Introduction: Learning a Paradiddle

A paradiddle is a rudiment anyone can learn, it is simple in theory but very versatile.


Metronome app, drum sticks and a practice pad, or just your hands and something to wack.

Step 1: Understanding the Pattern

the pattern has two parts which are opposites, I will underline the beginning of each part:


These can be thought of as 16th notes, or simply just as the pattern itself in R's and L's (rights and lefts).

Remember to count it in your head or say the pattern if you aren't familiar with counting in music.

Step 2: Start Slow

Slowly tap the RLRR LRLL pattern

Consistency is more important than speed at this point, try to get a feel for timing and counting.

Step 3: Try Speeding Up

If you've got the hang of it slowly try simply speeding up, but don't go so fast you lose proper timing of the pattern.

Step 4: Accenting

The first note of each part of the pattern, which is underlined, should be accented, meaning you play it louder.


The first right and first left of each group of four should be accented, shown by the underline.

You can see me move my hands up much further and hear a harder hit on each first note, don't be afraid to really accent while learning, it sometimes helps to hit harder than necessary on the accent notes.

Keep counting!

Step 5: Try Adding in the Metronome

Add the metronome, this is my favorite app for a metronome, but any of them will work.

If you already know a little about music, RLRR LRLL is a 16th note pattern with the underlined notes being 1 and 2.

If you don't already know much about music, just make the note you accented (or underlined) match the clicks in the metronome, it's harder than it sounds!

Step 6: Start at 70-80

Set the metronome to 70 and play as described in the previous step, once 70 is comfortable try 80.

This is where the counting counts!

Step 7: Try 90-100

Keep progressing speed up until you can easily do these settings.

Yes, learning drums is just this repetitive.

Step 8: Try 100-120

This is where having a pad will definitely start to make a difference, those without may be stuck around 100, which is okay. Maybe if you really wack quickly you can do 120.

No matter how hard you wack, make sure you're still counting.

Step 9: Being Comfortable at 120

120 is a good spot to say you've learned the paradiddle, but that's just the normal version, the next step will show you how to mix the pattern up for even versatility.

Step 10: Bonus Points

For bonus points try changing the order of the paradiddle for more interesting and difficult combinations, for example:




These are paradiddles with the first note slid over 1, doing these while accenting the first underlined note will make the paradiddle seem easy. Count them the same way you would with the normal paradiddle.