101 Ways to Practice Paradiddles (The Complete Guide)

The paradiddle is my favourite rudiment. The way that the pattern flips back & forth between lead hands gives a lot of character and can be used to great effect in drum grooves, drum fills, drum solos etc…. 

Today I’m going to talk about a practice routine that you can use to develop them to a high level. In this first part we are going to look at permutating the paradiddle. Permutation is a simple and effective way to get more mileage out of your patterns. 


Part I


Let’s look at the basic paradiddle and its three permutations: 

Single Paradiddle 


Inward Paradiddle 


Reverse Paradiddle 


Outward Paradiddle




When practicing these it’s important to do it with a metronome, or to play some sort of foot pattern to help reinforce the time, and to not lose your sense of where the beat is. Quarter notes on the bass works well as a starting place. It’s also good for coordination.



Part II

The next step in achieving paradiddle mastery is to add accents to the patterns from Part 1. You will still permutate the pattern in the same manner as the last step, but you will accent the first note of the original paradiddle as it moves through the permutations.


Accented Notes are capitalized:

Single Paradiddle

Rlrr Lrll  

Inward Paradiddle 

rllR lrrL  

Reverse Paradiddle

rrLr llRl  

Outward Paradiddle

rLrl lRlr 




Part III

Here we will repeat the same as Part 2, but will now place the accents on the toms. I recommend 
Right Hand = Floor Tom
Left Hand = Small Tom



Part IV

Now let's go in a bit of a different direction....


The next step is to move the paradiddle around a bit and discover what else we can do with the pattern. Before moving ahead in this blog post, I strongly encourage you to freestyle with the paradiddle for a session or two to perhaps unearth some patterns that work for you. After that you can check out these four patterns.

*Accents are to be once again played on the toms.


Accent first note

a) Rlrr Lrll

*We already did this one, AND spent time permutating it. But Part IV is a separate category and thus, we see pattern once again.


Accented Doubles

b) rlRR lrLL


Accented Singles

c) RLrr LRll


Funky Pattern!

d) Rlrr lRll








As I often mention, there is no substitute for a good teacher. If you have questions, or perhaps need clarification then I strongly encourage you to find a teacher and work through these ideas with them. You will develop much more quickly and will eradicate any bad habits that could develop if practicing without guidance. You can always contact me about lessons at my studio in Montreal, or on Skype. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the art of drumming, so find the best teacher you can and stick with it. 


Brandon Goodwin Bio 

Brandon has worked with renowned jazz musicians such as Braxton Cook, Grammy-award winning artists Delfeayo Marsalis, and Kebbi Williams, as well as some of Canada’s top talent, including Fraser Hollins, Al McLean, and Samuel Blais. 

Brandon has studied with some of Canada’s top drummers, including, Nasyr Abdul Al-Kabyr (Dizzy Gillespie), Dave Laing, and Dave Robbins, and has also studied privately with internationally acclaimed drummers Ari Hoenig and Dan Weiss. 

He has taught masterclasses at high schools and universities in Canada and the U.S. and is the owner/principal operator of Studio Drum MTL. Based out of Verdun QC, Brandon services Greater Montreal, Lasalle, Lachine, NDG, Westmount, and Cote St Luc with his high quality drum lessons. 


Brandon’s group B’s Bees has performed concerts in North America and in Asia, at major jazz festivals and in some of the best jazz clubs in the world. The group has also performed masterclasses at high schools and in universities in Canada, the U.S. and in Asia. 



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