one should let me shoot for the moon. THANK YOU, Stephen! For this one, and for having the best drum channel on YT by far.

  42. Michiko Ms says:

    Thank you, Stephen, from Japan (^ ^)
    Thanks to this lesson, I have found out how to use paradiddle for actual scenes to make the beat better ! I also enjoy other programs of yours! ARIGATO GOZAIMAS !!

  43. Marshal W, Robin says:

    I wish to thank you for your expertise,time, commitment, and love of what your doing and that is drumming, it shows in your teaching, and to have to be commenting on a lesson that is two years old, shows how important this lesson is to people. the 4-4-3-3-2, zoning, definetly a video I will watch over and over. Thank you so much.Stephen this is a two part comment a thank you, and an wanting to know question. now the question if it is ok? Your being a profesional drummer, how do you go about learning a song that you have never played before, but want to be able to play it. What do you do, and how?This may seem a stupid question to most people, but not to some of us. I had brain injuries, and now am epileptic, Due to being in a car accident and being drug down the highway outside of the vehicle. I am a 68 year old veteran (go Army) Sax player, self taught Bass player, and now self teaching drums. I no longer can play sax, or bass. They say the drums are therapy for me, by making my brain actually think again, because one hand does one thing while the other does another, and your legs are doing that to. It has taken me almost two hours to write this comment to you, because I have to continually read it to myself, so I know what I am asking or saying, and why.You seem to be a very good teacher. A no nosence teacher, not full of yourself. I believe your trying to tell us that, I have put everything out on the table, I have given you everything that I know, So if you will take it, then first apply yourself to it, then apply all of that to your drumming. Then you will have aquirered everything that made you stop here. I hope that you remember my question above, how do you learn a song? Do you have a sistem, or certain way of learning. Thank you very much, I am sorry for the leangth of this. Some of my favorite drummers: Ringo,Charlie Watts, drummer for the Doors, and Hendricks, I am sorry but can”t remember their names right now, John Barbata (my favorite), and Alex Gonzalez of Mana. I like the way you drum, it is as though you were born with it, it is natural to you, There are drummer’s that are born with it, and those who had to learn or be taught. Not saying you didn’t have to learn, struggle, or apply yourself to drumming. I am so sorry that this is so long, that is part of my condition, I feel I have to go into great detail about everything, and anything, so that people will understand where I am coming from. Thank you again, now I have to go watch the video again and take more notes.

    • Stephen says:

      So glad the lessons help!

      I actually have a lesson on this in the members area of my online drum school. In short:

      1. Listen to the song
      2. Figure out what parts you can already play
      3. Begin working from measure one
      4. Once you get to a problem, stop, solve it…then move on
      5. Don’t try to “play through” the song until you have worked through every measure. Then and only then do we start to put things together.
      6. Listen listen listen. Much of my learning of songs comes from listening before I sit down to play and practice.

      Often I will get to a gig having only run a full song once or twice. But I have run the various parts of that song MANY times.

  44. pat Christianson says:

    hey Stephen, I am a very new drummer but your lessons are already helping me by leaps and bounds. I just signed up for your lessons and I’m so glad I did. Thanks for sharing your expertise and breaking it down for us beginners!

  45. Nan Lander says:

    This is wonderful Stephen! Thanks so much. You are such a great teacher! ❤️

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